Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I'm out of Africa or rather back from South Africa and Namibia after having had an extraordinary three weeks there!I have always wanted to go on a safari; it's been high on my dream list so we went this year to celebrate my birthday. I love it when people ask, "what did you do on your birthday?" and I say "I was out hunting rhinos"..with a camera! (Note the photo!)
Now some people might say..."so going on safari was on your bucket list?" To be honest, you can call the list a bucket list, dream list, life's to do list, or even things that I will be bummed if I never do in my life list! I don't care what you call your list but I do care that you have a list.
Now I also have much smaller things on my dream list. In fact the things you put on your list should not all be safari-size, but they should be personally yours. I love animals so we went with a group called Wilderness Safaris because I want to be more aware of animal behavior, their environment and the circle of life, as they say in THE LION KING. I also wanted to see the BIG 5--- leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and cape buffalo up close and personal, and I did.
So I'll ask what's on your list? Do you have a list? For some people it could be pretty basic..you want a job; or a new career or more clients. For others it could be a fulfilling relationship and for others they want to fly fish in Costa Rica (remember as I work with people on their rewiring, I hear all kinds of dreams!).
So as you look forward to the New Year start to take a few mintues to think about what you are dreaming about and I hope that it is more than sugar plums!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I loved Halloween this year! I was in Michigan visiting my Mother and couldn't believe how Michiganders rocked out--challenging times and all! Everyone knows that Michigan has, and still is, going through tough economic times but you wouldn't have known it on Halloween. As I walked around my Mom's neighborhood I saw houses whose front yards had been turned into cemeteries!I heard the song the MONSTER MASH being played through windows and I saw huge spiders crawling up the sides of chimneys. I saw Lady Gaga and Barak Obama trick or treating not to mention assorted ghosts, goblins and dogs who were dressed for fun!
Neighbors were gathered around movable fireplaces in their driveways (living in New York City I had never seen these before!) and adults and kids both were heavily costumed! In fact the couple in the picture don't have kids, but had their house and themselves all decked out!
Now some of you might be thinking, this is what happens when you have too much time on your hands, but truthfully these people were having fun...and allowing for everyone else to have a great time too!
People were letting loose and the attached article from The Detroit News says it all: Halloween Weekends Raised Spirits. Did you laugh enough on Halloween? Get into the spirit?
If you did, then I say keep it up and find ways to laugh more...and by the way you should know that it only takes 4 muscles to smile and 13 muscles to frown! :)Maybe we need to rewire our fun!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Jim Sollisch recently published an article in The Wall Street Journal entitled:"Ants in Your Pants? You Will Probably Live Longer."
The premise of the article is that the more you move, bounce, fidget, or even go for a walk, the healthier you will be and as a result live longer. In so many words fidgeting is good for your body and your brain.
When I was a kid, and always doing "stuff," I remember my parents saying...what's the matter with you? Can't you sit still? In fact they have been telling me to sit still since I was about 3 years old, and I always equated it with buzzing around like a bumble bee.
Now as a grown up I realize that we have advocated something similar in our book, Don't Retire, REWIRE! Except in the book we call it rewiring®. Rewiring® is taking energy previously used in one area (typically work) and moving it into new, fulfilling activities. The simple act of shifting energy moves people around into new work, volunteering, learning new sports, games,or devoting time to hobbies and other life enhancing endeavors.
In his article Jim says that stepping back from the computer and email actually improves results,and you will also lose weight. You may also gain a new zest for life. Now that's two good reasons to get moving and get rewired®.
Monday, September 13, 2010
As I travel the country I run into people all the time now who are really old in age yet youthful in thought and outlook on life. Yes, many won the gene pool so they have longevity on their side, but others did it by having curiosity. They often tell me that having an active mind and body led to a more fulfilled and engaged long life experience.
One such person died last week. John Kluge was at one time the second richest man in America. He died a billionaire, but not one of the richest. He stayed active until his health failed. I never met him but was intrigued to discover that he had offered his longevity secret to The New York Times when they were preparing his obituary for the paper when he was 72 years old.
"I love the work because it taxes your mind. (Remember he was the founder of MetroMedia)Years ago, I could have taken a few million dollars and joined the country club and gotten in to this pattern of complaining about the world and about the tax law." But he didn't. He wasn't just into business. He grew flowers and collected paintings, African sculpture and Indian, Chines, Greek and Egyptian objets d'art. In other words, he had hobbies. He had cultivated interests, something I am constantly suggesting in my speeches.
I am pleased to say that I have met many more people lately, with a lot less money than John Kluge, who are exploring hobbies and interests as a way to constantly rewire and stay engaged in life throughout their life. No matter how busy you are take out some time for yourself.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Some people in need of finding new work need to look at things differently--in fact they need to think like teenagers and imagine landing an internship---a great way to test a job and yourself in a new role. Forbes.com did a great article on the topic entitled: Lessons From A 60-Year Old Intern where the "older"interns share their positive emotions and challenges. I view it as a Must Read for both individuals and organizations, and see internships as a valid new pathway for mature workers.
More organizations need to change their thinking and begin to value the mature worker who brings wisdom, skills and experience to organizations. It's time for everyone to rewire® their thinking as we face a new and constantly changing competitive future!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Computers, the internet, new applications, new industries, social marketing, etc., all require some form of continuous education, and that's just what recruiters want to see.
If you want to rewire® and have a competitive advantage in our complex world, it means making an even deeper dive into your field. If are changing careers, you may have to go back to school and start the learning journey from the beginning.
New York Times columnist Steven Greenhouse nails it with Learning Curves On the Career Path. The good news is that learning today is more accomodating with online education, weekend courses abbreviated on campus courses, and more. Colleges and universities have pumped up their offerings in new fields like Green, energy management, global ecology, etc., and the government is making more training money available.
Read between the lines, it's even more important today to select a job and work that you really enjoy. After all you will be spending more and more time learning about it as well as doing it.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I just read a story about two Baby Boomers in Verona, New Jersey,who haven't completely rewired, but used their smarts acquired in other careers to invent a product that is catching on in the senior market: the STAY CANE.
Their story is both fun and inspirational and their product is both needed and a revenue generator!
So keep your eyes open; do your own market research and maybe the next big idea will be yours! As I love to say-- you never know!
Friday, July 23, 2010
This surprised the students but I said," Industries have changed, and some have collapsed. Like you, older job seekers don't have a curriculum to follow; this is a new landscape for them too. And they, like you students, have to rewire® and adapt a new mindset, new thinking and new actions if they are going to achieve the job they are seeking." The key thing is that there are smart people and organizations out there who want to help you with your job search and see you succeed. I told the students that there are great career sites to check out and to all of you I say use the internet for ideas and remember to check out sites like TheLadders.com for insights and positions.
So first, let me share what I call the back story which applies regardless of age:
- DON'T read every article about unemployment. Headlines like: "Jobless Numbers Are Worse Than You Think," don't serve anyone well, especially a job candidate. Be wary of the headlines but be aware of them and don't succumb to the negativity of the message.
- If your computer opens up on Yahoo or Google News, or if you constantly have the tv or radio news on in the background, view the news with a new set of eyes and ears.
- Look for what industries are being praised in the news for being innovative.
- Listen for where talent shortages are occurring and think do I have those skills? Could I if I went back to school for an additional class or program? Or do I have them but just not focus on them?
- Recognize new companies are EMERGING so don't assume you know what is going on out there...be out there to hear and see it all and don't DISCARD an idea before you investigate it. Check it out. Treat a job search like a scavenger hunt and you're looking for clues.
- Adopt the motto: You never know!
- If you don't know why you work beyond the money and need to have your motivators verified, read DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! and discover or reconfirm what drives you.
Secondly, here are some other ideas to consider:
- Manage your expectations in terms of b0th the actual job and lead up interviews.
- You know you're terrific but make sure you manage yourself.
- Think like an actor---they are always auditioning and going from one gig to another. That is the new mentality for today and tomorrow.
- Like it or not, people "still" judge the book by the cover--(difficult for a Nook or Kindle!) but not for people.
- Make sure your attitude is as good as your abilities and that your substance and style match up!
- Believe that resources are all around you, and they will be. LinkedIn and Facebook are tools but need to be managed.
- Tailor your search and your time. Get out and meet people. Sending resumes to recruiters, good friends or headhunters ISN'T enough---it never was!
- Get creative in how you reach people. Does your barber or stylist know someone you need to know? You never know!
- Update that elevator speech. It's easy to get stale and to sound stale.
And never forget to share. Help your peers and hopefully they'll help you. I do believe that people want to help each other so when you are networking make it easy for your network to work for you. Good luck--we are all in this together!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
I don't know where you are on the continium of change, but I've accepted that I can't control most of the change going on around me. Once that reality hits home, you realize that you can control change in your own life, at least the change you institute.
Change is about personal choices and consequences, whether it be at work, at play, or just in life overall. For every action we take, or don't take, regardless of our age or stage of life, there is a reaction. People will tell me they want to rewire® their lives. It doesn't matter if it is to secure a new career, to experience a different level of leisure and fun or to find new purpose at work and play, you can't hit a new goal or dream without experiencing some type of change.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are a nation of procrastinators. That's why I wanted to give you some principles for change. The goal is to help you coach yourself through a change. I don't claim ownership of these principles but I find them very sound for the times!
And they are new to the way we think about life and our future.
So here are four new principles for change for you to ponder and use:
- Choices & Prices- Life is an auction, and everything has a price ticket. The question is "how much are you willing to pay?" and "can afford to pay?"
- Responsibility-The person who feels the problem most has the greatest responsibility for correcting it.
- Replacement-The best way to ovecome a bad impulse is to repalce it with a better one.
- Levels-Every situation has many things going on that need to be recognized and assessed.
When times are challenging it's easy to become complacent. I hope that we can all be there to help each other...that's why I wanted to share these thoughts on change with you. They are slightly different from many other messages and I hope they help you think about your life in a different way. There are things you want to change and things you need to change--and as you go through the list appreciate what you have and don't ever want to change in our life!
I'm not saying that change is easy, but with some thought put into it, change does NOT have to be as hard as we sometimes think it will be or as hard as we make it!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Thinking about them, and all of us who want to change something in our life but are undeclared as of yet, I went into some old "paper" files and found a long forgetten list entitled: 12 Principles of Change. I don't know where I got it...I don't claim initial ownership of it, but I do take responsibility for getting the list to you over the next few blogs. I have listed the top four principles below.
Read them, then read them again. They look simple until you reflect on them and apply them to your life. The Top 4 Principles are as follows:
- Purpose- We are happiest when moving toward a goal.
- Perspective-Situations may look different depending on our point of view.
- Balance- Nature hates imbalance. Most problems are a sign that an imbalance has occurred.
- Escalation- Doing the same thing usually gets the same result.If we are not succeeding we need to change the balance of forces.
Just a few thoughts to get you going on your road to change and rewiring! Use these principles to coach yourself!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
That's why I'm a fan of coaching! All types of coaching...both formal and informal, for work and play!
- I have a friend who is a jazz singer, and she works with a voice coach.
- I have a young friend who is a baseball coach for executives who want to play baseball better in their free time.
- I belong to a gang of three couples who coach each other to try new things.
- And I have many friends who are executive, life or retirement coaches.
- Even a few who are business and entrepreneur coaches!
My point is, as people face the future I want them to undertake new ventures. To me, it's all about rewiring energy and actions. But some time you need a little help from your friends. Yes, famous words from a great song! But it's true! Regardless of your age I hope you want to try something new; maybe a new job, or you want to excel at a sport or take a risk and create a new business and need some support to either get started or stay in the game! Knowing that someone is in your corner, is in the ring with you, is a big help.
The truth is sometimes you just plain need a jumpstart or some on-going support.
That's why I loved the article in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday entitled: "The Power Of A Gentle Nudge." The article's focus was on "older" people and exercise.The story presented the findings on a Stanford University study which showed that small amounts of social support, from friends who encourage each other via e-mail or the phone, to having an actual meeting with a fitness coach, kept people motivated and exercising. I loved the premise because to me the support aspect could refer to anyone or anything.
Even the most committed people could use a nudge and those who are venturing out and trying something new need a nudge, or rwo or three!
So why do some people feel that they have to accomplish a goal solely on their own? Why do they beat themselves up if they are tired and don't feel motivated to do something? It's human nature to want to "bag something because you're tired." And once you do that, you usually end up kicking yourself later for not being motivated! So it becomes a vicious circle and you end up frustrated with yourself, twice! Accept the fact that even the most motivated of us need a little coach in our corner! Whether it be a formal or informal arrangement, see if a little coaching helps you hit your next goal!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
This is a chorus of over 30 dynamic people whose average is 80. Please take the time to read their story here! You'll love them, and get some good ideas for your own life!
Corporate America could learn a few things...the group doesn't focus only on songs from their generation .,..but also sang Dylan, Springsteen, BLONDIE, and Kurt Cobain and when they sang Only The Strong Survive...all I could think was--these people have definitely rewired..and continue to do so!
In fact I would recommend that you learn more about the group and a lot about life--- check out the full movie story. The chorus is entertaining, and much more! You'll learn who they are and I hope you'll begin to reflect on your life...or rather your own future.
The Young@Heart Chorus was created in 1982, and all of the original members lived in an elderly housing project in Northampton, Massachusetts, and only one original member is alive today. Bob Cilman, the Chorus Director is brilliant...a true leader who stretches his team. He is demanding of his singers; he doesn't do the expected and he even gets on stage with them. He is the best coach ever!Bob Cilman gets everyone, including the audience, to think out of their comfort zone. Recognize that the group has set changes, costume changes, and they have to memorize I don't know how many songs---so when an assumption is made that seniors can't learn something new, give me a break! I write that line for both seniors and society! We all have to change our thinking! We can all rewire and learn new things---if we want to! The group Young at Heart is living proof of what is possible when you try!
Part of my future rewiring will be to sing with this group! I'm serious! So in preparation for the future--I am going to take singing lessons now. I'm pretty rusty, and definitely an alto and I know that you have to prepare for what you want in life! so what do you want to do when you're 92?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In the March 4th New York Times there is a great section on retirement. One of the key articles happens to be about becoming an entrepreneur with a focus on those over the age of 55. There are wonderful success stories in the article plus many honest tips and suggestions about the possibilties and pitfalls about becoming an entrepreneur including a few comments of my own!
So as you think about the future, consider rewiring into the role of entrepreneur! You'll work hard but you'll be the boss....and the marketing director, sales person and receptionsist but it will be yours!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
As I eavesdrop and hear peope talk about making New Year's resolutions I believe it's done tongue -in -cheek. Both they and I realize that they feel they "should" make resolutions but in actuality they know that they are going to break them, so I ask---why make them in the first place? You are only kidding, and possibly even hurting yourself if you fall into the fake resolutions trap. Think about it...how many diets have you started and stopped, or job or career changes you said you were going to make and didn't and now feel stuck?
I read a great article where the author challenged her readers by saying---If you think you are the perfect weight, or that you have great abs and arms already, or eat a good diet or love your job and and that your friends are all perfect, then you are already living the optimum life for you and no resolutions are necessary! The readers were told to keep it up and get down on their hands and knees and give thanks and show gratitude.
I thought to myself these people are lucky and that prior resolutions have paid off! However as I looked at my sagging upper arms and at the chocolate chip cookie I was eating, I realized not everyone is there yet.
Not everyone is living the life they want, so I offer a simple thought for the new year and that would be to just "take stock" of your life as it is today. Don't sugar coat or gloss over your findings. Be honest. Like me I am sure that there will be flaws and failings, a few ouches and some ahas! and that within all of your findings there will be hidden opportunities and chances for change. The new year is a beginning for introspection not self-flagellation.
I am NOT making any of the traditional resolutions. However after a few heart -to -heart talks with myself I have decided that there are two words that I will focus on for myself this year that are rather like resolutions; one is to better understand or analyze my own motivation, or lack thereof, and the other is to understand how determined I am to pursue new ideas and interests. These are some of the missing links of the rewiring puzzle.