My kids have a pool they like to use in the backyard on a hot summer day. It’s one of those little blow-up deals, but it provides endless hours of fun. The way they jump in it, splash about and do cartwheels, you’d think it was the most popular water park in town.

But me? I see an entirely different picture when it’s pool day.

I see work.

Chances are I’ll have to deflate the pool and put it away when it’s time to mow the lawn. At which point I’ll find that it has killed the grass, requiring even more yard work. And then there’s the pile of sopping-wet swim gear that’ll have to be dealt with later, too.

I don’t look at it with a kid’s eyes anymore.

So, I have to ask myself, “When did I become such a stiff? I used to like playing in the pool. When did my view of the world become so…I don’t know…tedious?”

As a financial professional, you may encounter a similar attitude with retirement clients—as if they’re solely focused on navigating the perils ahead (health care, inflation, taxes, yikes!) instead of diving in for the best times of their lives.

I know I justified my shortsighted outlook by thinking, “It’s normal for me to act my age. Adulthood is reality time, not playtime.” But little did I know the impact of my mundane mindset.

Psychologist Roger Hall is an author and Fortune 20 executive coach whose specialty is the neuroscience of healthy thinking. He says it’s typical to stop jumping in puddles as we age. We lose our sense of play.

“Part of the reason is that we get jobs…have relationships…kids…mortgages…bills…you know the drill,” Hall says. “In general, society tells adults to put fun on the backburner.”

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