Retirement Happiness:Do you care too much about what people think?

2008-2009 Cadillac CTS photographed in Washing...
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Does your retirement happiness depend on what other people think about you?

What makes you a valuable person?  How do you decide if you are a making a contribution to life?  What defines your worth?

This is just as important in your retirement lifestyle as in any other phase of your life. Is it what you own? Is it how much money you have in the bank? Is it how many friends you connect with? Is it your job or a degree? Is it measurable? And finally, who decides? If your sense of value depends on what others think about you then you don’t know who you are. You are only a reflection of what you think is important to someone else; a copy; a fake, an illusion.

Does someone else s vision define your retirement lifestyle?

Do you live your life deferring to what others think? Do you live your life on your own terms who – or on somebody else s?  When you make a decision, what matters most; what you think or what you think others will appreciate? Why do people buy a Cadillac instead of a Chevrolet or live in a gated community instead of a normal neighborhood? There are, of course, many reasons why a Cadillac is better than a Chevrolet but how important are they? In fact a Chevrolet will get from one place to another just as fast and with nearly the comfort of a Cadillac. The big different is what the people you pass along the way think about you because of the car you drive. The same goes for where you live. If it doesn’t matter what those other people think, why spend the extra money for a Cadillac? The act of buying a car is one of the more trivial decisions we make in our lives but it can show a pattern of poor money management. Spending the extra money for a Cadillac means less money to spend on other things- maybe more important things than transportation. And if what others think can affect financial decisions, how can it affect your life in other ways – say with your relationships?

In retirement, do you get the appreciation you want from others?

Everybody likes to be appreciated – Some more than others. For most of us it is important to know that people like our company and enjoy spending time with us. We like to be respected for our accomplishments. Just because we want to be appreciated, however, doesn’t mean that we will get that appreciation.   Some people just naturally attract others and are liked. Others are loners – either by choice or just because people are uncomfortable with them. Most people find themselves somewhere in between the two extremes. Rather than getting in touch with our own abilities and feelings, however, sometimes if we don’t have the friends we want, we try to be another person that we hope people will like better.

The solution is not pretending to be something we are not.

People want someone genuine. They may not like you as you really are but they will definitely reject a fake. Sucking up and pretending won’t make you popular but when you show people who you really are and what you care about, you will relate to somebody even if it is not the people you want to like you.  So when you design your retirement lifestyle stop pandering to what you think others want you to be and be who you are. When you learn to respect yourself, you will find that others will respect you two and not because of some pretense on your part but because you really are somebody.

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