By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant.
Friday 13th is typically considered an unlucky day, one when misfortune is thought to fall upon many. There is data to show that some people are so paralysed by the superstition surrounding Friday 13th that they remove themselves from their daily activities to avoid bad things happening to them1.
Funnily enough, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh proposes that being overly fearful of great danger on Friday 13th can actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy because they are more anxious and distracted, thus potentially leading to more accidents2.
So rather than buy into the superstitious beliefs, why not flip the notion of Friday 13th as an unlucky day on its head and take the time today to notice the great things that are going on around you.
Focus on the good stuff!
Due to the ‘busyness’ of our lives, we often forget to pause and reflect on the kindness and simple joys in our lives. For example that person at the bus-stop who we know not by name but who greets us with a friendly ‘hello’ each time, the birdsong that we hear as we wake up each morning, or the smile that comes across our face when we receive a call or a text from a loved one. More often than not we instead focus on the negatives or the stressors, such as that work report that is due, a husband or partner causing frustration, or our worries about whether we are living the retirement we think we ‘should’ be living. We focus on what is missing, rather than what we have.
So today don’t worry about the potential misfortunes you may come across. Instead take some time to celebrate the good things that are happening around you right now.
What does that mean for your retirement, you might ask?
Research shows that we get more of what we pay attention to. If you are wanting to create a greater sense of contentment and enjoyment in retirement (or at any stage in our life for that matter!) you need to start noticing the ‘good stuff’ already going on. All of those small joys (things you may not have paid attention to before) can have a cumulative effect which can leave you feeling pretty darn positive within yourself and about the wider world around you!
How might you do this? Here are 4 simple ideas:
- Look out the window and write down three things that make you feel good
- Count how many times people smile at you today
- Go for a walk and notice what you see, hear and smell
- Pay someone else a compliment (you might be surprised at how good this makes you feel also)
Happy Friday 13th!
1 Roach, J. (2004). Friday the 13th phobia rooted in ancient history, National Geographic News. URL: www.news.nationalgeographic.com. Accessed 12 January 2017.
2 The Week (2016). Is Friday the 13th Actually Unlucky?, The Week. URL: http://www.theweek.co.uk/58968/is-friday-the-13th-really-unlucky Accessed January 2017.
In planning for a holiday we always think “we need to go there” and “we should see that” but when Day One of our holiday arrives, we draw a blank…What were all of those things we were going to enjoy? In the busyness of life they’ve slipped our mind.
Don’t let this happen to your retirement. Download the My Retirement Planner and start capturing those ideas and inspiration so that you’re ready to step into retirement with gusto!