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Mindful Aging

December 26, 2021 by  
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Wow, the end of 2021 is already here, just a few more days. Time is such an interesting thing and I find it fascinating that the passage of time seems to change its speed depending on your age and/or things you have planned in your life. When most of us were young, anxious to be old enough to get our driver’s license, time seemed to be moving so very, very slowly. I remember counting down the days until I could get mine. But things do change, especially when you get older.

At my age now, just a little more than 3 months until I hit 78, the years seem to speed up. I can remember, easily, the new year’s celebration I was at last year at my good tennis friend Al Ficker’s house in Kauai. It’s like it was just a couple of months ago. Wow, this year just flew by in a flash.

I am re-reading the great book by Jo Ann Jenkins called Disrupt Aging. I’ve written and talked about her book in previous posts. There are so many good and smart things she says about “really owning your age” and being proud of whatever that age number is. I loved her quote about a woman who said, “No one’s going to deprive me of my age.”

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, and author of The Big Shift wrote, “In Disrupt Aging, Jenkins offers the generational call to action we’ve been waiting for—to break free from outmoded ideas about age, to embrace the rich possibilities present in the decades opening up beyond fifty, and to join a growing movement of individuals determined to live lives infused with purpose. Beautifully written, full of humor and inspiration, and powerfully argued, this book offers the definitive map for making the most of the longevity revolution, as individuals and as a nation.”

Jo Ann has so many good thoughts and ideas for our lives as we age, such as:

  • The best life includes contributing to the well-being of others.
  • Try new things and take chances…don’t live in fear of aging.
  • Focus on health, wealth and self. 
  • This is a time to shift from “mindless aging” to mindful living.

If you are retired now, take a hard look at your life and determine your thoughts about aging. How can you age more mindfully? And if you are not retired yet, then it’s a good time to start making plans for what you are going to do when retired. Yes, write it down, make lists, set priorities and write down your future schedule. You’ll be glad you did when you finally retire.

And when you do retire, as well as right now, be sure to strive for always living in the right now moment!

The Responsibility of Knowledge

December 19, 2021 by  
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Here is a very simple thing to think about for our lives as we head into a new year. 2022 is going to be a good one for you, especially anticipate having the best for you, your family, and your friends and then work hard to make it that way.

I just read a great little piece by Carlos Castaneda about what it means to be “a man of knowledge”. I wanted to share it with you, my readers. I did change it a bit to make it a “person” of knowledge as I this applies to all humans, not just men.

A [person] of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what [they] will think when [they have] finished acting… [They] know that [their] life will be over altogether too soon… [they] know, because [they] see that nothing is more important than anything else… Thus a person of knowledge endeavors, and sweats, and puffs, and if one looks at [them, they are] just like any other ordinary [person], except that the folly of life is under control. Nothing being more important than anything else, a [person] of knowledge chooses any act, and acts it out as if it matters to [them. Their] controlled folly makes [them] say that what [they do] matters and makes [them] act as if it did, and yet [they know] that it doesn’t; so when [this person] fulfills [their] acts [they] retreat in peace, and whether [their] acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is in no way any part of [their] concern.

So, what are you doing, or will you be doing, with the knowledge you have? I think that would be a great focus for the new year. Let’s look at our lives and consider the things that we know but aren’t acting on and make it a goal to act on all this great knowledge we have.

Turn Knowledge to Action

December 12, 2021 by  
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In this chaotic world we live in, it’s good to remind ourselves about the importance of keeping our inner chatter positive rather than negative. I’ve talked a lot in the past about our inner voice and how it can really affect our attitude and our success in life, so this is not a new subject for my longtime readers, and maybe not even for some new readers. The question is, however, if you’ve heard about this before, what have you actually done about it? Have you tried to improve your inner voice’s attitude?

As I’ve said before, knowing something is not useful until you actually do something with the knowledge. Years ago, I really got into programming my brain with lots of positive thoughts and affirmations, but then I had this period of 10 or maybe even 20 years where I didn’t do that because I was doing pretty good. It’s not that I didn’t believe in positive self-talk anymore, and I didn’t lose that knowledge, but I did fall out of practice with it, and that made all the difference.

For example, you can’t say you’re a great tennis player no matter how well you know the sport, unless you’re actually out there practicing and playing! Years ago, when I was playing in one of the Huntsman Senior tennis tournaments, I lost in the final round because I had sabotaged myself with lots of negative self-talk. That’s when I really started to think seriously about how much I let my thoughts turn pessimistic, causing me to worry and piling on self-induced stress. I knew it was not helpful. I even knew how to combat it. I had just stopped putting my knowledge into practice.

The great news is that once you get the hang of monitoring your inner voice and you practice enough positive self-talk, you can use that positive reinforcement to change and improve just about any part of your life including losing weight, overcoming addiction, and making more money. When you do, you can stop worrying about the many things that add unnecessary stress to your life and actually live! Try it and I promise you that it will work, especially if you keep practicing.

So, here’s how you put this knowledge to work for you. First, start observing what that inner chatter is saying and, secondly, feed yourself lots of positive thoughts and affirmations, especially when you observe your self-talk going the wrong way. It’s not hard, it just takes turning your knowledge into action and practicing!

Stimulating Passion

December 5, 2021 by  
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Most every human being loves their passion. There are so many ways to go after and build such passions. Some of these come easily and automatically, such as when we were young and everything was new. Those new things made our passions rise. That first day of school, seeing old friends and new, could be a quick and huge hit on the passion button.

In my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, I make the point that, from my experience, passion can start to fade a bit as we age. But, thankfully, passion can be manufactured. All you need to do is put something together in an unusual, better, or at least new-to-you way.

One of the keys to manufacturing passion is to set difficult objectives and work towards them. I clearly remember when I was 27 years old, and I set a goal to make a net worth for myself of $1 MILLION by the time I hit age 30. What a huge turn on that was for me. It raised my passion level big time. I was one year late in hitting that goal, but having that huge and exciting goal really kept me and my passion going.

From about age 25, your brain produces less and less dopamine and serotonin, the hormones that help you feel good and fan the flames of passion. Although a child’s body is awash in these hormones, we need to work on stimulating our system to produce more of these hormones as we age. We can do this by eating the right foods, exercising, and, most importantly, setting the right goals that keep us going after them.

Renewing your passions can really show you what you and your brain can do. It can give you a ton of energy as well as raising the quality of your personal and business life.

One of my biggest passions is travelling. I’m talking about everything from huge international travel, like going around the world on my honeymoon, to just driving through a neighborhood that I’ve never visited. I’ve been to 94 countries and still feel my passion rising just planning a trip to a new place, even if it’s a small country or an old neighborhood.

Passion for living comes and goes. Our big challenge then is to figure out what our passion is, what turns our lights on and gets us excited. When we figure that out, we can do it more and more. And it’s always a good idea to write down our passions and the goals that keep them going so it will stick in your brain, pushing you to do it and to keep doing it.