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Sam in Stack That Money,

Rethinking Retirement: It's All About The Journey

We’re talking about retirement.

The fact is, if you are successful right now, you should already be fully invested in your work. This means you are already working 12+ hours a day, and if you aren’t, you probably aren’t at the top of your game.

“But I’m just more talented/smarter/better looking than my competition! That’s why I can work less hours but still kick ass” Bullshit.

You’ve probably heard that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. The opposite is also true. Talent beats hard work when hard work isn’t talented. A 6’6” 250lbs basketball player will always have an advantage over a much smaller 5’2” 120lbs basketball player. 

The problem is that the world is full of talented people. When you are the best of the best within any industry, your competition will be both talented and hard working. If you don’t work long hours, you won’t last very long because you will simply get outworked by talented people.

So in conclusion, we can conclude that successful people devote the majority of their waking hours honing their craft. So what happens when they retire? What do successful people have to say about retirement?

My friend took an entrepreneurship course in college taught by a cancer-surviving near 80 year old businessman turned professor. Here was a man who made north of 9 figures in his lifetime, who is retired and taught at the university even though he didn’t need the salary.

The professor would remark:

"’Why don't you retire?’ People would say to me. I tried that once. I went up and moved with my wife down to Florida. We bought a nice beach home in a retired community and would get together with the community every night... And every night, all they would want to talk about is what the dinner-special was... If that's what retirement is, I don’t WANT to retire."

Retirement is a joke. People think once they have a hundred million dollars they can go live in a beach home and fish and golf every day. Guess what, fishing and golfing every day will get old. If you aren't making a contribution, if you aren't *doing something* for the world with your time and with your energy and with whatever life is left in you, you're going to go crazy.”

It is interesting to contrast this type of mindset against the common man’s view towards retirement. The masses see retirement as a chance to finally stop working a job they hate so they can spend their free time instead “relaxing” by doing nothing. No wonder people go senile earlier once they retire.

Did you know that many Olympic athletes go through a short period of depression when they finally fly home after winning the gold medal? After the all celebration and partying, when everything is back to normal, the athlete feels a great sense of emptiness. They might even lack the motivation to start training again. This is temporary of course. Many end up setting new goals to accomplish such as a new world record or coaching the next generation of young athletes.

The point is that a life without working towards a goal is not really living at all. It's all about the journey.Even when you "retire".