One unexpected challenge facing those nearing the end of their ‘primary career’ is a need to change their core values – those unspoken expectations, often learnt at an early age, that have been subconsciously shaping their lives ever since.
I’m not advocating radical change, just recognition that the rapid increase in life expectancy over the last 50 years has rendered some of these old values and beliefs redundant.
‘Old world’ values often held that a successful life was measured by:
- How much money you had – ‘he died leaving a fortune’
- Your possessions – ‘he lived in a big house and drove a smart car’
- Your job title – ‘he was Chairman of…..’
- ‘Soldiering on’ – ‘ he was an NHS season ticket holder but still… ’
- Power – he managed a huge organization
- Hankering for ‘the good old days’
With global longevity comes recognition that Baby Boomers are truly the ‘Golden Generation’ – those who follow will be the first in history to be, as a generation, worse off than their parents. Changing the scoreboard is about Baby boomers redefining the values for which they will be remembered.
- Rather than how much money you had, be remembered for what you did with it.
- Rather than the possessions you owned, be remembered for the pleasure they gave
- Forget the job title be remembered for the difference you made
- Forget about illnesses be remembered as being fit and well
- It’s not about the people you managed – it is about the lives you changed
- Don’t live in the past – be remembered for being progressive
Future generations may look back and judge the Baby Boomers harshly – as a generation they ‘had it all’ – future generations may well ask – ‘what did you do with it?