Seventy-Two

Today I reach the end of my seventy-second year and begin my seventy-third. My best friend and lover sleeps. I habitually write.

My Pop was this age when I was twelve. That’s right. Pop was sixty when I was born. In today’s coronavirus world, he and I could be sacrificed for the survival of younger generations. Times have not only changed, but there is also now a paradigm shift like none other in recent history.

Examining the past to find direction for the future seems to fail to provide answers today. There are those who dwell on the past as if repeatedly revisiting it will somehow bring solace to their anxiety of fear of failure and loss. Especially, in times of crisis, MY go-to for peace of mind is hope for the future and gratitude for the present. How else can you leave the woodpile higher than the way you found it?

I enjoy having huge, scary goals. Especially the ones when I hear some parenting message in my head asking sarcastically, what makes you think you can do that, kind of goals. Putting my focus on where I am headed not only gives me a path to follow, it examples for others the confidence they need to define their vision for their future. As is often announced by elders, be the example you want to see in the world.

Which brings me to this incredible day. Grateful, I am, for having my health, being safe, loved and in love, and other than some inconveniences, having the best days of my life so far.

Indeed, this comes with some reflection and evaluation of the present moment. My last sibling brother passed very recently. My only child was taken by Cystic Fibrosis a couple of years back. That puts this birthday as somewhat special for the memory banks. No immediate family member will ever call to wish me a happy birthday. This is not a lament, simply an observation. By now, I have folks from far off continents remembering and sending birthday greetings out of love and respect, rather than obligation.

Happiness can be so relative. Mostly, the word is associated with an event that brought some feelings of bliss. But how often have you been able to say day after day, I am the happiest I have been in my life? For me, living the dream is not a trite message of contraire. Several times each day I find myself requesting a cosmic pinch to question my reality.

Before you find yourself muttering, lucky you, I remind you of a line by the Rock in a recent movie. His childhood friend remarked that he had been much less physically fit in high school and asked how he had gotten so buff. His answer: I worked out 6 hours a day, seven days a week, for the last thirty years. As we all learn in life, it goes Dream, Struggle, Prize and the Struggles provide the contrast needed to verily give contentment to the prize.

As the world resolves the latest crisis, a previous world will slip into repeated sound bites. Rapid change is inevitable. Bills Gates book 1999, Business at the Speed of Thought comes to mind. The elders who have learned to embrace accelerated change may be the thought leaders of today and as well, the encouragers for the current arriving generation.

Be safe and responsible for yourself and others.

Happy Birthday to me! Seventy-two successful trips around the sun.

Your friend in life.

Escape Pretirement Become a Zoomer

How I escaped pretirement to become a zoomer at heart began by implementing one of the first commandments recited as a 5-year-old in order to attend kindergarten, “Stop, Look, & Listen, before you cross the street.”

Now, to stop has not been one of my strong suits. I am more often, ready, fire, aim.

Rather than enshrining myself with some label, I accept and encourage my tendency to be easily distracted by shiny objects arising in my field of vision. That has always been my source of wonderment for what might lie just around the next bend in the road. Perhaps it’s part of why some folks don’t care what is on TV, they just want to know what else is on TV.

Rather than stop, however, the best I can do is slow down. A productive way for me to slow down is to go for a long drive down some back-country roads while I think. I always feel I am accomplishing something while I am conjugating life. Rolling past fields and woods with little traffic while I think releases some creative potential otherwise not seen by sitting in quiet contemplation. This eyes-wide-open meditative state while taking in scenery has led to many aha insight moments that simply astonish me as to their source.

So, before I stepped off to cross the street in this pretirement journey, I drove and thought for hours and hours. I recorded unabashed thoughts on my cell phone and transcribed them. It became a formidable collection of thought snippets, scribbled napkins notes, quotes from books, messages from friends, and at least a gazillion favorite webpages carefully stashed by topic. Add to that, hundreds of created word documents with poignant titles sorted simply by month and year as well as copious journal posts, blogs, letters to myself and messages to friends. Other writers have confided to me that they too cast a cacophony of notes on a wall and then search for some melody of meaning.

The desired outcome was to arrive at a destination with a cadre of recorded history that would outline just how I had gotten to this point in my adventure. I wanted to look back to determine what goal and activity had led to my success that would benefit other baby boomers determined to reroute their potential.

My goal, in the beginning, was to simply look and listen. To look and listen to how I had gotten to this crossroad in my life. Endorsing that my past was merely a part of where I’m headed, while extracting the good and the bad, knowing that it took both to create the journey thus far. The subsequent goal was to then attempt to predict the best direction forward, making this part of the journey the best adventure of my life to date.

Looking back with 20/20 vision, I can now confidently say I have reached a condition in my life that I consider the best I have ever experienced or even imagined.  That comes with some weight because the result I have today is, to a large extent, the payback from the work in applying three words that have formulated much of my life; Clarity, Focus and Concentration.

Initially finding clarity meant deciding what I wanted the next stage of my life to look like. It meant answering the question “what if”. What if the future could start with a clean slate? What if small steps could take me to a destination I had only dreamed of?

I knew for sure I would never find out if I didn’t try. My initial onslaught to a new beginning required taking a break from the daily habits that keep us numb to change. To move forward demands we answer the question, who are you and what do you want?

Have you knowingly stepped off in a totally new direction that required you to identify some part of your potential and then redirect your focus?

Escaped Pretirement to Zoomer

How I escaped pretirement to become a zoomer at heart has been an evolving process.  It began with a written description of my vision for the future over five years ago. Repeating successful goal setting techniques from the past, I began to take the steps to make the next part of my life-journey the most incredible yet. It is said that if you want to change your life, you must change your life.

The last five years have certainly been life-changing. By the time you reach the seventh decade, change has become a welcome friend whether you like it or not. My perspective on change was highlighted by one life-lesson experience.

Many winters ago, after surviving several hours of white-knuckle, zero-visibility, night driving conditions, I discovered a secluded motel in the mountains of upstate New York that resembled something out of a Psycho vintage movie scene. Of course, like the movie character, I was oblivious to any life-altering moments that might lie ahead. I was finally just able to feel some relief; relax my shoulders, stretch my fingers, and proclaim OK, I’m going to be safe, warm, and dry.

While unpacking only enough to support collapsing into bed exhausted, I ignited the rabbit-eared screen in the corner to glean some local weather conditions. I was amused that the preordained channel happened to be a B&W TV movie.

The scene was a man and woman who had not seen each other in many years. She is saying that he looks the same after all these years and she thinks she has barely changed herself. She then asks if he thinks he has changed. His response was one of those quotes that ring true for all the years to come. He simply said, “Change is the only evidence of life.”

I recall being stuck with the importance of the moment and writing down that message. Since then, I have referred to it repeatedly over the decades and chimed it many times to my kids.

Change is the only evidence of life!

For the first four decades of my life, I welcomed change. I couldn’t wait to grow up, get a driver’s license, get out on my own, travel, have kids, have kids grow up and leave home. The older I got, however, the more rigid I found myself becoming.

I discovered that I had boxes and boxes of “shoulds” tarnishing my thinking. People should think and behave this way. The world should get better. Younger folks should treat older folks a certain way. On and on it went. I found myself reenacting my parent’s mantra of “the good old days”.

Now, I’m a positive guy. My kids refer to me as Mr. Positive, half with respect and a half with OK, DAD. How I managed to hold that outward appearance and feel like an imposter inside is a whole other story. What I came to surmise, however, after I decided to stop “Shouldn” myself, was both enlightening and encouraging.

I came to a fork in the road. One direction was going to take me down a well-known prescribed route that would resemble the archaic pathway many elders advocated.

The other fork would take me to uncharted, I have little to no idea what is going to happen territory. I am so grateful I made the decision to be bold.

What decisions have you made after retirement that have taken bold steps to begin? What one thing can you look back on and say, I am so glad and proud that I did that? It has brought much happiness.

Brian Tracy Interview Outtake 1

I was introduced to public speaker, author, business and personal development expert  Brian Tracy in 1986. Since then Brian has published some eighty-four books and numerous business courses that have been translated into many languages around the world.

Brian and I sat down in the Boomer to Zoomer studio recently to discuss three broad topics of interest to baby boomers; What Brought You Here? What’s Here Like? Where Are You Going? This is an outtake from that interview that covered such questions as; What part of your youth are you proud of? What would you go back to change? How has resistance been an asset to a lifetime of development?

Leave a comment on how Brian Tracy’s insights have impacted your thinking and any questions you have as a baby boomer wanting to move forward and take new directions in life after normal retirement age, what many are calling “pretirement”.

Weekly 5 Outtakes October 13, 2017

Weekly 5 Outtakes October 13, 2017

So, hello again, Zoomers. My apologies for the hiatus in posting my Outtakes for the latest week in my latest 90-Day Adventure. I was on an unexpected sabbatical of a whirlwind kind following the passing of my only child, Mary Boleyn. The lessons experienced from such an event for a baby boomer have been profound and life-changing. As I have often said, if you want to change your life, you must change your life. As regularly happens, we don’t get to choose the time and place of high impact life events. We do have a choice, however, in how we will respond to those events.

Many topics passed through my awareness as I attempted to stay in the moment for the events as they unfolded surrounding my daughter’s transition from, and celebration of, this life. I will expound on the observations over time with you as important turning points that have become part of the fabric of my life story and legacy.

And, now, back to the Weekly 5 Outtakes. If you enjoy reading these, please like and share boomertozoomer.com and tag someone who would enjoy reading.

What I am reading

Wicked Problems Workable Solutions – Lessons from a Public Lifeby: Daniel Yankelovich

From the dedication: “I dedicate this book to the thinkers who kept my interest in philosophy alive long after I had grown disillusioned with logic as a way of discovering the truths of living.”

Mr. Yankelovich speaks to me when he reiterates that our experiences are beyond the physical dimensions of Aristotelian and Newtonian frameworks. “It is no accident that we humans are most comfortable with storytelling. The story of our lives is a series of answers to the question: “And then what happened?”

What Else I am reading

On Death & Dying – What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families – by: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I read this when I started working at a hospital as a teenager thinking it would help me develop better bed-side-manner. I decided to revisit the updated version following the passing of my only child in July 2017. I am no longer amazed lessons learned still require refreshing and updating. Not only can grieving be repeated for the same event, it can be triggered for so many components of the past that demand we stop and acknowledge that they are human events, which fail to follow a predictable unfaltering sequence.

App I am loving

Recording my thoughts in a useful manner for transcription. I am constantly coming up with ideas that need follow up. I discovered a voice recording on Google Docs that allows me to record quick thoughts directly into text that I can later transcribe to files and label for further research.  This saves me hours of time and reduces losing thought threads of great ideas.

Fiverr Gig I am loving

I use Fiverr for many services that I sub-contract out. I have found Fiverr the best service for transcription, logo creation, and character creation artists. This was a personal character creation that I really liked. Check out all the Gig producers and have fun.

Best Flipboard Article

Boomers: What’s Your American Dream Story? Discover the disparaging differences between the early and late baby boomers. Take a quiz and let me know what opportunity or inequality describes your life adventure.

What I am working on

Working with young adults this week gave me hope that the future will have bright minds to overcome the challenges of our planet’s stewardship. I had the distinct opportunity to share with high school students some of the soft skills that I feel are important in developing before applying for their first job. The number one soft skill should be to learn how to set goals. Unfortunately, these skills are not being taught in our school systems. I asked how many students had been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. The response was 100%. I then asked how many have been asked, “What do you want your life to look like when you grow up?”. The response was zero. As my mom said, the emphasis is on the wrong syllable. Visit: boomertozoomer.com for more details on goal setting for young adult job seekers.

Job Hunting for Young Adults – Five Hacks to Make the Most Money.

Job Hunting for Young Adults

Five hacks to make the most money.

Using:

Kindergarten Circles and Third-grade Math.

I want to talk to you about the most important job you will ever have in your life, You Inc.

  • How many of you think you work for yourself? Either you will work for your goals, or you will work for somebody else’s goals.
  • How many of you think you are in sales? How many want to drive your parent’s car? How many of you want your own car? How many want to stay out later than your parents allow? How many have ever asked for a date? Then you are in sales. Sales is the transfer of your belief in yourself to someone else.
  • By working for You Inc, you are the product. You are the president. You decide on the business plan for your success. You decide on the job description. You decide on the bonuses.

I want you to treat goal achievement like your most important job in your life and take it seriously.

The reason I know that these will help you earn more income and have a happier supervisor or boss is because I had to learn these hacks on my own in high school and used them to reach my goals. I was forced to develop these because I started in the half of the class that made the top half possible. Even if you are not now, you can still finish high school in the top 10% by applying these simple techniques and hacks.

Dreams without goals are simply wishes. It is the burning desire that changes a wish into a goal. As a teenager, I didn’t want to be in a classroom. I wanted practical knowledge that would earn money. Money meant freedom to me. Freedom meant that I could come and go as I pleased. It meant owning a car. It meant I did not have to ask my parents for money.

In my junior and senior year, I finished school each day at noon. I owned my car. I always had money in my pocket. I always had gas money to take my friends places in my car, so we could play see and be seen. I worked nights in a hospital that gave me three credits each year towards graduation and I got paid for it. You see, that was my dream and I achieved it through setting goals and developing the hacks to make my goals materialize.

Goals

Webster says a goal is: “the end result toward which effort is directed”

Most people have three top goals:

  1. Health goal – not to run longer, sleep less, but to look better, feel better, be lighter, have bigger muscles, to not have skin problems and to look good in clothes.
  2. Money goal – Most young adults want to earn enough to buy a car, have a new phone or a fashion watch, cool shoes, cool hair, money to flash on a date. I wanted to live on my own, without my parents, brothers and sisters.
  3. Relationship goal – Is your goal to have; a girlfriend, boyfriend, any friend, respect from others, your parents to express that they love you? Most teenagers often just wish someone would love them.

Action Circle

Keep goal achievement as simple as possible. It starts with drawing a kindergarten circle.

Action Circle: GAREW

Why are you doing what you want to do?

What are your Goals to reach your why?

What Action steps are you going to take?

What are the Results from your Actions?

Evaluate your Results to achieve your Why

To begin the process, break into the circle at the Why. What do you want tomorrow to look like when you wake up? What does your bedroom look like? Your bathroom? Your kitchen? Your car? Your house? Your yard? Your office? Your bank accounts? What are you wearing? Who are your friends? Your spouse?

The Trilogy of goal success.

Brian Tracy, best-selling author when it comes to goal achievement repeatedly writes that the trilogy of goal success is found in Clarity, Focus, and Concentration.

Here is why.

  • You must take responsibility to make your own goals. No one knows enough about you to decide other than you. Only you can be clear on what you want.
  • Remember the importance of words. Words are concepts. Clarity of concepts provides clarity of words. Words provide the clarity for focus and concentration.
  • Clarity provides measurable results. What gets measured gets done and improved.
  • Clarity helps you decide which of the 50,000 thoughts per day that go through your mind are the important ones.
  • You have only so many attention units or bandwidth with which to deal with daily events. Clarity reduces stress of not knowing what to do next.
  • Taking responsibility gives you focus on what needs to be done each day. You are the president of your own company: You Inc. The buck stops at you. You may hire yourself out to the highest bidder. If you want to earn more income, make yourself more valuable by offering better service. Learn more, learn faster, and make a lot of money.
  • Once you have clarity and focus, concentrate on the next thing that needs to be done today and do not do anything else until that is complete. Either you achieve your own goals or you work for someone who has you achieving their goals.

The measurement of success is how well prepared to win you are, not your desire to win.

  1. Clear goals give you focus

Applying effort to an unclear goal is like aiming an arrow with your eyes closed. Even if you are prepared and apply the best effort the chances of hitting your target are very low if you do not have a clear target. It becomes pointless and uses up attention units for no results. You can have all the potential required and still end up frustrated.

  1. Clear goals are measurable

Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal. To determine success, we need to measure the progress. How far away is the goal? How close are we to completion? Some goals are measured in dollars, some in time, some in a level of contentment. A journey of a thousand miles in twenty hours means going fifty miles an hour. Each hour means we are getting closer. If you had no watch or speedometer, you would have no idea if you had time to stop for fuel or food. So rather than panicking every minute, measure the time and distance to be prepared for all the things that life can throw at you to distract and disrupt your accomplishment. Having a measurement gives you options and choices.

3.Clear goals avoid distractions

It is called the shiny object syndrome. Have you ever seen a fishing show where they film the fish looking at a lure and about to strike when suddenly the fish is presented with another lure just slightly off in another direction? What happens is this fish stops and become indecisive. It does not know which one to go after. I once had an Army supervisor give me instructions on what he needed to have done. Shortly after I started, he returned to say stop working on that project and start working on this project, so I did. Several minutes later he came back in and gave instructions to work on a third project. I simply put down all the projects and waited. It wasn’t long before he returned with the newest instructions. He realized he had sown confusion and said, wait until I get clear directions and then I will be able to give you clear instructions. Once the goal was clarified, I could apply focus and concentration to complete the assignment in record time. Like the fish, my mind could not complete the tasks until it was clear from distractions of all the other things that could be done but were not the most important. Setting clear goals with focus gives you mental boundaries.

  1. Clear goals motivates to get started now

When you look at two tasks, your mind will automatically be attracted to the one that looks easiest. When all the ducks are in a row it takes less effort to start. Less effort means easier to get started, which means less procrastination. So, the task for the goal that is clear and in focus, will get started sooner. Clear goals defeat procrastination. Goals need to have a daily “most important think”. In other words, what you think about gets done. When you have a daily “MIT”, it is more enjoyable and you finish faster, and, have a better feeling for your accomplishment. Each accomplishment builds higher self-esteem and leads to more tasks being completed in a day. Use the affirmation: What’s the best use of my time, right now?

  1. Clear goals supply the force for motivation

All goals need to be tied to reasons. Without a reason, you are in for a season, some say. The results of your action on a goal need to be measured against the reason, or objective, or value that you want to achieve. A game needs a goal post. That post in life are the values you hold most dear to your mind and heart. The reason provides the motivation. It is the discipline that takes the effort.

Hack Exercises:

  1. What do you want? Exercise for students. What do you want? What do you really, really, want?
  • Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small.
  • Always carry a notebook.
  • Find a list method that works for you. Doodles, bullet-points, charts, send yourself a text or email, record your thoughts, what suits you best?
  1. Make a list of small, manageable tasks to complete every day
  • Mark off every completed task you’ll find making each tick very satisfying – The feel-good dopamine hormone is released every time you complete a task and check it off your list. Make it a habit of creating and checking off items on a list.
  • Make your goals measurable so you know if your plans are working
  • Set far off, outlandish goals. What do you want to have achieved by 2020? How about 2050?
  • Include personal goals in your lists, not just business or career
  • Share your goals only with others who can aid in your achievement. You can help inspire each other further. Do not share with those who ridicule or discount your goals. You have enough negative thoughts in your own head. You do not need any help criticizing your ambitions.
  • Find positive role models – peers-plus. Find those who have done what you want to do and learn from their steps.
  1. Take Action!
  • Any action! You just need an idea to act upon. A journey starts with a single step.
  • Are you moving in the direction of your goal, or the opposite direction?
  1. Measure results
  • Celebrate your successes then make new lists of new goals as you measure against what you wanted.
  • Continue your education. Learn from what did not go the way you expected. Try another direction, rather than give up. Remember; goals in concrete, plans in sand.
  1. Set new goals
  • What do you want to see from this job; training, advancement, stepping stone, leadership?
  • Ask your boss for input as to how to provide the best service to them and the company, that is in alignment with your goals? Give them a report of what you have accomplished each week and ask for help in areas you think need improvement.
  • Make sure all goals aline with your values and ideals.

If you have questions, leave a comment. I will respond.

Weekly 5 Outtakes July 12, 2017

Weekly 5 Outtakes July 12, 2017

What I am reading

Find Your Balance Point: Clarify Your Priorities, Simplify Your Life, and Achieve More – by Brian Tracy and Christine Stein

We all struggle, occasionally, with the overwhelming feeling of having more chores to do than can be completed in the hours left in the day. Whether it’s career or family deadlines, stress results in less than perfect outcomes and we feel inadequate. All the items on the to-do list seem like the most important things at any one time. How we organize our thinking first will result in the best outcomes and leave us with a feeling of contentment. Brian and his daughter explore the questions, regarding career and family, and provide answers as to how to achieve more in less time, and feel good about it.

Not all 90-Day Adventures turn out the same

Many personal and business development icons suggest taking the next 90-100 days to focus on our most immediate goals. Three months is regarded as significant for several reasons as I share in this video.

Being an adventure means that we never know how each ninety-day journey is going to turn out, what results we will discover. For me, that is most exciting. The joy in life is the journey. As goal setting organisms, we tend to compare the current results with past results. I contend that each individual adventure has its own merits and consequences. Taking time to compare current results with past results consumes valuable time and provides little improvement. Take each adventure as it comes and enjoy the ride.

Best Flipboard Article.

Dawn of the pre-tiree – What to call the time of life between work and old age? The Harvard Grant Study, a 75-year longitudinal study of 268 Harvard sophomores from classes of 1939 to 1944, discusses new stages of aging in later years between career and retirement. I agree with terming this time Pretirement. Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are starting many new businesses as a means of a second career. As 10,000 baby boomers are reaching and surpassing 65, more and more agencies are researching to determine the requirements of the largest cohort to exist to this time in history. It behooves all of us to stay current on the impact they will have on our future. Share your accomplishments from new adventures taken after ending your working career.

What I am working on

On August 1, I am sitting down with Brian Tracy in the Boomer to Zoomer studio to discuss his views and outtakes on being out in front of the baby boomer generation. This will be the first time Brian will give his personal interpretation on aging and how to take advantage of the current technology to create a life of significance after reaching pretirement. The resulting video and book will be published as Force of Purpose – Driven Against All Odds. The documentary video will be submitted to the Telly Awards and Legacy Film Festival on Aging 2018. Producers for the documentary will be honored with being recognized as film producers in the credits, along with press releases and posters. Contributors to Gofundme will have their names included as well.

Shout Out

Shout out to one of my biggest inspirations, Laura Eiman for earning her speaker’s award from the Bill Gove Speaking Workshop. Laura has made it her commitment to inspire, educate and encourage baby boomers to be all they can be. Watch for our follow-up podcast after she won the Gold Medal for Weightlifting at the recent Masters Pan Am Games. I look forward to attending her next speaking engagement. You may follow her at fb Laura Eiman.

What I am loving

Zoomers want to leave nothing on the playing field. Consequently, we often ignore the tell-tale signs of burnout. I remind myself each day to stop and smell the roses. In my case, the “roses” are often deer in my yard watching me watch them, hummingbirds at the feeder who buzz by me often as I traverse the yard, Mallards, and Canadian Geese as they grace the banks of my NC secluded lake, and Carolina Wren babies that guest the nests their parents build close to the house. They each help remind me of my connection to nature and our co-existence requirements.

Hyco Lake Magazine

Having both time and money has been a major focus of my business career. The reason being is that I love to sit in an Adirondack chair on the bank of a lake and enjoy the clouds passing by. A recent article, written by Meredith Bernard, describes the life purposes that can materialize from being able to relax and think about one’s future.

Baby Boomers Take the Gold in Golden Years

A big shout out to Laura Eiman as she flies to the Dominican Republic for the Pan Am Masters. Laura is favored to bring home the Gold Medal in weightlifting. Laura started lifting weights professionally after retiring. She is an inspiration to all baby boomers to keep reaching for new dreams and goals, no matter what your age.

Please support her adventure to take home the Gold in the Golden Years.

Listen to her story of grit and determination in our latest podcast.

Think you can’t start over in a new direction after turning 60? Gold Medal contender Laura Eiman tells you how.

Laura Eiman epitomizes the “Can Do” attitude that defines the tsunami of baby boomers who are rewriting the retirement chapter of the Golden Years. Laura is going for the Pan Am Games Gold Medal.

In this boomer to zoomer blog, We cover:

  • the motivating factors that inspired her to take up weight lifting after reaching retirement age
  • the challenges she overcame to reach her goals
  • the most surprising thing she learned about her renascent adventure
  • how to raise funds to reach her Pan Am goals
  • and her message to all baby boomers to keep making a difference in the world

 

This podcast is brought to you by the 90-Day Adventure Cards. If you are serious about reaching your goals and want a sure-fire method to keep yourself on track and never miss reaching a goal, order up some Force of Purpose 90-Day Adventure Cards and start celebrating your successes.

Please add your comments and questions. Listen to An Artisans Emporium podcast to hear incredible inspiring stories of starting a new business after reaching retirement age in the new pretirement phase of the Golden Years.