What Are Your Three Wishes?

Wishes for retirementThe encore stage of life for Baby Boomers can look like a blank slate. What will you fill your blank slate with so that you make your transition with ease and live a unique and exciting lifestyle in the encore stage of your life?

You may have spent many years in the familiar structure of your full time work world. Now is your chance to write a new chapter for your retirement lifestyle. What do you want to include in it? One place to start is to make the time to reflect back on your entire lifetime with the focus on what went well for you over the years in the various aspects of your life. What would you like to get more of in these next years?

Making use of the organizational development tool known as Appreciative Inquiry* (AI) can help clarify what you want in your own encore years.

5-D AI Process

  • Definition – Decide what to learn more about.
  • Discover – What is the best that is in your life.
  • Dream – What is possible for your future.
  • Design – Innovative ways to create your new future.
  • Delivery – Implement and sustain the changes for your future.

Points to ponder-

  • Describe the most energizing moment, a real “high” from your professional life. What made it possible?
  • Describe what you value most about yourself – don’t be humble.
  • Describe how you stay positively affirmed, renewed, energized, enthusiastic, inspired.
  • Describe your three concrete wishes for your retirement lifestyle.

Many people believe that energy flows where your attention goes. Focus on where you experienced positive energy in your past. Now you can choose what you want more of in the encore stage of your life.

*Appreciative Inquiry is a methodology developed by Professor David Cooperrider and his colleagues at Case Western Reserve University and is used throughout the world. http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, www.welcomingretirement.com

Gun violence clues lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect

So long as we dwell on red herring surface issues such as gun control, the underlying issues can never be addressed.

Has anyone noticed that none of the shooters are female?

Rather than rehash old arguments regarding gun control and mental health availability, maybe we should look into how we raise and nurture our sons, our male children in this country such that some of them explode into violence.

A late teacher of mine, Charlie Kreiner, once asked us a question I will never ever forget,

“What do you have to do to a male child such that he will agree to kill and be killed in the name of masculinity?”

I ask: “How do we engage with our adorable, delicious, joyous, and loving male children such that they grow up to perpetrate domestic violence and become killers?”

I suggest that there is a clear connection between gender-related nurturance neglect, developing emotional numbness, and the capacity of any individual to perpetrate violence.

Evidence is emerging in neuroscience literature. Watch and listen to neuroscientist VS Ramachandran speak in the TED Talk The Neurons that Shaped Civilization.

The roots of our capacity to empathize lie in early childhood and in the manner we as young children are treated, or not.

We learn that young children are born with an enormous capacity to mimic, mirror, and to reliably reproduce the world they experience. But the number of mirror motor neurons shrinks by about four years of age and their capacity to learn shrinks as well.

Emotionally neglected children do not develop into adults who have the capacity to feel the consequences of their actions.

It is impossible to feel the pain of another if your capacity to feel at all is stunted or missing altogether. Sometimes it looks like the violence perpetrated on elementary school children; other times it looks like domestic violence in the home.

Gun control is a red herring. The clues to the origins of gun violence lie in early childhood nurturance and neglect of children.

Aurora Colorado violence: relationship literacy = domestic harmony

The Aurora Colorado cinema gun violence massacre is not about guns, controlling guns, reacting with yet more gun legislation – it is really about people, you and I, communication, and the quality of our relationships.

 

Rather than talk about domestic violence – why not shift he ground of being to legislating on behalf of domestic harmony?

Why not promote relationship literacy legislation in place of gun control legislation?

What do I mean by shifting the “ground of being?” What is being done now? How can you help?
Relationship Literacy is:
  • about shifting the ground of being in the conversation about domestic violence and abuse to promoting domestic harmony.
  • Relationship Literacy is tasked with the mission to “Bring honor and respect for ourselves and to each other in every communication in any relationship.”
It is now my counseling practice, and I am working towards “Relationship” being adopted as the “Fourth R” in our educational school system. (after the three traditional “R”s of education, “Reading ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic”.) Do you want to join?

Imagine teaching middle and high school students effective relationship and communication skills.

  • Quality of all their relationships would rise.
  • Domestic date rape and abuse would diminish.
  • Calls for police intervention services would go down.
  • municipal court loads would shrink.
  • Child Protection Services would be out of a job altogether.
  • Domestic violence would begin to disappear.
  • (This is all measurable BTW)
Note that there would be no room, no place, no conversation about, no need for legislative agendas regarding guns and violence.

If you want to be part of forwarding this pro-life conversation, let’s meet, talk, and generate the next step towards domestic harmony together.

You are invited to comment below and participate in our conversation.

offers: Paul@relationshipliteracy.com

Authoring the Future Economy

An Seattle Times article described a community event that they described as being about resumes and job hunting. Instantly, I thought of the wise words of Phill Briscoe, Gerald Grinter, and John C Erdman.

What if there were an evening at Town Hall in Seattle with these three writers (who are also architects and designers of the economy of the future)?

What if such an evening also included Deborah Drake’s collaborative book “Burn Your Resume?”

What if it were not an evening, but a half-day conference at a place like the Albers School of Business at Seattle University?  That may seem like a fantasy right now, but all the writers linked here should hear from me that the content they share at TwD and in writing is, in my opinion, what university students and the public could be offered at a half-day conference at a place that is a laboratory and greenhouse for the new economy.

Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book

Yesterday morning I sat down with a cup of strong Irish tea to catch up on a ton of email. I didn’t get very far before I discovered Chris Guillebeau was scheduled to speak that night at Town Hall Seattle. I’ve never met the guy, and his writings expressing his unique way of thinking about our world provoke and inspire me. I love his blog The Art of Non-Conformity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. He has a book out with the same title that also stirs the pot, your pot, with relish. It stirred my pot for sure.

Fueled up with a late afternoon cup of coffee, I hustled downtown and promptly got lost. I make the same stupid mistake every time by parking in the wrong underworld garage then meandering around in the labyrinthine maze atop the Convention Center lid over the freeways. I caught myself ranting on the phone to my wife as I tried to get her to come meet me, but she was too far away to arrive anywhere close in time.

She listened with more patience than me as I caught myself getting angry. Feeling silly, I burst out laughing at what a fool I was. I cooled off quick and chilled out. There were more important things to do than get wiggy over buses and cars, and, boom, Town Hall. Wow, I’ve never happened upon it so quickly. I could hear the Universe poking me and saying, “So, there!” Continue reading “Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book” »

Writing session after TwD – Part 2

I told the following story about grocery rescue, my TwD friend captured it and emailed me a first draft. It is one way to write together. We will write together again June 5, from 2:45 to 3:45, and other TwD participants are welcome to participate. Tomorrow I may be giving editorial feedback on a collection of my friend’s writing. It is inspiring to be in the company of writers.  Join us by the fireplace at Friends, Philosophy, and Tea for a second cup of tea; draft your next blog post, be part of the conversation a bit as we all improve our writing practice. We will discover how to move our writing along.  Here is what my friend and I made possible in less than an hour last week:

I wish there were more “grocery rescue” volunteer drivers.  That way, it would be easier to find a substitute driver when I go on vacation. Being a grocery rescue volunteer is a very important part of my life.  In less than three years I have personally carried more than 15 tons of donated food to the local food bank, and the only cost to my family has been 2 hours per week of my time plus the gasoline to drive 2 miles per week.

How much money would I have to earn to feel as though I could donate 5 tons of food per year?  That’s 10,000 pounds!  For reporting purposes, a food bank might value donated food at a dollar a pound. So food bank arithmetic would tell me that a dollar value of the food that I carry each year is about $10,000. I do not feel as though I have $10,000 every year to give the food bank, but I do feel as though I have 2 hours every week to give the food bank. And my 2 hours a week makes it possible for the food bank to obtain the fresh food that my local supermarket is eager to donate – extra that they do not wish to throw away.

I wish more people would donate time to their local food banks, so that there could be more grocery rescue drivers and more substitutes for us.   The Food Lifeline Network is the umbrella organization through which my local grocery rescue operation takes place; Hopelink is the social service agency that operates my local food bank. The experience enhances my life, values, and community connections.  It has formed me and benefited my family and me, every bit as much as any food bank client has benefited from the food obtained by my participation.

Seeing the Human Dignity of Another Individual

As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, we see more people whose solo-preneur full-time occupation seems to be standing or sitting near a well-traveled spot, holding a cardboard sign asking for money.

Should we give something?
Should we give nothing?

How do we know the person whose sign claims homelessness actually IS homeless?

How do we know the person won’t use the money for alcohol or drugs?

I am not offering a “you should” in this Note. I am offering a “the Truth as I know it… today…. this far into life’s formative journey.” Paul Zohav wrote on the same topic, so I add this reflection, written recently, to continue the thoughtful conversation he started.

We all have the same human dignity.
No one “edits” my purchases. If I have money, I can purchase what is available for sale.
I do not “test” the veracity of my “employed” friends’ claims about their homes.
I do not “edit” what my “employed” friends purchase.
We all feel hunger.
We all feel cold.
We all feel isolation.

So here is how it is for me.

On the day that I have something to eat,
if I receive the invitation, face to face, to see that someone else has something to eat,
that is an invitation I can say yes to.

It often sounds like this: “I am about to do my grocery shopping. Can I bring you some soup or a hot meal from their prepared foods section?”

It might sound like this: “I made this brown bag lunch for myself…. but would you like it?”

Or, with people with whom I have developed an acquaintance because of years in the same community: “Do you have time to go inside and we can have soup together…my treat?”

I often carry a $10 gift card for the local grocery store “chain” that has so many stores and so many departments that the amount could be used for food, or socks, or toiletries…. or something else… without me editing the purchases.

No, I can’t solve all the problems in our economy.

And right now, I do not feel as though donating money to my local food bank, part of a social service agency to whom my family donates almost uncountable hours of my time, is a good use of that money, because recent news reports revealed criminal charges against a couple former employees who stole almost $100,000 from the agency before they noticed enough to get it stopped! Gee. I am sure glad I did not entrust that org with money. The “time” that I have donated has resulted in 15 tons of food being transported from my local grocery store to my local food bank, because I volunteer once a week as a grocery rescue driver. So no one can tell me, today, that giving money to a well-respected social service agency is better than giving money to the person who is actually hungry.

Thanks for reading this reflection. It’s as far as I’ve gotten along this journey. Your thoughtful and respectful comments are welcome because we all form each other.

Thanks for being you in the world.

See, I’m right

This is not a guide to social DIY-ing.  It’s a quick statement.

Late August 2011 I approached some target companies with a proposal to get them up and running with regularly published, internally generated, social content.  I’m going to call it “social content,” because quite frankly, all social content is marketing.

One part of my criteria for targeting a company was that they had to have a physical product: a box on a shelf, a unit in a showroom – – something that their end users could actually touch.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

Today, I read this article that reinforces my opinions and theories, which I came to after several months of intensive careful research.  Here’s an excerpt (parts of this quotes George Mason U economist Tyler Cowen),

…the Internet is a wonder when it comes to generating “cheap fun.” But because “so many of its products are free,” and because so much of a typical Web company’s work is “performed more or less automatically by the software and the servers,” the online world is rather less impressive when it comes to generating job growth.

It’s telling, in this regard, that the companies most often cited as digital-era successes, Apple and Amazon, both have business models that are firmly rooted in the production and delivery of nonvirtual goods. Apple’s core competency is building better and more beautiful appliances; Amazon’s is delivering everything from appliances to DVDs to diapers more swiftly and cheaply to your door.

By contrast, the more purely digital a company’s product, the fewer jobs it tends to create and the fewer dollars it can earn per user — a reality that journalists have become all too familiar with these last 10 years, and that Facebook’s investors collided with last week. There are exceptions to this rule, but not all that many: even pornography, long one of the Internet’s biggest moneymakers, has become steadily less profitable as amateur sites and videos have proliferated and the “professionals” have lost their monopoly on smut.

The internet is free, and the content is going to be more and more self-generated, and catching eyeballs will require being more and more ENGAGING and AUTHENTIC.  And SHORTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Get to the f-ing point in 10 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!   The more you need to tell me about your product or service, the less I need it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t convince me, I’m already doing that myself!!!!!!!!!

As I sat behind the camera taping a 2 hour ppt presentation given by a 70-year-old retiree a couple weeks ago (to be archived for future use….hahahahaha), my one overwhelming thought was, “If I have to sit through something for 2 hours, it better be Avengers quality.”

AND, this comes back around to my current thoughts on the massive culture shift that we’re going to be experiencing in 5 years, stretching for the next 10-20 years as the boomers retire and transition to those pleasant sunny acres in the sky:

  • Creating online content is not intuitive to most boomers.
  • Creating online content is very intuitive to most gen-y-ers.
  • Gen x is the fulcrum around which these two massive generations will transition during this culture shift.  It’s the generation that will allow relevant knowledge and processes to pivot from the old school boomer way of doing things to the new wave of no-attention-span nu skool gen y way of doing things.
Simple example:  right now I have to explain, to clients of a certain age, how to download email attachments, how to properly extract files from zipped folders, those kinds of things.
Technology may or may not change to simplify this sort of task, but the people who will be doing the task will most certainly be changing.

What are you thoughts on the upcoming culture shift?

What are you doing right now to be engaging, authentic, and are you GETTING TO THE POINT!?!?!?

Some additional food for thought:  right now you can have media content online within a couple hours – – or in most cases a couple minutes – – of creating it.  You can have media content on broadcast channels and publications within about a day of creating it.  As long as you have the money to create and the money to pay for the schedule.  Rapid internal ideation is key key key.

If you would like a very simplified version of my August 2011 proposal, which includes step by step instructions, metrics for ROI, and things like that, shoot me an email and I’ll send it to you. NSA.

btw, just for fun, my favorite campaigns right now are on the radio, and the only product name I’m recalling is Cabot Stain:

http://washington.wgu.edu/billboard

Cabot Stain “How did this DIYer turn so pro?”

The hot dog commercial that talks about springtime being adequate grilling weather, and taking off your jacket to: put on a lighter jacket.

 

“I give the world until 1965, max.”

File under the optimism of children.

I was perhaps 7-8 years of age sometime after the Soviet Union put up Sputnik, the very first artificial orbiting satellite and scared the bejeezus out of the United States.

We all looked up in the night sky, aware for the very first time that there was a human-made artifact, an artifact produced by an enemy state orbiting over our heads.

Americans, once secure and surrounded by oceans, began to feel uncomfortably vulnerable – and they began to worry, really worry.

I distinctly recall announcing to my elementary school friends quite matter of factually, that, ” I give us until 1965, maximum.”

This first precious prognostication pronouncement of mine , I am glad to say, did not come true….

From: Making Every Life A Living Legacy

Big dreams, little steps..Rotary makes dollars & sence.

Big dreams and little steps, has been on my mind lately. Rejuvenating the health and POWER of a Rotary club has it’s challenges, but it took big dreams and little steps….over a period of time to do it. ONE step at a time…one dream and goal at a time. Day after day after day…..after day…..until we had a winning combination of projects and an awesome fundraiser, the Coup de Cascades.

Just like the little engine that could, we kept chugging along to rebuild hopes, dreams and projects for others. It is with gratitude and determinations that I have been able to endure this kind of dedication for 3 years. All the people that have joined the club in the past 2-3 years have inspired me to continue to keep pushing forward. An we did, and we won awards along the way. I am immensely proud, just like a mom with A+ kids.

Opening hearts, making big sacrifices and being the underdog, is not foreign to this Redmond Rousers ROTARY club. We have always been the loud rowdy ones at meetings….It’s the comments like WOW, I thought you guys were a BIG club, not just 15, that makes us smile with pride for the many awards we possess. Our responses are always the same…”Small but Mighty”…. & “WE Make a Difference”.

Come see us…bring a friend, or bring your business cards…network with other business professionals….get your name and business out there to do SERVICE to others….SERVICE ABOVE SELF…that’s what Rotary is ALL about. Come see us at the next Redmond Derby Days on July 13th & 14th. We will be making money at our hot Buttered CORN booth, or sign up to ride in our Coup de Cascades cycling Rides and or the 425mile RACE at Www.CoupdeCascades.org . You can find us walking in the local parade….at 10 Am on Saturday at Derby Days too…..  Join us in the FUN!!!!  Come see us any Tuesday, hear a great speaker, eat dinner, learn something new…make friends. Rotary…we have it all.