I think we should think in big buckets… buckets that are foundational to success, health, longevity, and purpose in life.
Nothing counts for anything if you don’t feel good. We, Americans do a pretty shitty job of protecting our health. Candidly, we are surprisingly illiterate when it comes to understanding how our minds and bodies work.
If we did understand, would we take 35% of our meals through the side-window of our cars? If we did, would we weigh 20 lbs more on average today than in 1980 without being any taller? If we did, would 50% of our population today be pre-diabetic with 70% of those not knowing it (CDC report)? If we did, would our longevity curve be receding instead of continuing to progress?
We know there is no biological reason that we shouldn’t live to 100 or beyond.
The five major killers in our culture – heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and dementia – have not changed in decades. They are lifestyle diseases and all are preventable.
Our poor diets, sedentary living, and increasing isolation are killing us early – we continue to “live too short and die too long” with late-life for many composed of extended morbidity and early frailty.
and start now to understand how your body works at the cellular level. With that awareness, you will be able to put in place a lifestyle of good health-inducing habits that will bode well for a mid-life and beyond that is energetic, long and meaningful.
It’s also important to remember that we, in America, are encumbered with a healthcare system that is broken and not exactly an ally in this quest. It operates on the principle of “cure” and not “prevention.” It’s a disease-care system that is trained to “drug it or cut it out” and “mop up the water without turning off the spigot.” It is reactive, not proactive. It’s up to you to be proactive and take charge of your health and partner with your physician and not let him/her be the arbiter of your health.
One of the best pieces of advice I can pass on is to encourage you to read what many consider one of the most transformational books ever written when it comes to achieving good health. It’s called “Younger Next Year” , co-authored by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. It’s a book that has impacted many lives.
Applying what this book can teach you, your life curve can look more like this:
Chances are high that you came through your formal education without fully understanding what your deepest strengths and talents are. You were plopped into a classroom with 30 other “victims” and forced to learn what an outdated educational system continues to say is best for you – so that you can fit into and conform to the aforementioned 20–40–20 learn-earn-retire model that still prevails. It’s likely you have gotten this far having not chosen the base materials of who you really are.
or what German psychiatrist Carlo Strenger calls our “thus and no other”, a something born in each of us that is “recalcitrant to change.” It’s that inner dream that gets tamped down and barnacled over by the educational system, the advice of the influential “P’s” in your life (parents, peers, professors, politicians, and pundits), much of corporate employment, and the pressure to conform.
I know of what I speak. Although successful by cultural standards of title, status, and income while in the corporate world, it wasn’t until I was in my sixties that I finally acknowledged that I was operating outside of my “base materials” or “core strengths and talents.” I ignored or refused to accept the feedback that I got from several personality- and strengths-assessment tests that I took – because they didn’t align with my belief of what the culture expected. The tests said, in every case, that I should be in a learning-teaching environment where my natural, but undeveloped, ability to write and speak could flourish.
I began to move in that direction in my mid-sixties and the journey continues.
It’s not too late to be the true author of your life. As NPR journalist and author of “Life Reimagined: Ths Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife” Barbara Bradley Hagerty states: “- change within the boundaries of your natural talents, proclivities, personality traits, and skills.”
Invest in, and take seriously, assessments such as Strengthsfinder, Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, DISC. Work with a career coach or life coach.
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
You’ve lived enough years and have enough of a biography of successes and failures that you should know enough about what you excel at, what you don’t do well, what energizes you and what you dread. All this can guide you to this next stage.
My position on this is, admittedly, controversial. Over the last 5–6 decades, the concept of a “labor-to-leisure”, “vocation-to-vacation” retirement has become so entrenched in the psyche of the western world that to assault it is heresy. But assault it I will – with several things that a 40-year old should consider as they move into the second half of life.
Here are a few simple facts about retirement as we’ve come to know it:
Continue to refine and deepen your skills within and outside of your career path.
Repeatedly, I have worked with folks in the late 40s or 50s who have struggled to re-enter the job market after being blindsided by a layoff or other type of termination. Often it’s due to the fact that they have made no attempt to continue to enhance or learn new skills throughout their career.
Many of these hapless victims clung to the 20th-century illusion that their company has their interests at heart and will nurture them along. This is a dangerous thought pattern.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your employer has your interests at heart. They don’t. They are always guarding their own self-interests.
Master Certified Career Coach, Janine Moon, in her book “Career Ownership”emphasizes the importance of career ownership in the face of both the magnitude and the accelerating pace of change occurring in our global economy.
It’s key to avoiding irrelevancy and becoming a dinosaur.
You’ll find that it isn’t crowded in that space. But it will bode well for both your career and your mental health.
Lerne von unsere Erfahrungen!