Minerva's Breakdown

Dear Minerva:

Do you have any advice to address the despair of the retired person? I am 63 and I still can’t see purpose in my life. I don’t know if you can help.


Leisurely Despair

Dear Despair:

Purpose is an interesting concept. I think that a lot of people assume the purpose will make itself known to us in a very clear way. Maybe for some people it does. We often hear stories about these great epiphanies that change the course of a person’s life. While it may seem that way, I think people more often create purpose in their lives over time. We focus too often on grandiose purpose. Creating purpose does not have to be showy, sweeping acts out of a fairy tale or Hollywood film. Small goals and triumphs count. My advice would be to channel some energy into things you are passionate about. Do the reflective work. Sometimes the purpose of living is sharing the gifts you have with others. These little bits of your heart and soul can have incredible impacts on those around us. You may find that indulging your passions are just the key to unlocking your own definition of purpose. Also, remember that Judi Dench, Colonel Sanders, Grandma Moses and Karl Lagerfeld didn’t have widespread success until after age 60. Meditate on this quote from Dolly Parton (she knows a thing or two about purpose and dreams post age 60): “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

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