Baby boomers, when you have a quiet moment and you're all alone, and your mind wanders, do you reflect on your life?
Do you recall your high school days, or perhaps have a flashback to your first day of college? Do you recall your first job, the day you got married, or the day you bought your first home?
Does your memory bank turn to the day your mother got sick, or to the day you buried your father? Or, maybe you focus instead on memories of the day you decided to retire and/or downsize your life?
What do you tend to reflect on?
Those between the ages of 55 to 73 have had many different types of significant life experiences by this stage of their lives.
While it may not be the end of the journey, many miles have been driven.
What do the memories of one's life mean to the boomer today?
All falling in that age group are not created equal, although they share a commonality.
In those quiet moments for baby boomers, one common theme that comes to mind is wondering what comes next. This subject can take on different forms.
For example, it can mean the shift of balance from your own life to the lives of your children — and grandchildren. It can mean mentoring the next generation, that is, using your vast experience to help the younger generation.
For some of you baby boomers, it may mean taking your life experiences to the classroom.
One idea garnering attention for successful baby boomers is the "professor in practice."
This concept involves baby boomers taking their work experience, their skills, and their learned knowledge to college and universities to join departments in their areas of expertise at learning institutions.
As an example, a former CEO who has stepped down from the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company might believe that they have much to share with younger generations and may thus seek to be part of an MBA program.
Similarly, a retired doctor seeking to continue to contribute to the field of medicine and healthcare may want to bring their knowledge and skills to university hospitals and medical schools.
Or, perhaps a lawyer may seek to lecture on constitutional law — at their alma mater.
An executive who recently stepped down as a partner at a major accounting firm was not yet out the door before he contacted his alma mater. He was even willing to pay his own expenses to fly from his home state of New York to the school from which he graduated, in the state of Indiana, so he could "give back."
Those born between 1946 and 1964 are always resetting their goals!
At one time the singular goal for many boomers was to get into a great school.
Now, a new goal may be to go back to that school and share what they learned during their careers with current students there.
What's so nice to see in most of these situations, is that the current students accept and sometimes cherish learning from real-life experiences of those who came before.
The baby boomer doing the teaching usually often benefits as well, embracing this new development in their lives.
However, not all baby boomers are hard-charging.
Some simply want some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Others may look forward to doing charity work. There are also many boomers who find that at this stage of life, they just want to just spend quality time with family.
But nearly all baby boomers want to have some sense of purpose in life, that is, a reason to get up in the morning. Retirement does not mean being put out to pasture, and as we know, some boomers never want to retire.
Baby boomers do reflect on where they have been, but more than ever, they are also thinking about where they are going next in life.
Fortunately, with more baby boomers taking care of their health and living longer, they have more to contemplate about the years ahead.
That's a good thing. A very good thing.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns "Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation." He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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