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Comfort of the Familiar vs. Excitement of the New

September 9, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

I’m still on a high from the great trip we had a couple of weeks ago. I love being out on the road, looking at all the wonderful scenery we pass, some familiar, some new. I know when we stopped in Garland Utah, both my wife and I were struck by how the town has not changed in 50 years and we both agreed that we actually liked it that way.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, that may not sound like me. I have often gone on and on about how novel experiences make things exciting, fires up your passion for living and keep your mind active and in shape. But life doesn’t have to always be about excitement. There can be a great feeling of comfort and safety when things don’t change and sometimes we need that. For instance, on this last trip, there was a lot of comfort and joy in seeing old friends. However, often times when I travel I try to meet new people. I think we need both–the comfort and ease of the familiar and the excitement of the new.

It really comes down to balancing what you do. I think for many people, sticking with the old familiar things provides a comfort they find hard to let go of but it also can hold you back from living fully. In order to liven up your life and to live passionately you need to get out of that comfortable place occasionally. Try something new, meet and chat with complete strangers, travel somewhere unfamiliar. And in between, rest and recharge with the comfort of the things you know well.

Never retire–Re-fire!

April 22, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

Recently I got a phone call from a friend I knew when we were 20. As it turns out my friend, Keith Karren, has written a great book, “Boomer”, about the issues facing baby boomers as they head into retirement. Throughout the book Keith keeps saying, “Never retire–just re-fire”, a sentiment not very different from what I say in my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living”. However, Keith goes a little deeper when it comes to applying this to retirement.

We got to talking about this huge problem that most retired people face. They find themselves thinking “Who am I if I am no longer a business person, teacher, doctor, pilot or clerk?” Sure, at first it seems just wonderful not to have to go to work every day but after a while you miss the structure, camaraderie, goals, etc. You say “Oh, I’m retired now” when people ask what you do and you don’t even know what that means. If you think about it, retired is a terrible word. It comes across as a label that says your life is over, that it is worthless and has little or no meaning.

Well my old friend Keith writes all about this problem in his book. When I first read “Never retire–just re-fire” I was myself, fired up by this phrase. The idea of re-firing is to get you excited or re-excited about living. It means setting new goals and totally re-energizing yourself for this next phase of your life. And that’s a heck of a lot better than sitting around waiting to die. When you retire, you still have another 25-35 years of living yet to do. Just think of all you did in your last 35 years! That’s a lot of time to do a ton of exciting and productive things. Just trade in your retirement for a bit of re-fire-ment!