post # 286 — January 17, 2007 — a Careers post
I went to a dinner party the other night, and my host, who is a partner with a Big-4 accounting firm, was discussing his planned retirement in a few yearsâ€™ time.
(His firm has a mandatory retirement policy, which we both agreed was a dumb idea. But thatâ€™s a topic for another time.)
Anyway, my friend observed that, looking at others who had already retired from his firm, the happiest among them tended to be those who did more than one thing: they started a small business, they did Board work, they consulted, they did some pro bono work, they got involved in their community, or they did some teaching.
The key, apparently, was not doing just one of these. Each activity had its own attractions and pressures. The real answer, it seemed, was having a mixture of things to do, so that you could stay busy without becoming â€œcaught upâ€ in the pressures of obligations that an exclusive focus might bring.
I found this fascinating. I wonder if itâ€™s a generalizable statistical truth that (on average) people with variety in their lives are happier. If so, does it apply at all ages?
What do you all think?