Finally Free to Dream – Embracing Ikigai to Power Up Your Retirement

Retirement often presents different perceptions and attitudes for men and women. While men tend to see their golden years as a time to indulge in leisure activities, women often hold a more optimistic view of their later years. A recent study from the MIT AgeLab suggests that women view retirement as an opportunity to make a positive impact and potentially pursue dreams they may have put on hold. This optimistic perspective is not only refreshing but also empowering for women as they enter a new chapter in their lives.

Redefining Retirement for Women

As we are ageing the important thing is the connections , not the age. We are actually in a big story. We are living in this life, no matter what age”

Lea Sakran, Gusta and Gusto

The traditional concept of retirement has shifted in recent years, as life expectancy has increased, and individuals have become more active and engaged in their later years. Women, in particular, have been redefining their retirement experience. Rather than solely focusing on relaxation and leisure, they are embracing the idea of giving back to society, engaging in fulfilling activities, and taking up new challenges.

Lea Sakran, the talented author of the captivating audiobook “Gusta & Gusto,” has built a reputation for her deeply engaging storytelling and unique perspectives on life. In an exclusive interview, she shares the influence of her diverse cultural background, the strong women in her family, and her belief in the power of connections transcending age. Her insights remind us that we are all part of a much larger story, and the connections we create are what truly matter, regardless of our age.

Born into a multicultural family, Lea Sakran has always been exposed to a rich tapestry of traditions, beliefs, and customs. This unique upbringing has instilled in her an appreciation for the beauty of diversity and the interconnectedness of people from all walks of life. Her cultural background has played a significant role in shaping her worldview and has inspired her to create stories that resonate with people across various cultures and generations.

Lea’s family is filled with strong, independent, and inspiring women who have left an indelible mark on her life. From her grandmother’s unwavering resilience to her mother’s boundless love, these women have shown her the importance of nurturing connections, building supportive communities, and celebrating the strength that comes with age. Their wisdom and experiences have greatly influenced Lea’s writing and her outlook on life, encouraging her to weave stories that explore the beauty of human connections and the power of intergenerational bonds.

Finally free to pursue the dreams you kept on hold

Many women have experienced the pressures of balancing career and family life, which may have caused them to postpone or sacrifice personal ambitions. Retirement presents a unique opportunity to reevaluate priorities and revisit these delayed dreams. Whether it’s starting a small business, learning a new skill, or engaging in creative pursuits, women can use this time to explore and invest in their passions.

Making a Positive Impact

In addition to pursuing personal goals, women are increasingly leveraging their skills, knowledge, and experience to make a positive impact on their communities and the world. Volunteer work, mentorship programs, and social entrepreneurship initiatives are just a few examples of how retired women are giving back and making a difference. This attitude towards retirement not only benefits society at large but also contributes to a sense of purpose and fulfilment for women in their later years.

The freedom to dream

Embracing an optimistic outlook on retirement can have a significant impact on women’s mental and physical well-being. Studies have shown that individuals with a positive attitude towards aging tend to live longer and healthier lives. By focusing on personal growth, impact, and purpose, women can transform their retirement experience and pave the way for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

The changing attitudes towards retirement among women present an inspiring and empowering narrative. By embracing a healthy sense of optimism, women are redefining the concept of retirement and transforming it into a time of personal growth, impact, and the pursuit of delayed dreams. This shift in perspective not only enriches the lives of retired women but also contributes to the greater good by fostering a more engaged and purpose-driven generation of retirees.

Ikigai and the brain – finding purpose through the science of living

Ikigai, a Japanese concept that translates to “a reason for being” or “a reason to wake up in the morning,” has gained popularity in recent years. It is believed to be the intersection of passion, mission, profession, and vocation – a harmonious balance that leads to a fulfilling and meaningful life. This concept has been studied for its potential to improve mental and physical health, increase longevity, and promote overall well-being. To better understand the impact of Ikigai on our lives, it’s essential to explore its connection with the brain and the science behind it.

round brown wooden dream catcher

The neuroscience of purpose

The brain plays a critical role in our ability to find and maintain a sense of purpose. Certain areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, are associated with goal-setting, motivation, and emotional regulation. These neural networks work in tandem to help us identify our values, set priorities, and pursue activities that align with our sense of purpose.

When we engage in activities that we find meaningful and fulfilling, the brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These chemicals contribute to feelings of happiness, motivation, and social bonding. As a result, we are more likely to continue pursuing our Ikigai and experience a greater sense of satisfaction in life.

a group of women in pink shirts and hats

Finding your Ikigai

Improved Mental Health: Research has shown that individuals who have a strong sense of purpose tend to experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. By focusing on activities that align with their values and passions, individuals can cultivate a more positive mindset and build resilience against mental health challenges.

Enhanced Cognitive Function: Having a sense of purpose has been associated with better cognitive function, particularly in older adults. Staying mentally engaged in activities that are personally meaningful can help maintain cognitive abilities and even slow down age-related cognitive decline.

Greater Life Satisfaction: Living a life aligned with one’s Ikigai can contribute to an increased sense of fulfillment and happiness. By focusing on activities that provide a sense of meaning, individuals are more likely to experience a deeper sense of satisfaction and contentment in their lives.

Increased Longevity: Studies have found that individuals with a strong sense of purpose tend to live longer, healthier lives. This may be due to the physiological benefits of positive emotions, as well as the protective effect of social connections and engagement in meaningful activities.

To discover your Ikigai, it is essential to engage in self-reflection and introspection. Consider the following questions:

  1. What am I passionate about?
  2. What are my unique skills and talents?
  3. How can I contribute to the world in a meaningful way?
  4. What activities provide me with a sense of purpose and satisfaction?

By examining these questions, you can identify the activities and pursuits that align with your sense of purpose and begin incorporating them into your daily life.

Embracing the concept of Ikigai can have a profound impact on our mental and physical well-being. By understanding the neuroscience behind the sense of purpose and actively seeking activities that align with our passions, skills and values, we can create a more fulfilling and meaningful life. As we explore and nurture our Ikigai, we start to activate self-awareness and those silent powers we never had time to explore before. Finally, are living our own lives and contributing to a happier, healthier and more connected world.

silhouette of trees near body of water during sunset
Dr Marina Nani
Dr Marina Nani

Editor-in-Chief of Rich Woman Magazine, founder of Sovereign Magazine, author of many books, Dr Marina Nani is a social edification scientist coining a new industry, Social Edification.
Passionately advocating to celebrate your human potential, she is well known for her trademark "Be Seen- Be Heard- Be You" running red carpet events and advanced courses like Blog Genius®, Book Genius®, Podcast Genius®, the cornerstones of her teaching.
The constant practitioner of good news, she founded MAKE THE NEWS
( MTN) with the aim to diagnose and close the achievement gap globally.
Founder of many publications, British Brands with global reach Marina believes that there is a genius ( Stardust) in each individual, regardless of past and present circumstances.
"Not recognising your talent leaves society at loss. Sharing the good news makes a significant difference in your perception about yourself, your industry and your community."

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