“It is not enough to take steps which may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Did you miss my last “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Notes from the last several weeks? See PART I through Part V HERE and, if they speak to you, follow them up with the next installment below. Thanks for your interest in “Becoming”.
Shall We Truly Play Again?
One of the most famous (and misquoted) lines from cinema is Humphrey Bogart’s “Play it Sam.”
He’s reminiscing about a love and a time gone by.
I’d say for many of us the idea of “playing” is something we reminisce over, perhaps from an earlier and seemingly simpler time. It rarely comes up as a regular and necessary part of our day nor is it a word that ever shows up within a sentence having to do with our goals and dreams.
No. Instead, the pursuit of our “one day” and “someday” goals and dreams is generally replete with words and phrases like “work hard”, “make it happen” or other references toward a nose-to-the-grindstone mindset.
“Working” towards goals has always seemed a more appropriate (and grown up/responsible) action to take rather than “playing” towards them.
But I’m shifting that mindset personally. And I invite you to shift it for yourself as well.
Hey, play beats work any day. Both you and I have “worked” very hard most of our lives!
With the recent publishing of my book, The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half, and the subsequent “Holy Hell! Now I’ve gotta live by this philosophy!”awareness that took me over (and out) for several months, I’m now waking up to smell the midlife coffee. That dog of “work hard” ethic just don’t hunt any more.
That’s not to say the aspirations have dried up. It’s just to say that Divining that well is now going to come from a playful (vs workful) source.
Playing for “One Day/Someday” Today
The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half is chocked full of a huge array of midlife self-examination and reevaluation questions – kind of like a midlife makeover – and one of the exercises in particular had me wake up in terms of my goals and dreams.
In this exercise, called the “Top Ten Regrets”, you imagine finding out that you won’t be on the planet much longer, like your personal “bye-bye” time is almost here.
We don’t usually live like we could be outta here at any moment, but that happens! And my belief is that a lot of regrets go with us because we didn’t take committed action on those things that matter most while we were still healthy and functioning in life.
So, in this exercise you look at the regrets you’d have if you were all of a sudden – “POOF” – now on your way to what follows this earthly experience and how, with time still on your hands, you might finally take action on those “one-day” and “someday” dreams and goals NOW!
You know, the pull of the moment and all those alligators nipping at our heels in daily life makes a big case – in our own mind – for continuing to delay those “one-day” and “someday” goals and dreams. It’s hard to take the time, right?
I get it! But that “Top Ten Regrets” exercise in The Back Forty has woken me up to make the timefor those goals and dreams even when I don’t think I have the time.
What are the Top Ten Regrets you’d have if you were to move on from this life unexpectedly in the near future?
And what is one – only ONE – “one day/someday” goal that, were you to get into action around it with the support of others in the coming year would have you live a bit more regretlessly?
It’s now time for that “one day/someday” goal of yours.
The Back Forty Big Game Play Project
Taking into account some of the main ideas I’ve been sharing in these several weeks of “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Notes, namely that:
• “Living” The Back Forty means constant growth, fuller Self-expression and Becoming.
• Big dreams come into fruition by living into the gaps that we actively create for ourselves between
who and where we are right now and who and where we’ve declared that we want to Be
• Our hopes and dreams just can’t and won’t happen on our own. Becoming is a team sport!
• We participate with others such that we can become a better player in some modality, and we do so
in a group environment made up of others also seeking to uplevel their ability to play.
• Hey, play beats work any day. Both you and I have “worked” very hard most of our lives!
You’re now the first to know: in the next few weeks, I’ll be organizing an exclusive group of folks to join together in bringing their “one day/someday” goals and dreams into reality TODAY (or, at least in the New Year).
The co-created “game” that we’ll be playing in together is “The Back Forty Big Game Play Project.”
If 2023 is your year to move those goals out of “someday” into your present life, stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for more info and an opportunity to join this small exclusive group.
And, in the meantime, if you’d like to be first to know, first in line, and first to stick your toe in the water, benefit from a complimentary “PlayGame” coaching session with me this week to explore what your 2023 Big Game will be. Schedule a time HERE after grabbing a copy of The Back Forty.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
– Henry David Thoreau
The post November 16, 2022 – JOLT – Part VI: The Call of Becoming appeared first on CareerGuy.com.
“More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together.”
– Kofi Annan
Did you miss my last “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Notes from the last few weeks? See PART I through Part IV HERE and, if they speak to you, follow them up with the fifth installment below. Thanks for your interest in “Becoming”.
Becoming: A Team Sport
Do you play any sports? Did you play any when growing up?
If not sports, were you in the high school band (like me)? Or was it a Dungeons & Dragons group?
In any of these, either years ago or now, we participate with others such that we can become a better player in some modality, and we do so in a group environment made up of others also seeking to uplevel their ability to play.
That’s just the way it goes. We can practice, practice, practice on our own and, for sure, grow in our skills (like the young Michael Jordon shooting baskets all night). But “Becoming” takes place in the presence and with the engagement of others.
We Don’t Become Alone
Through the multi-year and multi-phase process of bringing out The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half, though I didn’t notice it at the time, I became very comfortable tucked safely away in my cave of deep thought and ponderance.
Though I don’t claim any credit for the ideas presented – as I’ve said, the book was written by me and for me but not from my own, well-worn “figuring out” identity: the book simply downloaded through me– I will say that it set for me a high bar for creating the second half of my life as the best half.
Maybe some writers write from all that they already know and demonstrate in their lives. I, on the other hand, feel that a Higher aspect of my Self had a hand in the formation and ideation that resulted in the final form of The Back Forty.
After all the mechanics of finalizing the message, wrapping it in a cover and publishing it out into the world, I experienced a case of post-publication hibernation. I think it was a combination of the depth of vulnerability and authenticity demanded of the book but also, now on the backend, the challenge to actually walk the talk of The Back Forty in my own life. . .which seems to be a dauntingly high bar.
Fortunately, I remembered what was so fortuitously foretold near the end of the book, p. 425, under the heading “Community”: “An essential of true Back Forty community is accountability. Unless you’re supported to get outside of your Front Forty comfort zones and take bold steps while engaging in cutting-edge, second half [of life] thinking, you’ll fall prey to your old Front Forty ways and your entrenched Incredible Shrinking World.”
For those who have yet to grab the book, what it’s basically saying is that no matter how much you want to Become more than you currently are, you can’t and won’t do it alone.
That means that those “one day I will. . .” projects and goals, those “when I get around to it” good intentions and plans, those “someday I’ll. . .” hopes and dreams just can’t and won’t happen on our own. Becoming is a team sport!
Thankfully, with the support of friends and fellows along the path of Becoming in their own ways, I began stepping outside of the cozy comfort of my publication cave so as to get on the Becoming Team playground again.
If you’ll remember from Part II, the second installment of this series from October 19 (which you can see here): “Big dreams come into fruition by living into the gaps that we actively create for ourselves between who and where we are right now and who and where we’ve declared that we want to Be. Closing that gap by Becoming is what allows us to reach those goals.”
I’ll pause once more in this series of (hopefully) digestible installments and leave you with a question:
If 2023 was your year to Become the person necessary to fulfill on those projects and goals, good intentions and plans, hopes and dreams that you’ve put off until “someday,” where would you find a community of others to support and enable you to Become that while they Become that for themselves?
Ponder that and stay tuned for Part VI next week: “Shall We Truly Play Again?”
And, in the meantime, if you’re the type that likes to be first to know, first in line, and first to stick their toe in the water, I invite you to spend 25min with me personally this week to explore what your 2023 Big Game would look like. Schedule a time HERE.
Stay tuned and thanks for listening.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller
The post November 9, 2022 – JOLT – Part V: The Call of Becoming appeared first on CareerGuy.com.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
– Lao Tzu
Did you miss my last “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Notes from the last few weeks? See PART I through Part III HERE and, if they speak to you, follow them up with the fourth installment below. Thanks for your interest in “Becoming”.
Every Step You Take
In last week’s installment I mentioned that the Becoming I’m living into now is living The Back Forty. Here’s a bit more detail on that.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are offering advice and support for someone else and you have the thought “Wow, that’s pretty good stuff that just came out of my mouth! I should implement that myself!”?
Well, as mentioned before, The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half was written by me and for me to begin a new life path after facing a particularly challenging midlife “opportunity” (namely, a half-million-dollar custody suit). It was at a time when I needed a complete reevaluation of where my life had come to thus far and where it might go if I were to embrace seven particular elements:
Guess what? It was some darn good Higher-Self advice that downloaded on paper into what became 1) my own roadmap for turning around my own midlife ship’s course direction, 2) a helpful guide for others who became privy to this message through personal sharing and programs offered pre-publication, and 3) eventually this new whopper (552 pages!) of a midlife Self-help manifesto!
Here’s the deal though: like I said, we can all be erudite and sage in our advice and guidance for others but it’s a totally different ballgame when faced with living by those Higher-level principles and direction. Mea culpa: I’m faced with living by The Back Forty as well, even though it’s my own book written by me and for me! Yet, it’s a challenge I’m excited to pursue.
For example, there are many exercises and surveys in the book which have the reader discover the limitations and weight of carrying “the past” in terms of living their desires TODAY, in the present. You know, the childhood trauma or bad relationship that left scars, or the time when that project or business catastrophe occurred, which left you avoiding sticking your neck out again or taking risks.
Hey, we’ve all carried our past a looooooong time, so not the easiest to drop in a flash! The exercises, however, give the reader a formula by which to transform anything and everything from “the past” and even “the present” (you know, the gunk that’s going on even right now in your life) into the best thing that could ever happened to you. (I know, hard to believe. . .but it’s been proven to work!)
Another example: there’s a section in the book where the reader gets to look into the regrets they would have if their life were to end fairly soon. We don’t really consider on a daily basis the fact that we’re going to exit the planet at some point. Therefore, we allow ourselves to carry around a lot of undistinguished (and blind to us) regrets. After discovering those hidden regrets, this exercise ends with an opportunity to counter those regrets in real time, like beginning NOW, so that we won’t eventually die with those regrets still intact. In the book, I call those beginning NOW commitments “Rejoices.”
Here’s just a few of my own regrets-turned-rejoices:
1) Begin acting again. (I gave it up 26 years ago after becoming a single dad when too busy to head out for auditions.)
2) Begin playing my trumpet again. (I stopped that altogether after high school, even though I still have that gleaming Stradivarius in its case.)
3) Move towards a career involving the interviewing of others and sharing their stories.
4) A deeper relationship with my son.
5) Karaoke on a weekly (if not more even frequently) basis!
Some of you may remember the 1984 Best Song of the Year which had the following lyrics:
Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
And how does what I’ve shared relate to this? Because just like the song states, I’m having to watch MYSELF on whether I’m living up to the commitments I’ve made to actually have my second half of life be my best half, which is the overall intent of The Back Forty.
OK, I’ll again put a pause on this multi-installment update and thank you for your interest in my (as well as possibly your own?) Becoming that’s taking place.
Next week, in Part V, “Becoming: A Team Sport” I’ll share with you one of the realizations I’ve had about the challenge of Becoming on a solo basis vs with the support and championing of others.
Stay tuned and thanks for listening.
“Each step you take reveals a new horizon. You have taken the first step today [by reading this email]. Now I challenge you to take another.”
– Dan Poynter
The post November 2, 2022 – JOLT – Part IV: The Call of Becoming appeared first on CareerGuy.com.
“The system is not working. That is how a paradigm shift begins: the established way of seeing the world no longer functions.”
– Matthew Fox
Did you miss my last “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Notes from the last two weeks? See PART I and Part II HERE and, if they speak to you, follow them up with the third installment below. Thanks for your interest in “Becoming”.
Turning Talk Into Walk
In the case of my previous big goal and 20-year journey of birthing The Back Forty, and perhaps because of the sheer volume of raw, revealing and authentic exposure required in the process, after a few months of running on the prescribed treadmill that generally follows the publishing of a book – speaking events, guesting on podcasts, semi-or full-blown book tour, interviews, etc. – I realized that I had to just STOP. I simply couldn’t go forward in the way I had “been.” I saw that a whole new paradigm of Becoming (“Being”) was now necessary in my post-partum life as the book’s parent.
My favorite definition of paradigm is:
• a framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of humanity.
The book, The Back Forty, gives a deep and thorough roadmap and midlife-makeover reevaluation for individuals feeling the need to repurpose their life. In its somewhat stealth introduction to the world a few months ago, it garnered notice by Midwest Book Review as “a perfectly timed tool for reevaluation brought on by ‘The Great Resignation’ occurring in today’s world economy.” It supports a reevaluation of many of the biggest aspects of our lives, including limiting beliefs, meaningful careers, self-expression, play, passion and purpose.
In truth, the book was initially written by me and for me in support of a new lease on life after a particularly harrowing midlife opportunity (nee “crisis”). Yet, that Midwest Book Review points to the fact that the book apparently fits today’s life and times as well, when many individuals are looking for direction on meaning and purpose.
After screaming, scratching and clawing that book out of the birth canal –even though I had already transformed in many ways over the years to actually be ready to birth it – a next level of Becoming stared me right in the face. (NOTE: Though I don’t purport to know what true childbirth feels like, I can speak for the resistance that can show up when one is birthing a big project). And that’s the Becoming I’m living into now: living The Back Forty.
What does it mean to “live” The Back Forty? In short, it means to be freed up from the weight of past and present limitations and self-conceptions, to clearly grasp the unique and incredible expression of Self that I Am (and that You Are), and to cultivate a second half of life to fulfill on the reason for which I exist (for which I lived a first half of life conducting R & D, research and development). It means constant growth, fuller Self-expression and Becoming.
Matter of fact, my favorite line in the book comes from the back cover: “You are never who you ‘are’ or who you’ve been. You are who you’re Becoming.”
Again, in appreciation of your time, I’ll end here for today and continue next week with the forward movement coming from my hiatus of Becoming: PART IV, “Every Step You Take”. Stay tuned and thanks for listening.
The post Octobr 26, 2022 – JOLT – Part III: The Call of Becoming appeared first on CareerGuy.com.