Our son, Cam, is turning 4 next month and has mastered the skill of riding his balance bike. A balance bike is essentially a bike with no pedals that he pushes (and brakes!) with his feet and legs. He loves flying around the neighborhood on his balance bike and has plenty of confidence in his ability to ride it.
We recently decided it was time to transition him to a bike with pedals, and he is not very happy with us! Instead of confidently riding, braking, and going fast on his balance bike, he now needs to learn how to pedal and avoid falling on his bike. He has not mastered these stills yet, which is a frustrating exercise.
This transition reminded me a lot of the transition to retirement that we have the privilege of walking through with many of you. You have spent a significant part of your career building the skills, knowledge, and methods to be effective in your position or business and have mastered many of them. As you look at a transition, that mastery will go away. You believe that you will find a rhythm and schedule that provides a different type of satisfaction in retirement, but the beginning can be bumpy.
When we give advice on the transition to a new phase of life, we typically tell clients to give themselves 2-3 years to figure out what that new phase should look like. You do not achieve mastery overnight and will have to try and fail at many different things to find what works for you.
You may even need a steady hand, like we currently have on the back of Cam’s pedal bike, to help guide and steer you through your transition, steadying you through the beginning stages and keeping you on course. This may be your spouse, a friend/colleague who has gone through the same transition, or even your financial advisor! That steading influence will eventually get you on a smooth ride that eventually leads to mastery again.
Who has helped you walk through a life transition?