“Our subjects no longer strive in the ordinary sense, but rather develop. They attempt to grow to perfection and to develop more and more fully in their own style. The motivation of ordinary men is a striving for the basic need gratifications that they lack.”
– Abraham Maslow
When we no longer have to do very much, we are able to do much more of what we want to do.
So what do we want to do? What do you like to do? I hope that the answer is not, “Sit around and watch television.” I hope you are cooking or gardening or traveling or woodworking or volunteering or getting out in nature or…well, you get the picture. Your freedom is a reward, so you should use it in rewarding ways. I hope that you have things you like to do and that you simply want to do them more often.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem filling my spare time. Quite the opposite. In fact, I think I could stand to apply the “simplify, simplify, simplify” maxim to my eclectic array of extracurricular activities. But I know that some folks fill their time so completely with work and family that they literally do not know what to do with themselves once the kids have grown and they have retired from their jobs. That situation can cause a genuine crisis, with serious mental and physical health consequences. So although I intend this category to be a fun one through which we discuss the rewarding ways in which we “self-actualize,” perhaps it will also serve as serious inspiration to those at a loss to manage the new freedom they’ve earned.