The Meaning and Purpose of Retirement
At "retirement," we all become self-employed -- to do what is most important and meaningful to do -- before we die.
ultimate meaning of self-employment is hiring yourself for the
important job of taking care of oneself. Many will rise to the
challenge -- while a few will realize they've never learned anything that was meaningful (productive) to do, and now they have a fool for a boss.
In this way, retirement is the summation of our existence -- and the real test of what we know, and can do. If it is not worth doing for themselves, then how important can they be? Many think that their worth is only what somebody else will pay them to do -- so that when nobody pays them anymore, they think they are worthless, and these things are not worth doing for themselves. But there is nobody more important to give their best to/for -- unless they've never created any value for themselves, and that is what their living has been all about.
They served others first, and lastly, they realize the value of all they have done -- as a fitting, just reward. One gets, what one has given -- and honed their skill at giving, and knows no greater gift to give. That is the person they are, and the gift they have given to themselves -- all their lives. That's why it matters -- always to have given one's best, as the only way one knows how to give to any other.
It never was about the money -- but exchanging value for value -- beyond what was expected, always exceeding expectations -- as the way of their own life. That is the standard of value. Such people at retirement, enjoy those golden years in return -- as the life they created for everybody else, and the world conveys to them as a senior citizen -- of full entitlement of what the society has created for everybody else, themselves not withstanding.
Thus all the talk of having more than everybody else, should rightfully cease, and one feels content to have what everybody else has -- which is not a life of deprivation and poverty that financial planners would have them believe they need the fortunes they never had before -- as necessary to a happy, healthy life in "retirement." Nothing changes very much -- except that one has the time to appreciate the person one has been all one's life.
For some, that is not a happy ending -- but it needn't be that way.
Just Do the Warmup
people think that a lifelong conditioning program should be an extreme
sport as an end in itself -- rather than just the warmup and preparation
for our real life activities. So, frequently, they risk life and limb
-- thinking if it doesn't kill them, it will make them stronger --
rather than dead, crippled or otherwise impaired. That should be
obvious as counterproductive -- yet still, many get lost in their
shortsighted objectives -- to miss the whole point.
wants to be prepared for anything -- or many things, and not just one
thing, because seldom does one's fate lie only on the outcome of one
event. The successful life is actually a series of events -- that we
have to do mostly right, and not perfectly, or as a world's record --
and then we don't have to do anything else but rest on our laurels from
here on out.
course in anything, the greatest difference is the difference between
zero and one -- rather than 110% -- and then nothing forevermore. 90%
in most things, is enough to be an extraordinary individual. Even for
the world champion, the warmup that prepares them for a world record --
is mostly what they need to do. They don't have to go over the top --
risking serious injury or death, to go where no one has gone before.
are the obvious injuries -- but less obvious, are all the ways one can
undermine their overall health by throwing all caution to the wind, as
one might have to do in a once in a lifetime situation -- but doing it
daily, merely increases their chances of a short life. No organism is
designed for a life of all-out struggle for survival on a daily basis --
not even the caveman.
all probability, those who weren't faced with daily extinction -- are
the evolutionary survivors. They figured out a way not to have to fight
for their life -- in everything they did. That is the bigger picture
-- and not the brief short life of those constantly embroiled in life
and death struggle -- as though their lives depended on it. Those are
not the people who ultimately survive.
that means being prepared to meet most of the challenges of everyday
living -- rather than being increasingly disqualified from even doing
that -- which is merely caring for oneself -- all the days of one's
life, as a meaningful and purposeful existence. One doesn't have to do
anything heroic to justify living their daily lives as best they can --
which is the quality of their lives. That is the average of all they do
-- and not just one thing -- to the exclusion of everything else.
the money is important, but that is not the only thing in life, nor is
the amount lifted, or distance run, the pounds lost or gained. It is
the greater totality that matters -- that one is firing on all
cylinders, and not just the one. Along the way, one may even need help
-- to overcome an obstacle too big for just any one to achieve. But if
one is conditioned to believe they are always in competition with every
other, they may undermine all the others -- thinking that the only way
for them to win, is for everybody else to lose.
how they think the game is played -- rather than the common purpose of
preparing everyone to do their best -- and that is sufficient, for all
The Cost of Paradise
Ninety-five percent of the US (world) is affordable but people want to move into the five percent that isn't, and so prices keep escalating higher. That is also the problem of most of the major metropolitan areas all over the world -- San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, London, even the Portlands and Seattles.
So the trick is to find those places that are undervalued -- rather than stampeding to those places spending millions to convince people they need to come over and drive up the real estate prices even further -- so that even those living in grass shacks, can think they are millionaires, living in paradise.
The value of money, is what it can be exchanged for -- and if it is for very little, then the "quality" of life is low, even though the "cost" of living may be high. If there are a lot of dollars chasing few goods, then the prices will be high -- and if the appeal is only to those with a lot of money, then all the residents have to spend in that environment whether they want to or not.
That may be quite all right with those who are retired with great wealth or generous pensions, but it will be very difficult for those without those means dependent on any job to compete with those who have those advantages, and so a great part of young people's education in Hawaii, should be to prepare them to live elsewhere -- and to examine the many options open to them. As it is, many are convinced that Hawaii is the only place they can live -- which makes life difficult, and so many just give up -- creating many of the problems of society -- thinking that the only way they can get ahead, is to lie, cheat and steal.
So the problems also increase -- of relentless competition for everything -- instead of ever being able to relax, and enjoy the bounty of the earth. Many growing up in such urban environments, are incredulous to think that food can grow from dirt, and that people have to work to make it happen. They believe that food appears because of government edicts -- and not that these are things that people can do for themselves because of the human desire to be productive -- and not just have a high-paying job in which they can do as little as possible, for a lifetime.
Then when everybody thinks that way, there are a lot of people with money, but nobody is producing anything, and so the cost of everything, is high. And the unions demand even more for doing less. So why is the high cost of living a mystery -- when to any thinking person, it is inevitable?
To Be One's Best
only real reason for "exercise" (practice), is to prepare one to do
their best -- in the many activities that humans do, including all those
daily activities many think are not important -- and to do well, which
of course, forms the base for all their subsequent thoughts and efforts.
is like the preparations athletes do preparatory to making a personal
or world record attempt. The preparation brings them to that point --
and not that they can just jump out of bed, and can perform their best
"in their sleep." In fact, many great athletes have to do extensive
periods of warm-up, just to feel "normal" again -- recovering from a
previous day's hard "practice," from which it may ache, just to move at
one must have a way of at least getting back to normal -- let alone
attempting one's best. Many just abandon any notions that they should
be even considering their best-- as the worst is all they have come to
expect anymore, and are just grateful for modern medicine for the
extraordinary efforts that keep them alive -- though in a hopeless
deteriorating and terminal condition. That is what they consider normal
"aging," rather than premature aging that their lifestyle and behaviors
condemn them to.
that has been considered normal -- and deviations from that normal,
impossible and incredulous. Thus the thinking that anybody who doesn't
exhibit those signs of premature aging (wear and tear), must be because
they are rich and can afford endless plastic surgeries to remain so --
rather than that lifelong health, is as nature intended.
and disease, is the way of maintaining the natural balance of ensuring
the fitness of a species -- in challenging each to deal with those, and
eventually learning to avoid those hazards -- while still maintaining a
viable and engaging life. As such, life always hangs in the balance --
requiring constant adjustment and improvement to better prepare oneself
for even greater challenges. Obviously, that won't simply be doing the
same things one always has done before -- but evolving to meet higher
levels of challenge -- that is the trigger for growth.
People don't grow because they want to; they grow because they have
to -- because they have little control over how those challenges may
come. It could be wars, floods, famines, mechanical failures, human
error, as well as congenital conditions, etc. -- the determines the
course of one's life -- in their responses to them.
it is appropriate and beneficial to meet force with a greater force --
unless that force is a speeding train, of which no amount of great human
strength is going to overcome -- and one must be nimble and quick, and
preferably not in the position of vulnerability in the first place. As
always, the response must be total -- balancing the options on many
planes, and not just the singular consideration of applying more force
or less -- on a single track, of a one-track mind incapable of shifting
to any other perspective.
puts them at a tremendous disadvantage -- in resolving the many
challenges of life -- especially if their own response, is one that
makes the problem grow larger. That would be the case of one taking
increasingly greater risks, leaving no margin for error, instead of
increasing their margins for safety -- and error, because that has more
advantages for survival, and that is what fitness is ultimately all
about -- increasing one's survival advantage, and beyond that, to live
an evermore fulfilling life.
life to get better, it has to begin on the most basic level -- of how
one shifts from sleep, to one's greatest level of responsiveness -- and
not that everyone can hit the ground running at top speed and greatest
awareness as soon as they get out of bed. It may even take a while to
even get out of bed -- as many with arthritis and other crippling
conditions, have known all their lives. Most, however, cannot shift out
of that condition -- but remain so all the rest of the day -- that
becomes the totality of all their days.
is fundamentally the challenge of change -- shifting from one state to
quite another -- and that ability, carries over to the many other
challenges one encounters in their day and lives. Not to think that is
possible, is quite a depressing prospect and prognosis for one's future
-- and the cause of hopelessness in the present. So one asks, what is
the smallest increment of change one can effect? That is what is meant
by the journey beginning with a single step -- and not the despair of
thinking one can make a difference without ever taking a single step.
they think that somebody else will cure them -- or make them better --
and not that that is the primary task of every individual to do for
themselves, using the knowledge and tools of the collective human
experience and intelligence. One's uniquely own understanding and
contribution, is the summation and integration of all previous human
experience actualized in their "reality."
is who "we" are. We are what we actually do -- and not what we want
everyone else to believe we are. The condition we are in, makes that
obvious to everyone else -- particularly to those taking in all the
information. Some people are just listening to the words -- and if they
seem familiar. But that is seldom the whole truth.
take in the most information, one has to heighten their senses of what
is going on -- as perceived by the organs at the head, hands and feet --
which have evolved for those purposes, as well as to express a
response. That doesn't just happen because one's vital signs are
in order. Those end responses and expressions, are the very meaning of
every movement and behavior -- and not that life is meaningful just in
prolonging the heart beat and breathing for as long as possible, while
ignoring those cognitive actions, for certainly, it is the latter that
makes life and fitness meaningful.
is the quality of life. And so rather than being ignored and
neglected, those are the very organs it is most important to ensure are
functioning at its highest levels of possibility by placing that
circulation as a priority -- rather than simply working the tireless
heart more, and harder. that is not the deficiency -- as the voluntary
movements in the organs at the extremities of cognition, expression and
greatest articulation -- which most conventional and traditional
exercise fails to address, and thus we have the problem of mental
deficiencies and dementias, weakening of the grip, feet too weak to
maintain one's balance and stability. Without those heightened
faculties, life becomes very perilous -- and not that the non-responsive
and non-functioning individual in those respects -- is in great danger
of losing their vital signs.
is at the head, hands and feet that humans differentiate themselves
from every other animal -- and express their skill at being consummately
human. That is what art, music, dance, athletics, writing, speaking,
"looking," are all about -- while the heart and the core is what most
animals have in common, and need not be concerned about -- not even the
highly intelligent gorilla or dolphin. It just works unfailingly -- by
design and evolution.
difference though, is the expression and articulation of what the feet,
hands and head do -- and how some do it better than others. But they
have to move first, and in doing so, connect the extremities to the core
-- because that is the design of the musculature, and how the human
body must work to maximize its leverage. One cannot begin a
movement at a joint closer to the core and think they will have a more
favorable leverage. That is simply not possible. But if the fulcrum
(axis of rotation), is as far out as possible, a little bit of force,
can have a mighty effect.
That is the intelligence of the human body. Exercise it.
What Went Wrong?
The erroneous presumption, is that people who are "uninsured," don't pay for goods and services on their own means -- when actually, they are the best-paying customers. The best example of this are the elective cosmetic surgeries -- which are not covered by insurance -- but that is what the highest paid doctors are working in.
Those who are draining the medical resources, are those who are covered by insurance and abusing those services -- thinking it is an all-you-can-eat affair, and they can even get sick-pay to go to their medical appointments, to boot.
And so Obama and the unions decided they needed people who never go to the doctors to pay into the insurance pool -- to subsidize their Cadillac health insurance, on the argument that those who don't need these medical services, should be forced to pay for those who think that the doctors exist to make them healthy -- and not themselves as every individual's primary responsibility and caregiver.
There's is not enough money in the universe to support a system in which everybody thinks they can receive more than their fair share.