How to become an alcoholic in 6 months

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species.

I recently heard the disturbing story of a business owner retirement gone wrong.

John, in his mid-50s, (not his real name) sold his business for a lot of money, and so he no longer had any financial concerns. However his life fell apart after he left the business – to the point where, within 6 months, John had become an alcoholic.

You probably know others with similar stories – they’ve left their business or work, have found themselves with nothing to do and they have fallen into a hole.

There is a simple but critical reason for John’s predicament – he had no plan for his life after business. His identity was closely linked to his business which was, typically, all consuming, and left him with little time for other activities. And John had not thought about planning his life after business.

The message is clear – it is critical that all business owners, executives and employees take the time to plan their life after business or full-time work. From my research, I have concluded that, to be happy and healthy in life, we need –

  • physical health
  • mental health
  • a range of social connections and
  • a sense of meaning or purpose in life.

We call these “the keys to happiness”. Our business or work provides us with activities which keep us physically and mentally healthy, and provide us with social connections and a sense of meaning or purpose. However when we leave our business or full-time work, it’s important to take the time to plan new or additional activities to replace the work-related activities, which will disappear when we leave work.  This planning will help fill the void that could otherwise arise in our lives, potentially leading to boredom, depression, and ill-health – or, as in John’s case, alcoholism.

Transition Planning Australia’s personal transition planning program provides a solution to this problem. It’s an ideal way to fill the void that could otherwise arise. The LIVE with Purpose workshop –

  • offers a safe and confidential environment, supported by trained professionals,
  • allows participants to transform their concerns around leaving into a positive vision of the next phase of their life so they can transition more confidently
  • applies a logical proven step-by-step methodology to help participants expand their thinking about what’s possible
  • allows participants to –
    • work out what’s important to them and what they really want to do with their lives,
    • explore a range of possibilities for the next phase of life, many of which they may never have thought of, to evaluate the best options for them,
    • brainstorm with like-minded people exploring the same issues – they are not alone, and
  • provides participants with a process to create their customised Personal Transition Plan for a happy and healthy new life.

And this is what participants say after completing this workshop:

“We study to be professionals. We have parenting classes. We have pre-marriage courses and marriage counseling. But until now, there was little ‘training’ involved with what we can do in the ‘third age’. Great idea to get us thinking about retirement.”  JT, February 2015

“I now see the importance of planning activities in a broad range of areas – and not just a limited range of activities in one or two areas. The final process of documenting my future life plan was very useful – and gives me more of a commitment to it.”  MD, September 2016

As Charles Darwin suggests, it is those who are most adaptable to change who survive. This does not happen naturally and requires careful planning.

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