I’m not going to hide from it. I am turning 50 this year. A year and a half ago I attended my 30th high school reunion and reconnected with a number of people from my youth who are also turning 50 this year. Suddenly I’m noticing the statement, “50 is the new 30” being thrown around. Hmm, I ponder. Is it true, or are we just fooling ourselves?
I’ve always believed that age is very much a state of mind, yet decorum and a dose of reality do come into play. I have four beautiful mini skirts hanging in my closet that I can’t bear to part with, but I know will never again see the light (or dark) of day, at least on my body. I can’t leave the house now without a pair of glasses because I can’t read a menu, ingredients on a label, or anything I might have to sign my name to without help. And the gray hair that I have inherited has made me recognize that I can choose to replace it with any color that I want.
If these are the biggest grievances I have about turning 50 (and they are!), then I consider myself pretty darn blessed. Although I still fit into and wear clothes I had long before I was 30, I’ve come to the conclusion that, at least for me, I don’t feel 30. And that’s a good thing.
Why 50 is better than 30:
- I’ve come to value a nice man over a bad boy.
- It’s no longer all about me.
- I’ve come to prefer authenticity over sizzle.
- I’m way comfortable with myself.
- I cherish every moment with my parents.
- I’ve come to value meaning over money.
- I’m in touch with the fact that I’m not going to live forever.
- I no longer care about what people think.
- I think about how much I am blessed.
- I’ve experienced some painful, challenging times and have come out stronger.
- I’ve learned to trust myself.
- I’ve taken some big risks and survived.
- I’ve learned that being true to myself is more important than security.
Am I missing something in the “50 is the new 30” statement? If so, please enlighten me.
Today is my father’s 74th birthday. I recognize how blessed I am to be able to share it with him, and I don’t want to wait until he’s gone to reflect on what I’ve learned from him. In no particular order:
- Give help without being asked.
- Hard work really does pay off.
- It is possible to create a new life in foreign land.
- You don’t have to hold a college degree to be intelligent and educated.
- Love is expressed by what you do, not what you say.
- Having someone you can count on is one of the greatest gifts in life.
- What’s inside is more important than what it looks like on the outside.
- A strong commitment will keep you going when the road gets rough.
- Don’t ever assume you know how a person will respond.
- Don’t take your blessings for granted. Life can change in an instant.
Last weekend I went out in search of a book that could set me into the new year with an inspired focus on the unlimited possibilities that I know are true for all of our lives. I came home with Jack Canfield‘s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. The title perfectly expressed what I was looking for.
Fifty seven pages into the read, the book has surpassed what I set out to receive. It’s not that the principles that Jack Canfield writes about are new, it’s that his ideas are a rare mix of spirituality and business. They’re grounded in practicality and yet they speak to the soul. He reminds me that it’s possible to achieve your dreams, but first you need to get in touch with those dreams, break them down into goals, and above anything else, believe in your ability to bring your dreams to life.
I sat down to do a couple of different exercises, and it blew me away to discover just how vague I am about what I really want from my life. How can I focus on building the life of my dreams if I haven’t focused on what my dreams clearly look like?
Jack Canfield has left me with a number of gems so far:
- Believing in yourself is essential to success. If you can’t believe in your ability to succeed with something, ask yourself why not? Identify what you need to do to feel confident about your ability to succeed and do it.
- Get clear on your vision and create very specific goals. The more definition you place on what you want to achieve, the better equipped your mind is to support the building.
- Make a habit of focusing on what you want to create through visualization and mental review of your goals. Keep your visions and the energy that supports them engaged and fully alive. Review your goals several times a day.
- Carry a written description of your most important goal with you. Make it a part of your life by reviewing it constantly.
If you haven’t already, take the time to create a vision of your ideal life, and break that vision into specific goals. You can never be too clear on what you want to create.
Like you, perhaps, I’ve been thinking about what I want to create in the New Year of 2009. When I focus my complete attention on creating my life, a few things come up that I know are vital to the process:
- A clear vision: Knowing specifically what you want to create enables you to play an active role in building it. Vague goals don’t give you anything solid to believe in, visualize or reach for.
- Give yourself permission to be prosperous. Financial success comes from thinking that prosperity is your natural right, just as much as breathing. Work on making this belief your habit if it isn’t already.
- Adjust your beliefs about your life with what you want your life to be. Become keenly aware of that little voice that is constantly telling you what it thinks is possible for you and make the commitment to override it with statements about what you want to be true for you.
- Understand the power of visualization and use it to create the reality you want. Think of yourself as a co-creator of your life and see visualization as your tool for molding your creation. Read more about visualization.
- Make a habit of consciously creating your life. Start each day focusing on your vision, be sure that your beliefs are aligned with your vision and follow through with a visualization that brings your vision to life.
How to Consciously Create Your Day – Part 2
How to Consciously Create Your Day
The Silicon Valley chapter of Experience Unlimited, ProMatch, a state sponsored career resource center, has swelled to maximum capacity while a list holds names of unemployed professionals waiting to get in. The volume is so strained that the maximum membership time has been reduced from 9 months to 6 months in an effort to support more people.
The New York Times this weekend reported similar crowd scenes, yet in a different type of venue. The article opened by describing an affluent Long Island town evangelical church so packed that an overflow room with closed-circuit TV with 100 folding chairs set up to accommodate the crowd. Similar stories were reported in Seattle, Brooklyn, and other cities throughout the country.
Bad times draw big crowds in church. It seems that fear returns us to that faith that there is something to believe in that will enable us to feel safe.
If we can feel safe in the most challenging of times, then isn’t the challenge worth where we’ve arrived?
I hate to admit this, but I’ve been neglecting my meditation practice lately, big time. I’ve allowed myself to become “too busy.” The result? Well, let’s just say that I haven’t been my usual joyful self. I gave myself an inner boost this morning, though, and it made such a difference that I felt inspired to share.
Here are just some of the benefits you might receive in a 20-minute meditation:
- Be reminded that your life is not about the outside world and all its complications.
- Experience a sense of privilege to have been given the opportunity to live.
- Feel closely connected with the energy behind all of life.
- Remember how you are really supposed to show up.
- Become refreshed with a deep sense of peace and joy
Would you agree that this list of benefits reads like a seminar you might pay hundreds of dollars for?
Meditation is free. Here’s a great wikiHow article to help you get started.
I’d love to hear your comments on what meditation has done for you.
I was reminded today in a business meeting how much what we believe in impacts what we expect, and ultimately, what we manifest in our lives. This understanding is especially critical during times when we are easily tempted to believe in what we don’t want to manifest. Right now that temptation is financial crisis.
Can you see, though, that if you believe that you are in the midst of a financial crisis, that you are setting the intention to crash financially? Who wants that??? Sure, the stock market is behaving wildly, credit is hard to come by, and many of us are losing money in our investments. Yet markets turn and movement goes in a different direction.
In times like this we tend to forget that we are guided by Mother Nature and not Wall Street. Put your trust in the good of Mother Nature and give yourself permission to reject messages about financial lack. Instead set your intention to prosper. It won’t happen unless you open your mind to the possibility and follow through with the actions that will produce that flow.