The Power of Saying No

just say noI recently participated in a Vision Board Workshop in which the facilitator stressed the importance of choosing your life every day. We need to choose how we spend our time based on our priorities, not someone else’s priorities. That means saying “no” to things on which others ask us to spend our precious time so that we can indeed actualize those dreams and desires we have for our lives. There is power in saying no.

The day after the workshop, I found a helpful article written by Kevin Ashton – “The Most Successful Creative People Constantly Say ‘No’’. He noted that we are taught NOT to say no in many situations as we are growing up. We are taught to be cooperative and compliant. But we need a different perspective on our time and who controls it as we are transforming our lives after age 50. These words state it so clearly:

“Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. …

“Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. ‘No’ guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know.” (The entire article can be found here: The Most Successful Creative People Constantly Say ‘No’)

As someone who is a helper and has a long history of doing what people ask and offering to do things even when they don’t, this is a big challenge for me. I am committed to seeing the future I have on my vision board actualized. It is a work of creation. And creation takes time and focus.

Is this a challenge for you as you transform your years after 50? I encourage you to examine your typical patterns and decide what you may have to work on, as I do. It may take some time to take these actions and feel good about them; I know it will be a process for me.

If you would like to learn from one of the masters, John Assaraf, here is a great resource on using vision boards as a tool to achieve your dreams:  The Complete Vision Board Kit: Using the Power of Intention and Visualization to Achieve Your Dreams 

 

Have You Chosen Your Word for the Year?

One Word That Will Change Your LifeIf you haven’t chosen your word for the year yet, it is likely that you have heard people talking about doing it. You may have seen posts on social media of the words people have chosen and why.  Or it may be new to you, as it was to me until a month or so ago.  Oh, I may have heard of it in passing, but it is the first time I have learned about it and considered choosing and using a word for the year myself.

I was particularly inspired to use the one word for the year practice, and perhaps an additional few words, by my mentor, Connie Ragen Green, in her early January blog post on the topic, Connie Ragen Green: Theme 2018 . You will find more information there.

As I look at it, one of the great values of this practice is to assist in FOCUS. I don’t know about you, but I have disappointed myself over and over when I didn’t end the year having accomplished the things I said I would do.  At the beginning of multiple years, I have said to myself: THIS is the year when I really create a functioning, profitable online business.  And for the past two years, I have said: THIS is the year when I will make the move to California to be near my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren again. And I could go on….

For some people, the time has passed for setting a focus and doing the beginning of the year rituals and preparation.  But it is never too late to make a fresh start. Maybe you – as I have been – were involved in so many other things at the very end of last year and the first weeks of this year. We can just do those things now.  I have chosen my Word for the Year as BREAKTHROUGH.  It applies to several areas of my life and I look forward to seeing these breakthroughs become reality!

As you will see in the book, key to this being an effective strategy is keeping the word visible constantly.  Be creative in how you keep it in front of you – on your computer, on your phone, in your office, on a mirror, as the central word on a vision or dream board, etc. Each time I see “BREAKTHROUGH” if gives me a little jolt out of the auto pilot I may be falling into.  Simple and powerful!

I encourage you to check out a book that is the main source for this growing strategy for getting where you want to go.  Here is my affiliate link:   One Word That Will Change Your Life

One Word That Will Change Your Life

 

 

 

 

Abundance or Scarcity Mindset?

I recently read an article by John C. Maxwell  titled, “Escape from Scarcity.”* It was a reminder of how easily so many of us can be sucked into a mindset of scarcity.  Indeed so much of our language and cultural norms are built on the idea of winners and losers, abundance or scarcity.  We are encouraged to pace ourselves, conserve our energy, and take care of ourselves and our family above all.

We often hoard not only our financial assets but our assistance and support, our ideas, our praise for others, and our encouragement.  As people moving into a new stage of life, what are our mindsets and attitudes? Are we looking forward to sharing more, expanding in our years beyond age 50 – or have we been infected with the affliction of “take-care-of- myself-first-itis”? Are we looking to have the freedom to give in new and different ways until our last breath?  Our mindset regarding abundance or scarcity will impact how we experience our coming years more than we can imagine.

Giving, contributing, and expanding opens the channels of giving AND of receiving in profound ways.  In recent months, I experienced the impact of these choices.  I had been in the midst of developing my online business and doing defined volunteer work at my church.  Then duel crises/opportunities confronted the congregation and staff.  The long-needed sale of our property happened quickly and we had to move out in a month. AND two of the four staff members quit their jobs abruptly.

I decided to set aside my focus on business building and spend virtually full time volunteering to do what needed to be done at the church.  For nearly three months, I poured out my love and energy out of my passion for the mission of this unique congregation. Two things came out of that giving. I was told repeatedly that I saved the sanity of the two remaining staff members, that they couldn’t have made the move successfully without me, etc. – high psychic payoff!  And after the immediate crisis was over, I was offered a stipend to continue working in some specific areas as we are building what is, in practical terms, a new church.  Being part of the staff during this exciting and critical time is a validation of my contributions and skills – more psychic payoff!

I have learned again through this experience that by giving what I have, the abundance of the universe fills me up again in various ways.  And I would have missed all that if I had held back and said that I was too busy, I needed to focus on my own work, the younger people should do it, etc.

John Maxwell ends his article this way, “You would never deny a bucketful to a child building a sand castle because you can refill that bucket again and again. That’s how the abundance mindset works. You give away praise, recognition, ideas, knowledge and money because you know there’s plenty to go around. What you give away will come back to you a thousand times over. I guarantee it.”

*Success Magazine, May 2017

Transforming Your Years After 50: The Cost of Inertia

Perhaps the idea of “transforming your years after 50” sounds like a lot of work. Perhaps it will cost money you are trying to conserve.  Perhaps you are thinking, I can look at this closely later; reading it is interesting but doing the exercises and thinking deeply about this can wait.

My advice, my plea, is that you reconsider those thoughts.  Beware of inertia setting in.  Be alert to the tendency to slip into and stay in comfort zones which easily become ruts. Balance your desires to relax and enjoy the extra time and space you have with your desire to make this stage of your life joyful and fulfilling in new ways. They are not incompatible impulses.

Mirriam Webster Dictionary defines inertia as:

+ lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed;

+ a feeling of not having the energy or desire that is needed to move, change, etc.

Yes, relax. Yes, enjoy. YES, look at what you really want for your 3rd act of life.  You can do it all.  Start a step at a time. Do the exercises in the previous blog posts under the “What You Bring With You to Retirement” and “10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Open Possibilities” categories.

You can also consider the “Unlocking Your Ideal Self” program. Learn more about it here:

Unlocking Your Ideal Self

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What’s the biggest expense we should expect with transforming your retirement?”

Sticky: Transforming Your Life After 50: Welcome!

transforming“Transforming Your Life After 50” is a process to which I am personally committed. My purpose here is to provide ideas, inspiration and tools so others can also engage in a life-affirming process that enriches and energizes their lives in our years after 50.  That process is based on our dedication to delighting in the gift of life, using that gift the best way we can, and being grateful.                                                          

“Transform” is to change in form, appearance or structure, or change in condition, nature or character; to turn around. 

People considered Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are now in their mid-fifties to about seventy years old. This stage of life is different in many ways from our parents’ and grandparents’ experiences: life expectancy, health, resources, technology, and the wide array of options have changed. With the pace of our lives, many of us do not take the time or energy to take responsibility for making these years the best they can be – except perhaps in terms of finances.

For many of us, these years are ones of transition from very intense career development, child rearing, and community involvement to ones where there is some time and space available. This can be a time of new experiences and of reinventing our lives for a “third act” that includes “retirement” as we chose to define it.  It can be a time of transformation.

I invite you into an exploration of what you bring into this new phase of life and of tools that help you anticipate and design a “third act” that is satisfying, joyful and contributes to the well-being of others.  I look forward to sharing and to communicating with you as we travel this path of exploration and discovery.

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