Midlife: Deserting Our Ideals

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Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
-Samuel Ullman (from “Youth”), businessman and poet (1840 - 1924)

Are you becoming disillusioned with your life?  Not sure what your purpose is? Think you’ve found your purpose but it isn’t “moving you to tears”?  These are some of the questions that participants in my classes grapple with. 

Discovering what is truly important to you is an “inside job.”  You can’t think your way there using your mind.  Go within by focusing on your heart (it may even help to put your hand over your heart) and let the feelings bubble up. If you start to get excited about a particular path, follow it and see what else comes up.  Some people find it difficult to connect to the heart so it may take some time.  Don’t let impatience and the need to find the answer get in the way of allowing the journey to happen.

 

Ask Yourself…

What ideals have you deserted? 

In what area have you become less than enthusiastic about your life?

 

Action Steps …

Look at your ideals - to see why they have changed.

Become your own architect - create something that will make you jump for joy every time you think about it.

What one small step can you take TODAY to stop your soul from wrinkling?

Midlife: With or Without Color?

From …                                                                          To …

Life with Passion

Life with Passion

Life with Passion

Life without Passion

A 2005 Harris Interactive Study showed that only 20% of Americans are passionate about what they do. That leaves 80% who are leading lives somewhere from “quiet desperation” to “dull and boring.”  Life without color!

This theme came through loud and clear in a movie I saw this past week – “An Education.”  It’s the coming-of-age story about a young teenage girl in the early sixties in suburban London.  Her parents, especially her mother, appear to be living lives relatively close to the “quiet desperation” end of the continuum. 

Jenny wants something more out of life and finds it when she meets a playboy twice her age. Her “grey” life all of a sudden becomes filled with color. Her passion for the exciting new lifestyle leads her to experiences she could only have imagined in her dreams, at least for a while. I’ll leave the story there so as not to spoil the ending in case you see the movie.

The point here: passion for living, for doing those things that are truly important to you, will add so much color to each day. You will wake up with a new zest for life … joyful and excited, ready to take on each new challenge. Passion is the motivator that will help you achieve success.

If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, take The Passion Test™. The participants in my workshop this past weekend found it to be a real eye-opener!  Contact me - evelin@blueprints4change.com

Loss of a Loved One

With Veteran’s Day just behind us, the killings at Ft. Hood and in Orlando plus the scores of others who have lost their lives recently, I thought I would share a poem my husband wrote some years ago when a close friend of his committed suicide. 

 

If you have lost someone close to you, may these words remind you of the gifts that person shared with you and the world.

 

 

We Miss Him

 

Our Lives are puzzles that constantly grow

          Each piece a person -

each person we know.

And when one falls out we wonder how

          The place will be filled -

that is empty now.

 

 

There is pain in the place where he used to be

          We’re left in this world -

his soul is now free.

We know the ache will in time go away

          If only we can bear it -

through the rest of this day.

 

 

We’ll not forget his style and his grace.

We’ll remember well -

                                                his manner, his face,

We’ll recall him always in our list of those

          Who touch our lives -

                                                our hearts, our souls.

 

 

We leave this world as God has arranged

          He that has passed before -

                                                leaves the rest of us changed.

Better for knowing God’s unique expression

          That through this person -

                                                God left His impression.

 

William J. Guinan

 

 

Here’s a moving Veteran’s Day video - A Pittance of Time

Midlife: Is Age Holding You Back?

“I’m too old, I couldn’t do that now.”  That’s a statement I hear all too frequently during my “Find Your Passion” programs.  Do you feel like you’re too old to start following your passion, even if you knew what it was?  What makes you believe that?  Other people’s comments, societal norms, your parents’ “self-talk” …?

Yesterday my husband and I visited the exhibition Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors presented by American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in Washington DC. The exhibition showcases Australia’s leading indigenous artists with works from the traditional to the modern, some with obvious political overtones. Works include paintings on bark and canvas, sculpture, textiles, weaving, new media, photomedia, printmaking and installation.

When the exhibition made its debut in 2007, it coincided with the 40th anniversary of a landmark 1967 referendum mandating that indigenous Australians be included in the country’s census. Imagine that just 42 years ago, two-thirds of the artists were placed under the same category as Australia’s flora and fauna.

Racial conflict aside, what struck me was that one particular artist hadn’t started painting until five years ago, at the age of 90. Here was a man who was so passionate about wanting to pass on the story of his culture that he didn’t allow his “ripe old age” of 90 to stop him. Five years later he is being recognized as one of Australia’s top artists.

So let me ask you again, are you allowing age to stop you from doing something you truly love?  Perhaps it’s time to let go of that false belief and start living your passion.

Blueprint for Change: To Grow or Not to Grow!

Optimal growth increases the development of self, while lack of growth produces a sense of worthlessness accompanied by strong feelings of self-blame.

Doubt is a killer. It serves no purpose.  It will not help you in moving forward but rather keep you stuck or moving backwards. More often than not you will become the victim of paralysis – frozen in the “checkmate” position.

In order to achieve the success you want in life, you must say “no” when doubt rears its head.  Believe in the words “I can” and you will find yourself moving forward once again.

If you’re not sure whether or not you are growing, ask yourself how often the following “non-growth” thoughts come to your mind:

I feel a sense of worthlessness
I can’t keep up with change
I am a failure
I lack confidence
I am a marginal performer
I can’t forgive myself
I’m afraid to try new things
I do little to correct my faults
I have mistakes to make up for
I avoid new situations
I have a defeatist attitude towards most situations
I don’t take responsibility for my own life
I have a pessimistic view of the future
I have difficulty setting future goals
I blame myself all the time
I am disgusted when I look in the mirror
I associate with people into self-blame
Everyone else can do a better job than I can

Individual growth depends on a belief in progress.  If you believe you can improve yourself, believe you have the potential to learn and believe you can overcome your faults, you allow great growth and self-development to occur.

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