You probably know the famous quote about insanity that is most often attributed to Albert Einstein:
Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
The meaning of the quote is pretty simple – change requires doing things differently. You can find a perfect example in sports – – if you line up your golf swing and hit it the exact same way, the little white ball will travel the same every time. Every time! Now, if you’re like me, that ball will slice into the lake or hook onto the beach. But that just means I made slight changes to my stance or club face.
In business, the Einstein quote is often used in relation to productivity or profit. You can’t expect to produce more if you have the same number of employees working at the same rate. Makes sense, right?
When we consider this for our workplace or career, it’s important to remember two things:
- Primarily, the quote references a controlled environment like a laboratory.
- That was then, and this is now.
Today, the thing that keeps CEOs up at night is the speed of change. External factors like technology and competition are changing faster than ever and businesses are struggling to keep up. So now, we can’t expect the same results if we keep doing the same thing. We have to find new and improved ways to use our skills and explore different paths that can lead us to success.
The same is true for our retirement. We can’t expect to do the same things our parents did entering into their retired life. We won’t have the same results. Adapting our skills for the gig economy or learning new skills that can take advantage of technology will ensure our successful retirement life.
Planning for retirement can be challenging, but preparing for your encore career is an important part of it. Learn about opportunities that are available to you and understand the best way to take advantage of them. A career coach can help or organizational resources available through AARP. Whatever you do, don’t think that everything will work out just fine without preparation. Because that would really be the real definition of insanity.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Arts District in Miami, FL