Rethinking Retirement: Potential – My Edmonds News

Something moved in my gut! I had just put on a uniquely beautiful pair of rings and wow they had made a physical impression on me. What?! I repeated the process to verify what happened. Confirmed. I walked away confused; What happened?

Walking around the college campus to maybe (?) pick up grades and my new teacher approached me. I told him how much I enjoyed his class. “Well, if you liked it that much, you would probably like our masters program in that direction. Check it out in the office!”

Those two simple events influenced where I am today. impact and education.

I believe potential is an intriguing mystery. Mine started when I was a teenager. Oh wait a minute! Maybe it was when I had a recurring dream when I was 4 or 5: My line was, “Mom, I want to see what life is about.”

Today, I believe your retirement holds tremendous potential.

I also believe that our culture has not adequately prepared us given our advances in opportunity, education, and health over the past few decades. Where did we miss the signposts?

The problem with my potential was a silent assassin. The secret stole my innocence, my shine, and my confidence. My strategy for staying safe was to be invisible, don’t rock the boat, get good grades, and be obedient. Thank God he’s keeping his hands off me, I silently expressed my gratitude.

So my career was built around the same principles: keep your head down, do the work, be responsible, and be hardworking. However, being a lifelong learner, my chance encounter on college campus that day resulted in instructors looking past my invisible safety mask and opening the recovery door to deep healing. Courage grew. expanded potential.

Over the years I’ve been a good listener to others and often helped people better express their talents on their resumes. The feeling of being seen and heard was so important to me, but I was missing it myself. But I loved encouraging others. Helping others to be successful was fun and important to me.

Our culture had an abundance of resources for personal growth. One piece of advice was to describe ourselves using an object to talk about our qualities as that object. That’s when I called my bewildering event to describe myself as Quality, Value, Excellence, Creativity, Beauty, Refined and as distinctive as these amazing rings. I associated these terms with the valuable contribution I made while working on projects and teams. Since then I’ve used the same confusing event to create a metaphor for my inner spark.

Along the way, I’ve gained a lot of courage and mental strength by banishing fear from my life. Joshua chapter 1 speaks of being of good courage, great courage, and very courageous. Do not be afraid. I had just moved 2,000 miles for a job change and had reasons to be scared. But I stamped my foot and refused!

Coming back from lunch one day during coaching class, I was surprised to hit a table, stamp my foot and say, “It’s not okay to be invisible!” Where’s that from!?!

My transformational and healing journey has freed me to be visible, seen, influential and heard now. Mental toughness and healthy emotions make me look 15 years younger. I’m all about inspiring people to be curious again, to think about possibilities and to explore their potential. Since our culture hasn’t adequately prepared us for the emotional and mental transitions of retirement, it will be more work. Still, it’s important to many of us to be meaningfully productive while having those extra time and healthy years. Potential. Working to make our communities and the world a better place helps us be healthier and happier. We have wisdom to share. Our education, experiences, talents, and circle of friends don’t disappear when we retire, even if it feels like it. Science of Purpose researchers say that connecting to purpose increases our effectiveness, fulfillment, learning, productivity, and engagement.

Years ago, at work in Everett, there was a saying by Thomas Wolfe on the wall that still resonates with me. This is my hope for you today: When you have a talent and learn to use it in its entirety, you have done it gloriously and achieved a satisfaction and a triumph few people know.

Today I shine, I am visible and I have self-confidence. (Instagram as Queen of Courage, an author who created an empowerment course for your potential.) Need a hand to embark on a journey of self-discovery, finding purpose, and gaining the satisfaction and triumph that to be your best self now? Let us write.

Sharon Rolph is a spark and retirement coach based in Edmonds who aspires to be an international speaker. Learn more at where she offers a free e-book: a Call for courage: 3 tips to awaken and ignite your inner spark.

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