Reimagine Your Semi-Retirement: What Would They Say at Your Eulogy? (A Guide to Work-Life Balance)

  • Post last modified:5 May 2024


Close your eyes and imagine a gathering filled with warmth, a room echoing with heartfelt tributes and cherished memories. It’s a somber occasion, your own eulogy. Now, hold on before you click away thinking this is a morbid topic. This thought experiment, popularized by Stephen Covey in his renowned book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” is a powerful tool for achieving semi-retirement work-life balance, especially for those at a crossroads.

The Eulogy Effect: Aligning Your Work with Your Legacy

Covey’s “attend your own funeral” exercise isn’t about dwelling on death. It’s about using it as a springboard for self-reflection. Here’s the core idea of the semi-retirement work-life balance Eulogy Effect:

  • Imagine the Eulogies: What would your colleagues, family, and friends say about you? How would they describe your life, your impact, and your values?
  • Align Your Work with Your Eulogy: Do the anticipated eulogies reflect the life you truly desire? Does your current semi-retirement work-life balance allow you to live according to your values and priorities?

The Semi-Retirement Tightrope: Balancing Work and Fulfillment

Work-life balance is a universal challenge, but it takes on a new dimension for semi-retirees. You’ve likely devoted decades to your career, and now you’re at a turning point. Maybe you’ve scaled back your hours or are considering full retirement. This transition period is an excellent time to leverage the “Eulogy Effect” and reimagine your work-life balance in semi-retirement for a fulfilling next chapter.

Finding Your Rhythm: Redefining Work in Semi-Retirement

Many semi-retirees face the question – what now? Here’s how the “Eulogy Effect” can guide your path towards a fulfilling semi-retirement work-life balance:

  • Redefining Work: Work doesn’t have to be a traditional job anymore. Consider volunteering for causes you care about, pursuing a creative passion you shelved during your career, or starting a side hustle that aligns with your values.
  • Focus on Legacy: Do you want to be remembered for your relentless work ethic or for the time you spent with family and friends cultivating lasting memories? Pursue activities that nurture relationships and create a legacy rich with experiences.
  • Prioritize Wellness: Your health is paramount. Use semi-retirement to prioritize physical and mental well-being – travel, spend time outdoors, rediscover hobbies you once loved, or finally take that yoga class you’ve been eyeing.

Work-Life Balance Books: Tools for the Next Chapter

If you’re looking for additional guidance on achieving work-life balance in semi-retirement, here are a few insightful books to consider. You can find these books and many others at your local library or favorite online retailer:

  • “Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction” by Matthew Kelly: This book challenges the traditional notion of “balance” and encourages readers to find fulfillment in all aspects of life.
  • “Designing Your New Work Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans: This book uses design thinking principles to help individuals, including semi-retirees, craft a work life that aligns with their passions and values.
  • “The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again” by Catherine Price: Sometimes, a fulfilling life involves reclaiming the joy of playfulness. This book explores the importance of fun in achieving overall well-being.

Beyond the Eulogy: Taking Action to Craft Your Ideal Semi-Retirement

The “Eulogy Effect” is a powerful exercise, but it’s only the first step. Here’s how to translate this reflection into action and create a fulfilling semi-retirement work-life balance:

  • Create a Vision Board: Visually represent the life you envision in semi-retirement. Include images related to work, travel, relationships, hobbies, and anything that sparks joy. Consider using a magazine, online resources, or even hand-drawn pictures.
  • Develop a SMART Plan: Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) that align with your vision board. For example, a SMART goal could be: “Join a local hiking group and go on two weekend hikes per month by the end of the quarter.”

Embrace the Journey

Remember, the “Eulogy Effect” is not about creating a perfect legacy, but about living a life that reflects who you truly are and what matters most to you.