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.

Do you succumb or do you surmount?

Some call it Resilience. Others call it Grit. It’s a quality inside that leads to what Mr. Kratz, my trumpet teacher when I was 11 years old called, Stick-to-itiveness. What I call “Dogged persistence born out of obligation and stubbornness”.

My father was an abusive disciplinarian. He was nearly sixty years old when I was born and often seemed like a grandfather figure rather than a father. He was born in 1889. Yup, my father was born 128 years ago. Child rearing was a different concept then. By the time my siblings and I came along, the child rearing method of the day was that parents must break the will of the child at an early age in order to control their behavior. Creative, endeavors were seen as aberrant behavior and stifled. Children were to be seen and not heard. Consequently, I could either become resentful and give up my power to an external locus of control or secretively harbor and protect my self-esteem through adaptive measures. Fortunately, for me, that little person inside of me chose, yes chose, to maintain the locus of control internally. For what reason did I choose to rise above the abuse and flourish and my three siblings choose to feel defeated in life and give their power up to an external ghost?

The answer to that question bates the answer to the question of, why are some people seemingly more successful than others? Why do certain people have greater personal effectiveness while others feel life is controlled by luck and circumstance rather than by the laws of cause and effect, action and reaction and sowing and reaping?

Norman Garmezy addressed these concepts and questions and started what became known as resilience theory. Emmy Werner also concluded that the same traumatic environmental factors resulted in opposing behavioral outcomes within the same cohort. Angela Duckworth has shown that Grit can be learned and strengthened.

This means, to me, that baby boomers have the distinct, verifiable opportunity to consciously change directions and strengthen their internal locus of control to take control of their own power to make decisions by controlling how and what they think. The question I ask is, can business startup success be predicted in the baby boomer cohort that sees retirement as an opportunity for new beginnings?

Henry Ford said; if you think you can’t or you think you can, you’re right. Your commitment to change is up to you. Brian Tracy says that a person feels a level of self-esteem to the degree to which they feel in control of their outside world. Your outside world is a manifestation of your internal expectation and design. Make a decision today to get clarity on what you want your outside world to look like. Get clarity on your motives. Write them down. Connect your motives to your goals. It really is as simple as fill-in-the-blanks and connect the dots. Your motivation will come from your fascination and love of the game.

James Wm Frank Press Release

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There are steps and a system to begin again. I started running on a track ten months ago to take me from the point of looking for an idea, linked to my values and life goals, to being recently inducted into the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors. This was not luck. These same steps can be learned by anyone. Allow me to show you how to sort through all the bombardment of research traffic and get the most out of your efforts in the shortest period of time. This result brings to fruition three ninety day adventures, each different from the last and each one bringing greater clarity of purpose, and wisdom from experience.

Three Press Releases from the Best-Selling Book – Success Manifesto

Press Newsroom

PR Buzz

Pitch Engine

 

Listen to me when I’m talking to you!

We all know that little voice inside our heads that talks to us.  My mom used to tell me it was alright to talk to yourself, as long as you don’t catch yourself going, Huh?

That little voice can be our friend or our foe. We either send uplifting messages to our subconscious to carry out actions, or we send self-limiting messages that stunt our progress toward rewarding achievement.

We all know that voice that says, don’t get too excited, what makes you think you can do that, and I sure messed that up. However, how often do you catch yourself saying; let’s celebrate this win, or I knew I could do that, and the past is merely part of where I’m going?

What if you had a robot assistant that followed you around all day and repeatedly praised your efforts and encouraged your achievements? How about if they only told you things that you programmed them to say, positive, present tense affirmations that left you feeling confident, competent, and content? And while they are at it, how about they remind you of your goals in all major areas of life; health, family, career, self and wealth?

This programmable robot already exists, your brain. It follows the commands you give it. It repeats back to you all the messages that it hears you saying to yourself, both negative and positive. When you tell yourself you cannot do something, your brain blocks out all the possible breakthroughs that could enter your awareness and lead you to the accomplishment you really want. Conversely, when you set about bringing a vision into reality, your brain will automatically, through your reticular activating system, bring into your awareness all the knowledge and connections you need to literally manifest into existence an idea that you have conceived.

I have talked to myself my entire life. So have you. For over half a century, I have practiced speaking to myself in a more caring, encouraging, goal oriented fashion than what I exhibited as a child. It’s the sign of a superior leader of self and others to be able to speak to yourself about what you want instead of what you don’t want.

The following is a list of personal affirmations that I have acquired over many years from countless business and personal development experts.

I record, and re-record every year or so. I keep them on my smart phone and listen to them while driving, when unable to get to sleep, first thing in the morning, or when discouragement of any kind tries to influence my well-being.  I created one for my daughter so she could have her father’s voice telling her how proud I am of her.  Imagine having your parent’s voice encouraging you at every turn in life.

Wayne Dyer starts his affirmations with this introduction to himself;

 I am using these moments to review what I intend to manifest into my life. I attract only to myself those who are in alignment with my highest ideals of myself.

Health & Happiness

I am a dreamer!

I am powerful beyond measure!

I am responsible!

I have an abundance of energy!

I attract energy into my life!

I intend to feel good!

I eat only foods that nourish and build my body!

My metabolism is increasing every day!

I live stress-free!

I have joy and happiness in my life!

Something really wonderfully exciting is going to happen today!

Self-Determination – Goals, Business

I am responsible!

I can set goals!

I am committed to my goals!

I visualize my goals as complete each day!

I do everything I need to do to achieve my goals!

I schedule events to accomplish goals!

I have no limits!

I am unstoppable!

I get things done!  Especially today!

I have faith, courage and conviction!

I know I can do the things I need to do to succeed in business!

I form new habits that get me where I am going!

I improve myself in some way every day of my life!

I create the success habit of taking action, now!

I read, I listen, I learn, and I win!

I always seek the help I need to get the job done!

I motivate myself and I motivate others!

I attract loving allies in all areas of my life!

I attract positive cash flow!

I impact others in a positive manner!

I am an appreciator of people!

I am an encourager!

I build teams of positive allies!

I have made a major difference in many people’s lives!

I am a winner in training!

I enjoy the rewards of my work!

I love to celebrate my successes!

I have financial freedom!

I have both time and money!

I live the lifestyle I have always wanted to have!

Abundance flows to me and through me to help others!

I educate people and align resources every day!

I choose to feel on top of the world, right now!

Something really wonderfully exciting is going to happen today!

Personal life

I am whole and perfect as I was created!

My life is full of abundance!

I connect with my source of creative and loving energy!

I am a totally loving person!

(My name), I am so proud of you!

I have a loving relationship with (My Family)!

I encourage and uplift (Names of Family)!

My thoughts are of love!

I let go of anger quickly and completely!

I forgive all those who threaten my peace!

I release all resentment and blame!

I easily let go of all resentment and blame!

I am a winner over my past!

I bring love to the presence of anger and hatred!

I attract only peace and peaceful people into my life!

I am loved because I love!

I respect myself at all times!
I belong! I really belong!

I love myself!

I feel terrific!

Something really wonderfully exciting is going to happen today!

I am!

I am financially abundant

I am secure

I am at peace

I am healthy

I am joyful

I am focused

I am creative

I am good

I am strong

I am inspiration

I am health

I am content

I am safe

I am real

I am awesome

I am flourishing

I am brilliant

I am proud

I am love

I am change

I am fun

I am divine

I am positive

I am whole

I am complete

I feel terrific

I feel powerful

I feel loving

I feel cheerful

I feel satisfied

I feel happy

I feel the moment

I feel energized

I feel prosperous

I love myself

I am incredible

I feel incredible

I feel balanced

I feel content

I feel wealthy

I earn a million dollars plus a year

I am open to everything

I am a miracle in happening

I am powerful beyond measure

I am powerful beyond measure

I am powerful beyond measure

Take action: Write out as many of these as resonate with your values and read them 100 times over the next month. Record those that still resonate with you on your phone and play back to yourself 100 times over the next month. I guarantee that you will notice a huge difference in your self-esteem, attitude, and ability to accomplish more steps in reaching your goals faster.

Attitude is Still Everything!

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A story goes that a farmer had a visitor come up to his front porch in the middle of a hot summer day. The farmer was sitting in a rocking chair while his hunting dog laid right beside him. While the visitor was talking to the farmer, periodically, the dog would whine. After several whimpers from the dog, the visitor asks if the dog is OK? The farmer says, Oh yes. He’s OK. He is just lying on a nail. The visitor quips, then why doesn’t he move? The farmer says it don’t hurt bad enough yet.

That dog is like many humans. They will sit there, in pain, not wanting to do anything about it until the pain turns into a catastrophe. In the meantime, they use hope as a strategy.

As always, attitude is where I break into the Action Circle to begin the change process. Clarity is the mark of a successful beginning on everything. I have learned about myself, that when I am not getting clear on a subject, I need to clear my thinking. In order to clear my thinking, I have found it most helpful to get out of my head and into my heart. Nothing changes my mood and attitude faster than and overcomer movie, or inspirational audio or video. It needs to resonate with feeling to get me thinking outside myself. Instead of thinking what’s wrong inside, thinking what’s right out there in the world.

Myth Busters had a hilarious episode where they tested the effectiveness of “Slap some sense into me” . It used a slap machine with a hand that would unexpectedly slap the subject. The conclusion was “Myth Confirmed”, that the subject actually became clearer in their thinking, and performed better in testing after being slapped in the face.

You must break out of the now moment of being in one frame of mind into the now moment of an open frame of mind. It is said that the mind is like a parachute, it works better when it is open.

Action Loop

Action Circle:
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
Start over again

This diagram demonstrates how a change in belief (Why) leads to an improvement in potential (Goals), releasing the energy for Action, that leads to the desired Results. It starts with the basics. I have found that the course of life can be simplified into kindergarten circles, fill-in-the-blank, connect-the-dots, third-grade math and play follow the leader. The steps are numbered and easy, however, the process takes effort. You will need to hold your feet to the fire and use discipline and will power to do the things that other people will not do to get success started.

When I began to look for ways to change my attitude, I remembered this video by Andy Andrews. Although Andy Andrews started out as a comedian, his Mastering the Seven Decisions video resonates for changing attitudes and course directions. Enjoy.

Action Plan

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The Japanese Reason for Being is extremely helpful is getting focused on determining where you are, and where you want to be.

  • List ten ideas that come to mind for each of the four areas. Write them down in a safe place to refer to repeatedly. If it is not written, it is not so.
  • In the process, get clear on the values and beliefs that surround each area
  • For each idea, answer the following question: “Which means?”
  • Cogitate on those values for a week to see if they really fit for you at this point in your life. Studies show that age impacts strength and hierarchy of values.

We will look at values next to get clearer and more focused on what is important to you and others.

Begin Again

I am a baby boomer from the leading edge, born in 1948. I have fallen forward, reached many goals, and enjoyed many lifetime adventures. I have concluded that regrets are a necessary component of the learning experience and our past is merely part of where we’re going.

I have been an entrepreneur most of my life and now run my business from a cloud server so that I can be anywhere in the world. That was a childhood dream, to be financially self-sufficient, without being restricted to one location. I have traveled extensively, 5 continents, 26 countries, and counting.

Recently, I reached a turning point. I concluded that I had abundance yet to give back and pay forward. It  became apparent that I needed to change myself once more to reach a new goal. Everyone has a story to tell and this is my chronicle of the changes I am making, and will continue to build on, in order to achieve my personal best.

To begin again means taking what I have learned through my boomer years to create greater significance growing forward – to zoom into the future by applying the wisdom from the past. Imagine; opening a new chapter in life as if a younger person, why not eighteen again, yet knowing what you know now.

Myself, along with podcast guests, will be addressing the initial topics most prevalent in my latest journey;

  • Five Reminders of Things You Know, You Know.
  • Attitude is Still Everything – Getting a Handle on it, Again.
  • What Does it Take to Get Started Again?
  • Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem
  • Forgive Your Past and Yourself  to Gain Future Clarity in Thinking.
  • Where Do I Go for Help and Encouragement?
  • Finding Time is Essential
  • How to Love Self-Discipline, Really!
  • Who Said it Was Supposed to Get Easier!
  • Hold Your Feet to the Fire
  • Stay Hungry and Foolish