Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Individuals in mid-life and beyond are increasingly viewing retirement not as a time to relax, but as a time to explore their potential.  It was Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, who gave us the term, “self actualization.”  He called it man’s desire for fulfillment, “to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

For many, the path to self-actualization is through their “work”—which should be defined as the productive activities, paid or unpaid, that gives their lives meaning and a sense of purpose.  Helen Harkness wrote that linking work to the need for meaning has been a natural evolution: (more…)

Doing Work Worth Doing

“We in the twenty-first century, in spite of living in a fast-moving and chaotic world, have an extraordinary advantage over previous generations: through improved nutrition, fitness, lifestyle changes, and medical research, we can anticipate an extra twenty to thirty years of healthy living. If these extra years are handled wisely, our middle age will double dramatically into a second mid-life, while our ‘old’ age shrinks.”

Helen Harkness, Ph.D.

In her book, Don’t Stop the Career Clock, Helen Harkness wrote that we should view increasing longevity not as an extension of old age, but rather as an extension of our active middle years. She also wrote that these extra years should be viewed as a precious gift and advises “we must take an active hand in managing our windfall.” (more…)

Taking Time Off to Recharge Your Career

recharge-your-careerAfter 20 to 30 years in the workforce, many individuals feel emotionally and physically drained. They worry because they know their enthusiasm and creativity are waning. Most yearn for a change. Since work is no longer fulfilling, these workers automatically think an “early retirement” will be their escape route to a more satisfying life. In actuality, most of these individuals wouldn’t choose an early retirement if they had a chance to take time off from work to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate. (more…)

Four whopping lies about being your own boss

4-whopping-lies-truthI’ve been self-employed for four years now, and my husband recently took the plunge too. Since 2012, he has been working for himself as well. When entrepreneurs launch new businesses, they’re warned to expect some initial lean years as they ramp up their venture and build contacts. I wondered if that would be true for me and for him, but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve discovered at least four big myths about being self-employed:

You’ll make less money. In the four years we’ve been our own bosses, our income has risen about 20 percent year over year—and we’ve worked less, commuted less and been more available to our kids, families and friends.

This wouldn’t be the case if we were 20somethings launching a startup. Instead, we’ve started strong financially because we were able to tap decades of experience, skills and contacts we developed in our professions of finance and law. Remaining in the same career and leveraging that expertise has been a key to our financial security and business growth. (more…)

Your Work Life Satisfaction

new-perspectiveResearch indicates that nine out of ten workers who seek career advice find that they do not need to leave their current employer in order to make major improvements in their work lives. For most, all that is necessary is a new perspective on personal priorities and some creative problem solving. To stimulate your thinking, here are three key areas that can have an enormous influence on your work life satisfaction: (more…)

LIFE LESSONS: EMBRACING VULNERABILITY

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and has spent much of her career studying the complex human experiences of “vulnerability” and “living wholeheartedly.”

Her 2010 TED Talk presentation, “The Power of Vulnerability,” catapulted her into the international spotlight with a powerful message that literally resonated with millions.  In fact, it is among the top ten TED Talks viewed worldwide.  In addition, she is the author of the New York Times best seller, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. (more…)