Thursday, December 15, 2011


I hate it when people make assumptions that everyone around them is just like them, or worse, thinks just like them. I'm not talking about politics, gay rights or healthcare issues. I'm talking about aging! Recently I eavesdropped on a group of late 50 year old guys where two of them were going on and on about their aches and pains. One went so far as to say..."We're all in the same boat, getting old and gray by the day!"

I couldn't believe that none of the other guys took him on and said, Hey! I'm not hurtin! In fact I'm feeling pretty good. A little earlier one of the guys had told me he was looking into doing the Iron Man. When I asked him later, why didn't you say something about it, he shrugged it off, but I couldn't.

The truth is I get really ticked when I hear an "older" person (and how we define that today is another great challenge!)making an assumption about a peer, regardless of what the subject. People have a tendency to lump people together especially as they age. They shouldn't. PEOPLE ARE NOT LUMPABLE! It bothers me when I hear people say they have an ache or pain and assume you do also, when not only do you not, but in reality you have just completed a mini marathon in record time! Why do people do that? To make themselves feel better---or do they want everyone in the same boat? Theirs!

When I hear friends or strangers say, older people are all alike, I want to slap them on the side of the head and say, no they aren't, and to continue by asking, why would you assume everyone else your age is like you? And I want to go further and ask, actually how old are these old people you refer to? As a simple test, ask yourself right now---how do you define older people? And even more importantly, how do you see yourself?

In my work I help people of all ages rewire, and I am always struck when an older individual, and older in this instance is referring to anyone over 50, as defined by AARP (not me),tells me they feel old. My natural response to them is keep it to yourself.If you see yourself as old, so will others, I guarantee it. And then you doom all of us Boomers,so don't do it! There are many people, 50,60, 70, even 80 year olds who are doing just fine and feeling great! In fact the man in the picture is Buster Martin who ran marathons until he was 102 years old. Is Buster unique? Yes and no. One thing for sure is that he isn't LUMPABLE!

Open your eyes and see how many people around you are rewiring into next great acts! They're excited about life and its possibilities; they are focusing on their functional age, not their chronological age! Make sure you are also.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I'm conflicted. I liked the movie, THE BUCKET LIST, but I'm not a fan of the term, "bucket list" because it evokes the idea of "end of life." But when my little sister called from San Antonio last July to say that her husband had told her that skating at Rockefeller Center was on his bucket list, I said what's stopping you? Not everyone has a sister living in New York City so get those plane tickets! And they did.

A big part of my work, and my philosophy is to challenge people to identify their dreams, then go for it and make them a reality. The Bucket List has two components. First you have to create your list, and that takes time and a lot of thinking. The second part is executing what you have out on your list. It's true, some Bucket List goals are bigger than others and take more planning not to mention money, to make happen. But once you put a dream down on your Bucket List accept that it's there because you really want to make it happen. Only the things that you really want to have happen in your life deserve a place on that list!

So now it's happened--my brother in law has successfully completed one of the key items on his Bucket List...he skated underneath the tree at Rockefeller Center and loved it! He hadn't skated in over 15 years and took to the ice like a duck takes to water. He whirled, he twirled..he pretended he was at the Olympics and lived in the moment. He purposely picked the 4:30pm session so he would experience the setting sun on the buildings surrounding the rink not to mention seeing the tree sparkling.

Skating wasn't on my sister's Bucket List but being a trooper she went out on the ice and proceeeded to fall and sprain her wrist! The point is...what's on your Bucket List should be personally yours. My sister was the conduit but my brother in law was the catalyst...he dared to tell her his dream.

My brother in law sure looks happy in that picture, doesn't he?...just imagine that could be you! Recent Bucket List ideas I have heard include bicycling through France, going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,visiting the Civil War battle fields,and going to Fashion Week at Lincoln Center...they sure cover a gamut of ideas, don't they?

So what's on your list? Do you even have a list? If not, why not? And if yes,how many of the activities on your Bucket List have you made a reality? Isn't it time to rewire your thinking about life..your dreams...and your list? I don't care what you call your list, I just care that you create one!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm 55. What Do I Do Now?

I recently attended a roundtable event sponsored by New York Senator Liz Krueger entitled: The Graying of the American Workforce: “Planning Ahead:Boomers & Seniors Living In the 21st Century.”

It was the first of a 5-Part Series for Boomers and Seniors, and during this first session, The Graying of the American Workforce panelists addressed age discrimination, reinventing yourself as preparation to re-enter the workforce, and what does it mean to “give back” in the second half of life.The room was packed with women and men, at least 50+ who were eager to get back in the game.

It is a fact that age discrimination exists but many people 50+ are finding new and creative ways to rewire their energy into new jobs and project opportunities. A representative from the Freelancers Union told the audience that 30% of the country's workforce are freelancers.The reality is that freelancers are left out of the social support system and often lack health insurance, unemployment insurance, retirement plans and basic labor protections. Not surprisingly she was advocating the very positive benefits of joining the Freelancers Union.

She also told the group how to reposition their skills; market themselves and price for their services. If you are stuck and don't know how to go forward take the time to check out the Freelancers Union. Another benefit is networking events that will help you network yourself into hopefully some new and exciting gigs.

I'm passing along this information because I think people might find some new and unexpected answers. You don't have to be 55 to be asking yourself the question what do I do now? People of all ages are wondering where, how and if they will be able to continue to work. Just remember this, you're not alone.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tickling the Ivories at Age 96

Frank Sinatra isn't the only one who did it his way. Irving Fields may not be as famous as old blue eyes, but he is one of the oldest entertainers still performing---making audiences laugh, cry, enjoy and remember. Friends of ours recently heard him play in New York City and tipped us off to this energized and energizing man. Irving is 96 years young and still goes to work, playing the piano at clubs and hotels around the city. He started playing piano when he was 8 years old and has never stopped. He has tickled the 88's at places like Carnegie Hall, the Taj Mahal, the London Palladium and the old Copa Cabana.

We think Irving is a great life teacher, with lessons for all of us. Irving learned that doing the same thing, over and over, can lead to staleness, for himself and his audiences. So he often changed his repetoire, rewiring his music, to attract younger audiences and to keep older audiences coming back to enjoy new sounds and beats. In fact he is credited with popularizing the Latin beat in the 1940's and creating other themes with albums such as Bagels and Bongos, Pizzas and Bongos, and Bikinis and Bongos. His style changes not only challenged his thinking and skills but it kept him from falling into a comfort zone. And also gave his audiences new experiences and the opportunity for greater enjoyment!

Is he a role model for musicians? You bet. Is he a role model for all of us? We think so! In our work with pre and post retirees, we have met many people who want to continue going strong into the future; we believe that Irving Fields shows the power and payoffs of rewiring oneself. He sets a good example of what to do right.

Fields demonstrates that we all need to change with the times if we want to keep our audiences, clients, customers, friends even our partners or spouses. Learning new music has become part of his daily routine. Learning new things should be a daily routine for all of us. But is it? What was the last new thing you tried? Are you doing "the same old, same old" and wondering why you aren't getting satisfaction, or the new client,the new gig or even the new friend? People of all ages need to constantly hit their own refresh button.

In the work we do, we especially believe that growing older doesn't mean growing stale, or even worse, becoming bored or boring or invisible. So keep playing in your chosen area...and like Irving, we hope you will continue to find life's meaning and purpose in whatever you do. Sometimes your life will be loud, sometimes soft, but it will be sustaining regardless of your age.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Running for your life at 100

This past weekend Fauja Singh completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. No big deal, except Fauja is 100 years old. He was born in 1911 in India. He ran as a youth but gave it up. When he was 89 his wife and son died unexpectedly. He became very depressed and was running out of reasons to live. But it was running that saved him.

Singh claims his secret to an extended life is no alcohol or smoking, a vegetarian diet with lots of curries, and tea. Importantly, daily exercise is his mainstay. "I have said it before: that I will carry on running, as it is keeping me alive," he told the Toronto Marathon website. He walks or runs at least 10 miles a day.

Fauja Singh is a role model for all of us. Not because he broke a marathon record, but because he was willing to try something new...or old...running. We all need to recognize that finding an activity or interest that is meaningful and purposeful will not only add years to our life, but will add life to our years. We tell everyone to REWIRE! Rewiring is trying new activities, reconnecting with old interests or finding new ones. The focus is not just doing for the sake of being busy, but doing it because it is fulfilling, interesting and fun. Having a reason to get up in the morning makes all the difference in the world as we grow older.

You don't have to be a marathoner. If collecting stamps, hiking, birding, learning to enjoy opera, or any other activity that fulfills is your thing than do it. Make a committment and see the return on your new yourself! As Mr. Singh says, the first 20 miles are the hardest. After that it's a breeze.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Observing 9/11: Did You Reflect On Your Last 10 Years?

We have lived through the 10th anniversary of September 11,2001, and saw the nation reflect on the tragic loss of life in New York City, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. Living in New York City I found myself having more questions about that day, as well as more emotions than I had imagined that I would feel.

I heard so many of those who had lost loved ones say that 9/11 seemed like yesterday. I knew what they meant because although my own Father died 20 years ago next month, it still feels like I just saw him.

So along with mourning I decided to take some time, to stop, and to sit back to do a mental review of my own life over the past 10 years. I had been working on writing DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! on the morning the towers fell. The first edition of the book came out in 2002 and I became immersed in promoting it across the country. Having others discover their future happiness, helping them rewire became my goal, in a way my obsession. I think a lot of that passion was driven by the 9/11 tragedy, and the reality of the random loss of life, and the fear that it could happen to any of us.

I went year-by-year since 9/11, reflecting on ups and downs, decisions made, decisions not made,and took the time to think of cherished moments. I realized how many things occurred in those 10 years that were out of my control, and how many were in my control and that I had squandered.

One of my biggest take-aways was how quickly those 10 years really did pass.

So going forward I promised myself that I will not assume that I have all the time in the world to accomplish what I feel is important to me.

I will not throw away my time even if life is frustrating.

I will not find scapegoats for why I didn't do something.

I will create my "bucket list" even though I hate the word.

I will "Keep Calm and Carry On" and read books about my hero, Winston Churchill.

I will continue to add to this list, and live each day as if it were my last.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Each day it seems like we are facing more uncertainty, both collectively and individually. When people, such as retirees, Boomers, Gen X'ers, anyone asks me from a rewiring standpoint what they shoud do, or even read to stay ahead of change or in the game, I always cite my hero---Winston Churchill. He had many highs and lows in both his professional and emotional life. He experienced triumph and loss, but never wavered in his motto "never despair."

I remember how Mayor Rudy Guiliani often referred to Churchill after the tragedy of September 11th. Mayor Giuliani stated he borrowed his basic message from Winston Churchill's “ Finest Hour” speech. I'm not comparing today's challenges to the horror of 9/11, but rather saying that Churchill is a great role model for us as we face current problems and challenges. Churchill never gave up. That's why I believe we are seeing Churchill's motto "KEEP CALM and CARRY ON" plastered on posters, coasters, T-shirts,'s just the right message for the times.

Through our research we know that people often feel helpless and hopeless,with little control. Things probably won't be corrected as soon as we would like, so maybe it's time to dust off (or rewire)some of our old thinking about money, life, relationships, even fun, in the hopes of discovering new and even better ways to carry on!


No one will deny that it's challenging times at the "ranch" volatility reigns and probably will for a while, and anxiety is currently running at twice the rate of depression. So now that I have depressed you, the question is what are we to do? I've heard a range of comments and solutions, many which I couldn't publish here, but the reality is,there are no silver bullets,in fact there are no easy answers.But life will go on!

As I watched the Sunday morning news programs, and read the news, all I could think about was Mae West's famous line..."Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!" Yes I am taking a little creative license with Mae's line, but for my purpose, bumpy ride equates to the economy, Congress, unemployment, America's debt, Europe's instability, you name it.

I don't see the bumpy road going away any time soon, and I feel that the more I accept that possibility, the easier it is to go on. I've had to rewire my own thinking; we didn't get into this place overnight, so we can't think we'll get on a smooth path overnight. To keep that message in front of us in a subtle, I'm recommending that all of us put a picture of Mae West on our refrigerators so we have a little reminder buckle up but we will get through it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I was recently with a group of friends who asked if every now and then I could do a blog offering a few motivational tips. I agreed but also reminded them about a great line from Ecclesiastes that I have paraphrased here--"there is really nothing new under the sun..." People keep waiting, wishing and hoping for that silver bullet... but there is no silver bullet and Wishin' and Hopin' is a song by Dusty Springfield, not a way to live your life! What would be new and different is if everyone chose to try something new!" so here are a few VERY obvious ideas!

1. Write down what's on your mind. In other words get a piece of paper and let it rip...even stream of consciousness writing...goals, obstacles, dreams, whatever. I know, I know--you're readng this and thinking you've got to be kidding--- it sounds so basic, so boring. Take it from me,I know that getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper---or the computer, allows you the chance to reflect on them in a whole new way.

2.Get out of your usual "space." A friend who is in transition and trying to figure out her next act has been sitting in her apartment, day after day, trying to figure out her future.Looking at those same old walls is not going to get her to her next..and might even be pretty depressing. I told her..."go to Starbucks," be around people. Her comment was "too distracting." Ok, I said then go to the public libray." "Too quiet," she said. Which led me to say, "Then I guess you really don't want another opportunity, if you're finding an excuse for everything I've suggested!" Remember, friends care but they have their limits!But I felt good when she said," I went to sit in the park with a Starbucks and that felt right." The point is, find what s right for you but often we have to change our lens to get recharged and motivated.

3. Get off your behind. Exercise. Increasing your heart rate ups your energy level to tackle goals, and new thinking. When people say, "I'm too tired to exercise," that's when you need to get out there. But be wise and don't overdue if this is a new idea for you.

4. Focus on the Finish. When undertaking a lengthy and difficult project , especially something you don’t want to do, imagine what you would like to be doing when finished—and make the task a priority. This applies at work, at play,or working around the house. Focus on the finale!

5. Keep your “WHY” in front of you. Know WHY you are doing something...or not doing something. It might sound silly but put a picture of your goal as your screen saver; on your desk, or if you're a magnet person on your refrigerator! I want you to be able to see it often.

I told you they were pretty basic tips, just spiced up with a few new twists and angles! A little bit of rewiring goes along way!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dancing with the Stars:Entertainment or Inspiration?

Recently I was talking to a friend about the television show Dancing with the Stars. She told me how much she liked watching it. I know it's popular and two years ago I blogged about how some of the stars had rewired their sagging careers by appearing on the show. It remains one of the highest rated tv shows in U.S. history. I asked myself, what is so terrific that makes viewers tune in to ABC every week since 2005 to watch lesser known stars who are nonprofessional dancers compete for a dance prize that has no monetary value?

I asked my friend why she liked it. Her response was awesome, and it wasn't just because handsome pro football player Hines Ward ( pictured above)appeared on the show and won. She didn't offer just one reason. There were many: seeing the competition, the energy, the costumes, the sacrifice, the raw emotions that overtake the winners and the losers, the willingness of the nonprofessional dancers to stretch themselves in an extremely physically demanding way, watching people who had lost prominence come back into the spotlight and give it their all.

Her last and most important reason summed it up, "They inspire me to want to try something new. Not dancing necessarily, but something that I have never done before and to take the risk that I might fail. I have lived too much in my own comfort zone and the clock is ticking"

In our book, Don't Retire, REWIRE! we advocate trying new things, rewiring personal energy and taking a risk knowing that you might fail. But if you don't try, you will never know if you would have been a failure or succeded to the point that it would change your in very positive ways. Dancing with the Stars is a metaphor for life. Don't forget you can just watch the show and let it be a brief distraction from your everyday life or at its best the show may inspire you to do something new. But ONLY you can take that inspiration and turn it into personal motivation. Whether its to get out there and dance, learn a new sport, try a new career, take a trip to someplace you have never been before, or volunteer to help others. I guess it all comes down to doing the dance of life, and we all know that learning new steps isn't always easy, but if you don't try.... You know what I mean.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Live to 150 Years Old? Do I Want To?

I devour every article I can find on longevity. It is a tremendously important topic with broad reaching consequences for all of us. It's one of the reasons Rick and I wrote Don't Retire, REWIRE! If we are going to live longer, we better be constantly rewiring our minds and bodies to prepare for an extended future.

A recent article on the topic, brought me up short. The article, Who Wants to Live Forever? Scientist Sees Aging Cured, was written by Kate Kelland, the Reuters Health and Science Correspondent. She quotes Dr. Aubrey de Grey, the chief scientific officer of SENS, a non-profit foundation in California that specializes in rejuvenation therapy. He claims that the first person who will live to be 150 years old has already been born. The language used in the article is fairly technical and gives the scientific reasons why this can occur. Living to be 150 years old is scary to contemplate but I suspect not outrageous given the fact we have already had Jeanne Calment, a woman in France who lived to a documented age of 122.

But what I thought was equally interesting were some of the over 500 comments people left about the article on the internet. They were funny, thought - provoking and very honest-- a real stream of consciousness like we have with ourselves when the thought of living so long creeps into our psyche.

Among them were, "Does this mean the retirement age goes up to 140?"
"General Motors is going to hate this!!! My pension starts at 65!"
" I already feel like I'm 150 years old and I'm just past 50."
" Do I have to stay married to the same woman that long?????"
" Isn't earth crowded enough already."
" How many times can I transition to a new job?"
And then there are some I can't mention here, because they were a little too earthy!

The article concludes with the comment that "...the first person who will live to 1,000 is likely to be born less than 20 years after the first person to reach 150." Now that's a really scary thought! This is longevity run amuk. I guess we better rethink defunding NASA and start looking to the sky for more real estate. After all, where will we all live? As for Social Security and Medicare, there won't be enough paper to print the money needed. If we wait long enough, Mel Brooks' 2,000 year old man won't be fiction anymore.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cornell University Has Bragging Rights For A First -Ever 80th Class Reunion

It used to be that June was about brides and weddings, but as you get older you realize that June is really about reunions! All kinds of reunions will be going on this summer: camp, grade school, prep school,high school, college, family, military, plus sorority and fraternity reunions. In fact I'm heading out to San Diego in August for a Tri Delta sorority reunion. Reunions have become big business with websites like and e-magazines like making the planning of and attending reunions much easier than ever before.

Reunions have been around a long time, so what was the big deal with the Cornell University reunion?

It used to be that the last college reunion most graduates attended was their 50th reunion. Then it got pushed out to their 60th. After that no one was left or physically able to attend. But today longevity has created a new milestone.

Think about this... for the first time in history there has been an 80th Class Reunion. Cornell University hosted it earlier this month. There are 30 members of the Class of 1931 still living and several showed up to celebrate!

Was it to show their loyalty and love for their alma mater? Absolutley! Was it to visit with classmates and relive the fun of a shared experience of a long time ago? Definitely! Was it because they were still vital and engaged in life? YES! These people had not retired from life, they had rewired (probably many times) and were physically showing it!

You should know that even though many were over the age of 100, they weren't all helped into their chairs. One 100+ year old got up and sang the school fight song to the sound of thunderous applause. Many of this class are still active and involved in life, and have gone through a succession of rewirings.The result is that it has kept them vital and engaged in life. They have also taken care of themselves physically and emotionally.

The Gerontology Research Group keeps track of aging and reports that the United States has over 100,000 people over the age of 100. This number is predicted to grow into the millions over the next 40 years. Will it be you or me who reaches 100? On some levels a scary thought,and yet what a tremendous opportunity to do more things and to have more experience than anyone could have ever imagined.

So when I hear people say---oh why try something new I'll never live long enough to become good at it, from now on I will always challenge that attitude. The truth is, you never know which one of us will live to be 100! So with that thought I have decided that I want my own bragging rights...I want to bop 'til I drop! I want to still be singing and dancing with my sorority sisters when we're 100. Why not? If Cornell can brag about their graduates, why can't you and I brag about our lives? So my directive to everyone is as NIKE says--GO FOR IT---you might be around for alot longer than you ever imagined!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Most people think of sports as a young person's game. Yesterday Rory McIlroy, a 22 year old from Northern Ireland won the U.S. Open Golf Tournament breaking several records along the way including being the youngest person to ever win the Open. And yesterday an 80 year old man was rehired to be the new interim manager of the Florida Marlins baseball team. Jack McKeon was brought back to the team to help them get back on a winning track. He retired 6 years ago as the Manager. He wasn't invited back because he is 80 years old, but because he was good at his job, having guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series Championship and steering them through many winning seasons. He began his professional baseball career in 1949 at the age of 19.

Now the jokes begin. I heard one this morning on the IMUS Show: Sitting in the dugout one of the players calls Jack's name over and over to let him know the game has started. The implication is that at 80 he is worn out and taking a nap. But the joke is on the teller not on Jack. He's got the job, the pay, the excitement and celebrity that comes with the territory. Enthusiastic and energized, Jack is doing something he loves. He would feel that way if he was 25, 50, or 80.

While almost 60 years separates them in age, they have a lot in common--their drivers(no pun intended). Drivers are the emotional fulfillment individuals get from the activities they participate in at work and at play. My guess is that among Jack and Rory's drivers are to be competitive, to challenge themselves, and to constantly be improving their skills and techniques. I am sure there are a few others as well. Knowing your drivers keeps you in the game regardless of age. Do you know yours?

Jack is not the oldest manager in baseball history. That honor goes to
Connie Mack. He managed the Philadelphia Athletics up until age 87. I believe that Connie Mack's record will fall in the next 20 years when we get our first 90 year old manager. If you think it can't happen, think again!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Recently, Rick Miners, my co-author/business partner/husband and I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychology professor from the University of Pennsylvania speak at New York City's 92nd Street Y about his new book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. His previous book, Authentic Happiness was a best seller and made him the guru of “positive psychology.” We read it and recommended it to everyone. In his new book, FLOURISH, he identifies the 5 important steps to finding that which we all seek---living a life of fulfillment, meaning, and happiness. He is practical and tactical and recommends some practices that are very easy to understand, but require a little discipline. For example, if you want to wake up in the morning in a better mood that will sustain you all day long, before you go to bed write down 3 things that went well for you that day, e.g. what you learned, who did something nice for you, if you did something nice for someone else, etc. He forecasts that making this a habit will lead to a happier overall existence. Is it alchemy? Perhaps, but if it works, it doesn’t matter what it is. Read his book and find out for yourself. If you get the chance to hear Martin Seligman in person, GO! or even lsiten to one of his books on audio. You will be inspired, and definitley not disappointed. You'll even learn why you do certain things and why you don't. Seligman writes and speaks in a way that engages you on every level. Rewire and FLOURISH that's a winning combination for living a fun and fulfilling future! Seligman's experiences and philosophy support many of the same things we recommend in Don't Retire, REWIRE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Suze Orman and I Both Say Alter Your Expectations! New Comments Added!

For the past year and a half my co-author/business partner/husband Rick Miners and I have been researching people's attitudes about the future. We were simultaneously tracking what we call Life's BIG Game Changers... fluctuating financial portfolios, joblessness, sandwich and generational issues not to mention health care, social security, and longevity challenges. We came to the conclusion that we should expect to live longer and probably with less money! And now as you read this we are imagining that you are letting out a collective OUCH! Since we have been sharing this message with audiences across the country for the past year we have heard that gasp many times!

With increased life expectancy (three million Boomers are expected to reach 100)and walloped financial portfolios we have been telling everyone that they need to rewire their thoughts AND actions about the future. We know that no one, especially Americans, want to believe that they might have to alter their expectations in any way. We have come to expect certain things at work, at play, in our lives overall. And let's face it, change goes down hard.

So as we were working on our book proposal, Suze Orman comes out with her new book,The Money Class,and everything we believe is right inside those paper or electronic pages! Suze is a no holds barred expert and she is out to help people create or re-imagine a new American Dream! I only wish we could have gotten her to recognize that our Rewiring process is THE WAY for people to jumpstart the process!

So after getting over the feeling of being scooped, we said,"we were on the right track, Suze just got there first!" And the great thing is, is that the message is getting out!

Both Suze and I agree that:
1.) you HAVE to be honest with yourself--it's now or never!
2.) it takes GUTS to do that but you won't get anywhere good if you don't!
3.) you need to create a New Dream based on reality, not fantasy!
4.) big and having more are NOT better---hence the mess we are in today!
5.) you WILL have to alter your expectations--even live below your means!

Suze knows the financials...whereas I know the qualitative part of life.
If people knew their drivers, as defined in DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! they would have a good sense of self, and of what makes then tick. Basically they would have a leg up as they set out to redefine their American Dream.

We highly recommend this book, as well as viewing Suze's Money Class on PBS.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Show A Little Vulnerability- Learn to Play Mah Jongg

My life is about challenging others to rewire their life in some way. So in January I decided to take my own advice. I wanted to rewire some of my play time and decided to learn how to play mah jongg. I wanted something fun; that I could do with friends; that had portability and that would give my brain a good workout! All of the neuroscience data today shows that it's important to constantly be learning something new that challenges your grey matter!

So let me begin with a few facts and the plan I followed:
1) I didn't know anyone who played mahjong.
2) I didn't want to learn bridge because it seemed too difficult and serious.
3) I mentioned my desire to learn mah jongg to a friend who also knew nothing about the game but thought it sounded interesting.
4) She and I found a few other women who said they had wanted to learn but for whatever reason hadn't pursued it...yet.
5) We found a great teacher through the National Mah Jongg League and took lessons.
6) The mah jongg teacher orchestrates weekly games, for beginners and experts, and we committed to play every Monday. The key to doing anything new is to do it with frequency;that's the secret to learning.
7) We all have flexible work schedules which made it do-able (but it still seemed decadent to commit four hours each Monday to fun!)

Still for me, one of the biggest and scariest learning experiences was the first time I played mah jongg with strangers. None of my gang was available one Monday so I found myself playing with far more experienced players. Although I was a "wreck" and kept apologizing for mistakes, they were great and I learned a lot from them. What I realized is that it is impossible to become an expert overnight! Regardless of what we are trying to learn ---you have to be a beginner first! There's no way to get around it! Playing mah jongg has allowed me to become a part of a community of women committed to a variety of passions related to mah jongg! Even something fun and simple like where to buy a mah jongg set or mah jongg jewlery on line at places like mahjonggmaven.

So whether it's mah jongg, fly fishing, golf, cooking...whatever you want to learn..take a lesson or two or three. Yes you might look like a fool; yes you'll be like a kid again just starting out, but you know you're smart and if you like what you are pursuing you know you will "get it" eventually and that there will be new rewards and fun at the other end!

So dare to show your vulnerability and decide to try something new---who knows, you just be good at it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Have You Hidden In Plain Sight?

Do you ever look at something and not really see it? I think it happens alot today especially with people who have too much on their minds and too little time.

Several years ago I taped a list entitled: Lydia's Anti-Aging Essentials inside a cabinet in my bathroom. I probably open that cabinet on average three to four times a day; multiply four by 365 days a year, give or take days for vacation,and then multiply by at least 10 years of living in this apartment and that amounts to 14,600 opportunities for me to have read the list. Yet it didn't happen. I opened the door but never noticed the list at all, and this went on for years!

The paper was beginning to turn yellow so I took the list down. I was surprised to see that the list contained 12 very interesting items. In fact it included things that I believe in, and espouse every day. They are basic but bear repeating. The author is someone named Lydia; I don't know her but 10 years ago I liked what she had to say, and I still do today. Her list fits right in with my views and can be used as a framework for rewiring your life both inside and out!

Lydia's Anti-Aging Essentials Include:
1.Sex and Massage
2.Prayer and Exercise
4.Afternoon tea
5.Utter honesty---especially with self
6.Gratitude for simple pleasures
8.Work-(in many cultures the word 'retirement' means death!)
11.See things from another person's point of view
12.No absolutes

So what messages do you have hidden around work, at play, in your house, that you need to look at with a new set of eyes?

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Do I Stand to Gain and Lose This Year?

Last year I asked readers to stop making resolutions they know they won't keep. This year I'm going the next step by asking you to focus only on the "in the gut" resolutions that you really do want to make a reality.

In other words what I'm saying is STOP WITH THE LIP SERVICE! The number one resolution every year is to lose weight. So if you are one of the millions of people who want to lose weight for health, appearance,or longevity reasons, then read on.

A NY Times article about "bulge busting companies" like Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig highlights how these companies are making it more user friendly to help dieters achieve their resolutions.

This same article also talks about apparel companies like Fila and Reebok who are manufacturing toning apparel that is engineered to make working out more effective. These are just a few examples of how consumers can leverage resources to make resolutions realities. There's no getting around the reality that using these products and services does cost money.

And here is our challenge to you in the New Year-- ask yourself, "what will be my return on this investment?" I bring this rewired way of thinking to you because this year when I spend discretionary money, and each of us describes discretionary differently, I'm going to ask myself, "how will I benefit from this purchase or service?"

Successful businesses focus on ROI, return on investment. Why not individuals? Let 2011 become the year of Personal ROI. However, if weight is on your resolution list this year, ask yourself, before you spend any money, what do I stand to lose? By losing weight and inches, you will be gaining the achievement of your goal.And you could gain by becoming overall healthier,more youthful appearance, improved muscle mass, toned, great abs, and on and on!

So these companies, like FILA, Weightwatchers, etc, and my new way to rewire your thinking could help you get rid of the lip service and get on with your life!