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Build your own journey

By Lynda Smith – 

To my mind the most profound book that has been published this year is “The 100 year life – living and working in the age of longevity” by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott. This statement below from their website explains the gift of longevity for society.

“To make longevity a gift we believe nearly everything will change – the outcome is nothing short of a social revolution affecting everyone. How we work, how we gain our education, who and when we decide to spend our lives with and when we have children, how we spend our leisure time, the role of women in society will all see profound developments.”

The journey of life is a marathon not a sprint and along this journey we need to build different assets that will help us achieve the sustenance needed for the long haul. Some of these assets mentioned in the book are knowledge, reputation, health, balanced living, friendships diverse networks and financial investments.

This is my first year back building Refirement Network after a 5 year break where I worked as the CEO of an early childhood foundation. My vision and mantra for Refirement is very similar to what the authors of this book have researched and this excites me. I have taken responsibility to understand these elements and help coach and train others to understand them so that they too will experience the gift of longevity.

I am based in South Africa, about to turn sixty and both my children live outside the borders of my home country, one in Thailand and the other in the UK. The design of work and play for me in this season of life is assisted by technology and the fact that I can offer my knowledge and skills across borders through technology, while living a more balanced life, looking after my health and friendships. My reputation has always been high up on my list of priorities and at the same time I love the gift of having a diverse group of networks.

I love the fact that as we enter what used to be the retirement stage of life, we have the opportunity to learn, build new businesses and combine work and play. I made the decision that I wanted to spend quality time with each of my children as I celebrate turning 60. I will be out of South Africa for two months and will still be able to continue to work while I am away. I will take the opportunity to spend quality time with my children and grandchildren and enjoy the creative opportunities that travel creates.

I will also be connecting with some of my diverse networks that I have developed via twitter and LinkedIn. I will use these coffee conversations to strengthen these relationships and discuss opportunities to learn and partner in the future. I want to be a digital nomad, able to travel, have fun and work remotely from anywhere.

The world is a fast paced changing place and we will either see these changes as a gift or a curse. I hope that you will take the time to see the gift and do whatever is needed to feel the excitement and take responsibility for your own journey.

Key Learnings

  1. To make longevity a gift we believe nearly everything will change – the outcome is nothing short of a social revolution affecting everyone.
  2. The journey of life is a marathon not a sprint and along this journey we need to build different assets that will help us achieve the sustenance needed for the long haul
  3. The world is a fast paced changing place and we will either see these changes as a gift or a curse.
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