Reinventing Retirement Resources



Happy: The Documentary, directed by Roko Belic. Available on Netflix, or download on the website for $2.99. The film goes on a global journey, exploring what it is that makes people happy, and showing how in the poorest and most difficult situations, humans are still able to find joy. Uplifting and fun to watch.

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – the classic book explaining how happiness comes when we are absorbed in activities – in ‘flow’. Interesting to read but a bit short on practical steps to take to find flow. For those, try:

The How of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting the Life You want  by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Lots of suggestions, all based on scientific research, on ways to increase your day to day levels of happiness. Interesting and thought-provoking.


The Artist’s Way for Retirement by Julia Cameron. A 12-week process to spark creativity and new ideas, using ‘morning pages’ free-writing, reflective walking, memoir writing and many other exercises to help nurture the gift of creativity. Useful to dip into, or you can immerse yourself and follow the entire course.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love). A lovely read that dispels anxiety and prompts action, the book is part inspiration, part how-to, all written in Gilbert’s distinctive voice: encouraging, funny and enthusiastic.


Deep Enquiries: How to stimulate creative thinking on a question

Keep your question where you can see it: on a Post-It stuck on the fridge,  as a screensaver, as a daily reminder on your calendar, scrawled on the mirror in lipstick…

Go for a walk leaving your phone at home and let your thoughts float freely.

Carry a notebook and pen and capture ideas as they occur.

Or use a phone or tablet to make notes, save photos, website addresses.

Discuss your question with someone you trust.

Start searching for mentors, role models and guides who can help you. Look at websites, blogs, podcasts, ask people you know, contact friends of friends – who is doing what you want to do? Plunder their brains.

Ask the Reinventing Retirement group for insights via our group email.

Simply type your question into Google – results can  be surprising!

Read up on your question – browse library, bookshops, amazon for titles that can inform and inspire you such as autobiographies, memoirs, ‘how to’ books etc.

Take your question as a starting point and draw or paint whatever comes to mind. Do it daily! Or use any other creative method you enjoy to get into the creative zone – sometimes simply getting absorbed in making something frees up thinking in a new way.

Make yourself a playlist that taps into your question and listen often.

Loosen your mind by singing,  dancing round the kitchen, playing around on a piano or any instrument.

Journal about your question. Write it at the top of your page, and write freely, without censoring, for 10 minutes or more.

Dig down into the detail of your question, giving your mind free rein. Get specific. For instance, if you’re looking for a new sense of purpose, what in the past has given you that sense? What are specific things you could do now that would give you that same feeling? 

Imagine for a moment that you have skipped ahead 1-2 years into the future. What answers have emerged to your question? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? What are other people saying? Imagine someone whose opinion you truly value. What are they saying to you, about your dream?

Make the answer to your question the right size. By all means come up with a glorious and huge dream – as long as you’re willing to take the actions needed to realise it, and are ready to set your full intention on it.

At the same time, don’t think too small. Yes, it can be scary to look at exactly at your dreams, which is why people sometimes don’t allow themselves to really go for what it is they want. Identify whatever it is that you truly want, then set to work on building your self-belief and confidence and designing the actions you need to take you there, one step at a time.

Don’t base your answers to your question on what other people think you ought to be doing. Your dream is for you, and you alone.

Let your answers unfold in your imagination without worrying about how you’ll realise them. Trust that when you commit to achieving your ideas and put your full focus and energy towards them, the ‘how’ will fall into place.

Your ideas don’t have to be complete or perfection in order to be a fantastically useful spur to action. Dreams evolve constantly as life changes and moves ahead, and adapting your thoughts and creating new plans is a lifetime’s work.