#10. Mental health over fame

“A good monk would know that contentment is easier to attain than happiness, and that it is enough.” — Ruskin Bond

Hail the Champion ! Ashleigh Barty, the number one women tennis player in the world has drawn curtains to her rising career at the age of 25. Fulfilment and living life on own terms drives the course of millennials rather than following on the insipid footsteps of the bygone era.

  1. Barty skipped the 2021 French Open amidst Covid scare. She picked up Brookwater Golf club women’s title. What a way to remain employed… develop multiple skill sets to beat VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) times. Finishing her 2019 season as World No.1, sitting out the entirety of the 2020 season due to Covid, to then returning to win at Wimbledon in 2021, the star was not only dominating her sport, but her journey represents an important message – prioritising mental health over fame. Smart folks brace up the opportunity to create lemonade out of lemon.
  2. ‘Early or voluntary retirement (ER) can be defined as the full exit from an organisational job or career path of long duration, decided by individuals of a certain age at the mid or late career before mandatory retirement age, with the aim of reducing their attachment to work and closing a process of gradual psychological disengagement from working life’. Early retirement provides an opportunity to repair mental and physical health, relationships and social engagement.
  3. Gen-X and Millennials like another tennis star Naomi Osaka have realised that complaining about work hours is futile when the job is interesting, peers are engaging and when the money is good. They, therefore, see their careers as front-ended with opportunity, money, growth and status. What their parents achieved in 30-40 long years of work, they realistically hope to achieve in 10-15 years. Early retirement then makes sense as not just the end of the slog, but as a well earned pivot that enables them to pursue what they wish. And seek the much elusive balance between work and life.

Grey Zone:

  1. Most developed and developing countries are experiencing demographic changes characterised both by decrease in fertility and increase in longevity. Population ageing is a global phenomenon in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific Region, and is often accompanied by relatively low employment rates for people aged 55 – 64 years. Early retirement robes people of their purpose in life without alternatives in advanced age. With dwindling social security net and increase in life span, sustained engagement has become a necessity.
  2. Early retirements have proved to be strokes of ‘mavericks’ than genius. Many young achievers have missed their way with too much in too short a time. Chasing dreams keep you in reckoning and agile.
  3. Many a “Boomerang Kids” have become nuisance, who have returned to their nest and become a liability. Giving up is not sagacious. In equal measure, ‘Boomerang Retirees’ working part time or full time have inspired people to “carry on the show”.

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