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.