Posted by Tim Stobbs on October 14, 2008
I have an interesting theory. People in general have two selves they show to the world: your public self and your private self. Your public self is how you act in public like at work or in a situation with new people. It’s still you, just your limiting yourself to what you say or do to avoid pissing off people by accident.
Your private self is just you. Every little thought, rude comment or bizarre jump in logic that makes you unique. Often your private self is only shown completely to a handful of people. Yet at the same time I wonder what role retirement plays in your two selves.
Does your public self become a little less useful when you don’t really need to impress people for a potential job in the future? Obviously you are still going to use some basic manners in public, but once you don’t depend on your interactions with others to eat and have a place to live does your public face fall away? In retirement, do we just become more ourselves and hence use mostly our private self in all our interactions?
So is retirement really about not having a job or perhaps it more about being yourself regardless of the public view of it? Is that a key to happiness in retirement? If so, perhaps we should be more ourselves now and enjoy some happiness now.
Would it really hurt us to be just a little bit more ourselves during the work day? Like all good questions, I think the answer is it depends. Some comments or thoughts are better left unsaid in a typically workplace, but there are exceptions. All in all I think everyone should be a little bit more themselves and enjoy life as it really is rather than though our limiting public self.
So what do you think? Is retirement really about just becoming more of ourselves or did I eat too much turkey and wine this last weekend?
PS: Reminder to Canadian readers. Go vote today!