Saturday, September 26, 2009


When I was younger, and I do believe that that is a relative term, we used to say "get into gear!" I'm sure that there were many different interpretations, but to me it meant get ready to take action...whether it was going to a Big 10 football game, to a party, to take an didn't matter, it was about getting your head into a new place. So I was surprised when I unexpectedly used that expression last week in a speech to a roomful of men, aged 65 to 98.

These men were realizing that their longevity was giving them the time to pursue more dreams. As one man said, "I'm still waking up every day, so why should I stop trying new things?" Obviously I love that attitude and view it as one of the ingredients for successful aging.

My comment about "getting into gear" brought forth many questions from them about how to get into gear to rewire.

Now let me say that yes, there is a complete rewiring process and exercises in our book, DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! but I came up with more ideas that I have listed below:

1.) Write down up to five words that someone who loves you or who you value would use to describe you. Don't edit the list, either mentally or physically, absorb it. Are you outgoing, spunky, brilliant, clever, kind? whatever...if someone put it down, they perceive you that way.

2.)Think about how you do or don't demonstrate those characteristics in your life today. You could be demonstrating those characteristics through your paid work, volunteer work, or in your leisure time. It could be through cooking, organizing events, singing in a choir?

3.) Write down your dream vision of how you wish the world was.

4.) Write down the dream vision for your life.

5.) Try to craft a sentence of how you could incorporate who you are with what you wish the world was like.
6.) Now imagine that this is a beginning for your rewiring plan.

There is nothing easy about change, but there are tools that can help you on your rewiring journey, regardless of your age! We all need to take our dreams and put action behind them. Once you do that, you have a greater shot of making your dream, a reality!

Monday, September 21, 2009


It's Fall and I'm back on the road talking to individuals across the United States about how and why they should constantly be rewiring their lives at work and at play. In addition to my normal Boomers and beyond group, I now meet 30 and 40 year olds who are curious about why and how they could rewire and set themselves up for a better future.

With four generations in the workplace, and the pipelines of promotion getting clogged with boomer bodies, it isn't surprising that everyone is looking for new ideas and ways to manuveur in the workplace. We have discovered that the rewiring process we created for DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! is in reality a non-age specific life enhancement tool. I know that this is a mouthful, but that is exactly what rewiring is all about! Life enhancement regardless of age !

If you are feeling stuck in your work role for whatever reason don't abandon hope.

After you have done an attitude check on yourself, consider the following:

1.) to look for new things to do at work that would further advance your career

2.) to identify those drivers, personal motivators, that make you tick at work

3.) to find new avenues to fulfill those drivers on the job

4.) to not feel that adding new tasks would zap energy, but rather increase your energy

5.) to decide that this is the time to learn a new skill or two that you have been postponing

5.) to accept that a lateral move can positively impact your career

6.) to remember that up is NOT the only way

7.) to believe that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side

8.) to believe that Boomers will retire from their jobs one day and rewire into their next acts

9.) to position your self well for when Boomers leave and the pipeline reopens

10.) to always demonstrate a positive attitude so you stand out as a real team player

The above won't guarantee success, but using these ideas definitely set you apart from the pack!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I became a Jay Leno fan years ago. I was bummed to see him moved aside for Conan but since I do work in the mature worker category I understood what was happening. At 59 I knew that Jay was not ready to stop working...and why should he? If you love what you do, why stop? To me it is very apparent that to Jay "work is fun!" Some of you might be shocked when you read this and fun in the same sentence, you ask? Isn't that an oxymoron? For some yes, but NOT FOR EVERYONE! and definitely not for Jay Leno!

I won't surmise what Jay's drivers are, although we do identify 85 drivers, or motivators in DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! for why we all work beyond a paycheck. If Ihad to guess I would say that he has a high need for accomplishments, to stay creative and to be competitive.

And to do that he had to take a risk and so did NBC, hence the birth of The Jay Leno Show! Rewiring is about moving energy into new and different areas, which is what they both did, and now we literally need to stay tuned to watch how Jay's rewirement goes. There are always critics and supporters and remember rewirings do not happen over night.

Let's be honest---the future is about risk. Will it be worse to take a risk, or to not take one? That is the question that many boomers will have to ask themselves. You need to know yourself: are you risk oriented, risk averse or somewhere in between?

When we choose to rewire we need to face the reality that a lot of it has to do with risk AND reward. So I'm advocating that regardless of the economy or challenges that we are facing, that each of us takes the time to assess our drivers and to analyze our own risk factor. And while we're doing that let's see how Jay rewires. His rewiring is on TV...five nights a front of the world. Ours isn't, so take a small step toward rewiring yourself. For most of us our rewiring will not be covered by the media!