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Tuesday, August 27, 2013



Dr. Alan Himmel

We all need to keep busy, have a purpose, have goals (big or small),  and have things to look forward to. I think that without goals or a maybe even a prospective finish line, life gets dull and depressing.

I see this a lot in the older crowd.  This is the scenario:  A guy has been working his whole life.  He is now retired.  Suddenly, what seemed like the best thing in the world (not having to work) now begins to affect the man's mental outlook.  Before retirement, he had something to do.  He had a responsibility. He may have been the provider for the family.   He had a function; a purpose.  Now, after retirement, the man's whole dynamic changes. When he was working, he had a specific time to wake up because he had to be at work at a certain time.  He may have had to report to a boss, or maybe had people depending on him as a boss or supervisor.  These are all things that are no long part of his life. The man who used to be busy and have a purpose is now finding that he has nothing to do.  He has no importance.  It's a shot to his ego.

And, I don't believe that the depressed mental attitude that this person feels is entirely a function of boredom, although having nothing to do also gives the man too much free time to think about things like his mortality and aging and other negative thoughts.  Having a purpose will occupy his thoughts, which will naturally displace these negative thoughts.

When you accomplish your goal, or if you find that you now have no purpose, you must find a new one.  Its okay to move on to new things in your life or even switch goals in the middle.  Just as long as you have a purpose at any given time.  In fact, you should expect to move from one purpose to the next, several times over the course of your life.  This is natural.

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