Our beliefs are things that we often hold dear. They are things that we have seen hold true throughout our life. Our various experiences have shown us that these beliefs are true. But, what if these beliefs were actually holding us back? Let’s take a moment to read this quote and then continue on the other side.
Maybe there is something to this quote.
After all, how many times have we heard stories of people being held back by their personal “backward” beliefs. It is easy to see the logic when we think of this quote in terms of other people, especially when our personal beliefs are the opposite of theirs. But what about our own backward beliefs? Logically, we know we have them. It’s impossible for everything that we believe to be true to ACTUALLY be true. Especially when many of our beliefs are shaped by one single experience.
Here is an example. You start a new job and on your very first day, someone who reports to you is three hours late and has completely missed not only your department meeting but a one-on-one meeting you set up with them. Chances are, you already have a negative opinion of this person and will have a negative opinion of them from here on out. But what if this employee is actually extremely punctual and it just happens that your first day was also the first time they were late in over five years? The sad fact, to your brain that doesn’t matter. Chances are that if someone asks you 6 months later about this employee’s punctuality you would still say that they are “usually” on time and immediately think of that one time that they were three hours late, even if they still have only missed that one day in almost six years.
When we think about it in this context, it is suddenly so easy to see just how many of our beliefs could be wrong. And, once we realize that, this quote holds an entirely new meaning. Let’s look at it again:
“We are bound by nothing except belief.”
– Ernest Holmes
…yup. Suddenly this seems to make so much sense. Think of all of the experiences that we have chosen not to pursue simply because of our beliefs. Each and every experience we have, no matter how big or small, is colored by as many as 30 separate beliefs that we have decided are true.
What would be possible if those beliefs weren’t factors? Our lives would be completely different. I’m not saying that some (or even most) of our beliefs are unfounded. Chances are that we have most of our beliefs for a very good reason. But what about those others? What beliefs to you hold true that may actually be false?
Today I challenge you to take a look at some of your beliefs that you are convinced are true from an outside point of view. Are there any beliefs you can let go? If you let these beliefs go you might just be surprised at how free you have become.
It’s a pretty powerful word. This word has inspired countless men and women to lay down their lives for what they believe in. This world is what our country has been built on. And it is because this word is so powerful that we are devoting this post to what freedom means to us.
Many people would argue that we have to give up some of our freedom as we grow older. We have more responsibilities now. We have a job where people count on us, we have a family to support, we have retirement to save for. There are so many things that we have to do, so it just makes sense that we have to give up some of our freedom.
Well, those of us at The Back Forty have a problem with that belief system. Why do we have to give up our freedom as we grow older? If anything, we should be gaining more freedom as we age, not the other way around.
Regardless of if you currently feel like you’re Failing Your Midlife Experience or if you just haven’t taken the time to Consider Your Purpose recently, we believe that your personal freedom has a lot to do with that purpose.
Wherever you are on your midlife journey you have to believe in your future. Whether you still feel that you need to Free Yourself From Your Past or if you need a reminder that You Are In Control, believing in your future is the first step toward freedom.
Everyone knows the importance of loving yourself, but it is also something that we forget and neglect to do on a regular basis.
Just think about it. When was the last time you thought something positive about yourself like, “I am so good at keeping the clothes folded around here”? Now, when was the last time you had a negative thought about yourself like, “Why can I never be on time”?
It seems far easier to be critical of ourselves than it is to think of the positive. This reminds me of the “Magic Ratio” made popular by Dr. John Gottman. If you don’t know what the Magic Ratio is, this is how it works. The ratio is 5:1, as in, you need to have 5 positive interactions with your significant other for every 1 negative interaction to maintain a stable relationship. Now, I know we aren’t talking about relationships with others right now, but I think this logic still applies.
To have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we need to remember to think of the positive more than the negative. It’s like a muscle that we have to strengthen. So today I have a challenge for you. Every time you notice yourself thinking something negative about yourself, try to think of 5 positive things about yourself. Doing this will help you remember that you are truly unique and beautiful, both inside and out!
To dig into some other ways to not only embrace but also express your own unique massive beauty check out our Co-Founder’s most recent project by clicking on the image below!
Have you ever had one of those days where you sit down in front of your computer at work and suddenly it’s lunch time and you’ve barely gotten through all your emails? Or when you get home and sit down for “just a moment” to relax and suddenly it’s time for dinner? I feel like we all have these dilemmas that make us feel unproductive.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post. Today I will give you 5 easy things you can do to instantly boost your productivity at work or at home. Let’s jump in:
Whether you are sitting at a desk at work or sitting on the couch at home, you need to get up. It has been proven that people who exercise on a daily basis are more productive than those who don’t. So take a walk around the block, go to the gym during lunch, or even just take a lap around the office. The important thing is to get your body moving in order to kickstart the rest of you.
It is easy to waste your morning on mundane tasks, but if you decide to focus on your hardest task of the day first, you are more likely to complete it (and everything else on your list) sooner.
When you feel like you’re hitting a wall, stop! Taking breaks is actually a good thing. Someone who takes short breaks throughout the day will be far more productive than someone who stays chained to their desk. Sometimes your brain needs a break in order to find out a new way to do something, so do your brain a favor and take it.
At this point, we have all been told that multitasking is actually less productive than focusing on one thing at a time and yet, for some reason, we keep multitasking. Make an effort to focus on at least your main tasks on a one-by-one basis.
Making something routine is a great way to boost productivity. You can make it part of a routine to take breaks, stop multitasking, or even focusing on hard projects first. When it comes to my personal routines, I have a secret weapon and today I am going to share it with you!
My secret weapon is an app called Fabulous. This app helps you turn anything into a routine. From making your bed each morning to blocking out distractions at work, Fabulous can help (and the best part is that it’s entirely free)!
For example, I have a set of 7 “habits” that I complete each morning. The app starts with an alarm at a certain time each morning. That’s when you start your “habits”. There is a timer for each habit and once the habit is complete you click a big, satisfying button. Once you have made it through your routine the app congratulates you and you continue with the rest of your day. Try it for a few days and you will see just how productive (and fabulous) you can become!
Today I am bringing you another quote from The Back Forty archives. Take a moment to read through it and, as always, I’ll see you on the other side.
First and foremost, if you don’t know what we mean when we say “Back Forty” take a moment to click here and learn what “Back Forty” really means.
Now that we have that sorted out, let’s look at the quote. As we move into (and through) midlife, it is important to do an inventory of where we are and who we are in terms of unique gifts and talents. You might think, “I’m a parent,” “I’m a husband (or wife),” or even “I’m a [fill in your job position here]“. But here at The Back Forty we want to dig deeper.Everyone has gifts and talents. But when was the last time you actually took the time to take stock of those gifts and talents?
What have you learned by working your way through all of your current and past roles? Why are we where we are at this current point in time? What brought us here? And most importantly, what are the gifts and talents that I’ve picked up along the way?
Everyone has gifts and talents. But when was the last time you actually took the time to take stock of those gifts and talents?
As you have been growing older, you have also been building skills and discovering talents that you didn’t possess when you were younger. Some of your talents were created by conscious planning while others you developed through a necessity.
By taking stock of those new gifts and talents that you have built, you have the chance to find new areas of interest and exploration that you didn’t even realize were an option before.
You’d be surprised at how many possibilities exist for a person to reinvent their life focus. By discovering all of your gifts and talents, you make it possible to purposefully choose the direction you want to head towards next. Take some time and discover what your second half of life has to offer!
Today I want to give you a reminder to PLAY!
It is far too easy to get caught up in our responsibilities and forget to take some time to play every once and a while. So today I’m bringing you the below quote to remind you to play from time to time. Take a moment to read it and I’ll meet you on the other side!
Have you ever thought of play this way before?
Chances are, most people haven’t. When we are working, being responsible, and doing things the “right way”, chances are we are not playing. Many people would say, “so? When I’m working, I shouldn’t be playing.” Well, this quote seems to be arguing that pretty well.
Many companies are beginning to build in time to their employees’ schedules to work on projects that they WANT to work on because companies have realized that employees who are being encouraged to be creative and have fun at work (in other words, PLAYING) are more productive and happier.
The same holds true for your personal life. When you find yourself playing instead of “fitting inside the lines” you are far more likely to become inspired and have revelations about who you truly are.This is what our Co-Founder, Alexandra Levin, believes and why she wrote the IMBUE Journal.
This is what our Co-Founder, Alexandra Levin, believes and why she wrote the IMBUE Journal. To learn more about what Alexandra thinks about playing, as well as many other topics, click the button below!
Midlife can sometimes feel like a time where nothing new happens and everything bad happens all at once. Your job can start to feel mundane and boring and yet your family life can be changing drastically (or vice versa). So today I am bringing you an A-Z list of words to describe the way things SHOULD be in midlife. If you’re reading through this list and any of these words don’t mesh with where you are in life, maybe it’s time to try something new. Read through this alphabet and let me know which word resonates with you the most.
As we grow older, we often find ourselves thinking, “I can’t do that”. We think this way solely because of our past experiences and this sometimes causes us to act in a certain way for your family or your boss or your friends. Instead of hiding your true self, choose to be authentic by, first, rediscovering who you truly are and, second, showing the world the incredibly unique person that you are.
If you are being authentic, then you should also be bold. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are and what you can do. Boldly show the world that you have yet to do what you came here to do!
“Throwing yourself on the sword takes Back Forty Boldness, and definitely Back Forty Badassity…and yet, what else do you have to do in the next 40 years anyway?”
At this point in your life, you’ve been around the block a few times, so be confident! You have a unique set of skills that you have been honing your entire life. Be confident in what you know and share your knowledge (and confidence) with the world.
It is important to be determined to reach your goals. After all, you have yet to do what you came to this world to do. Think about what goals you have. Have you been actively working towards achieving them? Or do you find yourself thinking, “one day”, “once the kids are out of the house”, or “after I retire”? I challenge you to commit to a goal and be determined to reach it.
When was the last time you were truly enthusiastic about something? Is there something that you strongly believe in? When was the last time you shared that enthusiasm with others? Remember, enthusiasm can be contagious and if you believe in something deeply you should share your enthusiasm with those around you.
The more we grow, the more we tend to keep our eyes focused on the past. We remember what we know to be true from the past. But we must also remember to keep an eye on the future. The best is still yet to come, and if we keep our eyes on the past, we just might miss it.
Who has time to pretend to be what others want you to be? And, honestly, isn’t it better to be genuine anyway? When you are genuine, you pull others towards you.
They say hope springs eternal. Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes my spring seems to dry up. We need to remember to always stay hopeful. With each setback, we need to remember that we have these setbacks for a reason and that we will still achieve our dreams.
We have the power to inspire others. We can inspire our co-workers, our family, our friends. The first step towards inspiring others is to be inspiring. Take on life wholeheartedly and never give up. You will achieve whatever you put your mind to and that is the most inspiring thing of all.
Don’t let life get you down; and when it does get you down, don’t let it keep you down. There are hundreds of moments each day that can make us joyful – just as long as we choose to notice them. From the beauty of a sunset to the smile of a loved one, we have so many reasons to be joyful each and every day. No matter how many things may seem to be going wrong in your day, remember to pause and appreciate even the small moments that bring us joy.
You have your own, unique set of gifts and talents that you have accumulated throughout your life. Some of these talents you have chosen to learn and others were forced upon you, but, regardless of how you learned these different skills, you now have this knowledge. Never forget that no one has the same accumulation of knowledge as you do – your unique experiences have made you valuable in a way that no one else is.
“So many of us resist change when we see it coming, and yet there’s nary a one of us that can’t claim some new understanding, skill, capacity, awareness, knowledge or personal improvement on the other side of any change.”
Sometimes we need to be reminded to be playful. Stop taking life so seriously! Go out and have fun! Jump out of a plane, or go to an art show, try a new restaurant. It doesn’t matter what makes you lighthearted and playful – just remember to take some time to play from time to time. Life is too short to be serious.
You have yet to do what you came to this world to do…and you are here to do something meaningful. Think about it. If each and every person on this earth decided to do one truly meaningful thing with their life, how much better would this world be? What are you passionate about? What have you been holding off on doing because you don’t quite believe you can achieve it? Your life is meaningful, and your legacy should be as well.
Everyone wants to be considered noble, after all, who wouldn’t want to be considered moral and good? But, being noble doesn’t mean you are more moral or better than those who surround you. As Earnest Hemingway said, “there is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”
We each have our own voice, sometimes we just need to remember to use it. Be outgoing. Be friendly. Be candid. The more you share your true self with others, the happier you will find yourself.
This is one that I have held strong beliefs about for as long as I can remember. It is so important for you to be passionate about something. Anything really. I don’t care if you are passionate about feeding monkeys at the zoo – just be passionate! When your life is full of passion, it is full of meaning.
I’ve always considered being called quirky a compliment. Quirky is defined as having unexpected traits and I feel that those unexpected traits are often the most powerful. Take a moment to think about what makes you quirky and you’ll often realize that those traits are also the traits that make you the most unique.
Being radical is defined as “affecting the fundamental nature of something”. I feel that when we live our (mid)life to the fullest and prove that our best is yet to come, we are affecting the fundamental beliefs about aging. We are not destined to slow down and get boring as we age and I believe that viewpoint is still relatively radical. By living each and every day of our lives to the fullest, I believe we are all being radical.
Being spirited is an important aspect of midlife (and life in general). When we live our lives being as full of enthusiasm, determination, and energy we are truly living life to it’s fullest.
We are meant to not only survive but to thrive. So many of us just survive in our current situations while waiting for something better. Instead, decide to thrive. What does it mean to you to thrive? Now take the first step towards that.
To thrive in your midlife, you must first decide to plan for the future instead of dwelling on the past.
People who are winning life aren’t just improving their own life, they are also uplifting others. It has been proven that the more you uplift others, the happier you will be as well. People who give to charity and/or volunteer are over 40% more likely to be happy than those who don’t. This statistic holds true for those who express gratitude and help others as well. So do what you can to be happy and remember to uplift others.
Be vibrant. Shine for the world to see.
Be a little wild sometimes. Being the responsible one can get boring, and as we age we are often forced to be responsible more and more often. Not that being responsible is a bad thing, it is actually very important. But sometimes it is equally as important to be a little wild and let your crazy side show. Plan a night out and decide to be a little wild.
I admit it took a little digging to find this one. Xenodochial (pronounced zeena-doh-key-ul) means to be hospitable. Making others feel at home is truly an art. When you can make your friends, family, and even strangers feel as if they truly belong, you are making the world a better place.
I’m always hesitant when it comes to saying two words and those words are “young” and “old”. These definitions are becoming so circumstantial that I cringe when using them. But at the same time, let’s be honest, we are getting older. I believe being young-at-heart is part of what keeps us young even as we age. Remembering to embrace life through the eyes of the young helps us live life to the fullest. Becoming set in our ways helps no one.
Finally, be zealous. Live your life with zeal and passion and it is almost guaranteed that your best is yet to come. You have so much life to live, now go out there and act like it!
When working our way through midlife, it is easy to feel as if everything is going wrong.
Your kids or moving out, or even worse, they’re not. Your parents are getting older and need more help. Your job is feeling stale but the stability makes you feel as if you couldn’t possibly leave. Your personal style is non-existent. Everything just seems so serious!
The list goes on and on, and with all of these changes, no wonder why people in midlife tend to feel as if things are not the way they should be, or at least are not the way they want them to be.
Therefore, I want to give you a list of some inspirational articles to help you shift your personal midlife experience in the right direction for you. I have 20 articles for you to explore and 7 topics to embrace. Enjoy!
Now that you’ve made your way through my seven topics and 20 articles, I hope that you feel a little lighter, a little more beautiful, and way more inspired!
About a month ago, The Back Forty took part in the California Women’s Conference (or CWC). Building up to this event we frantically worked to create the perfect presence. We finalized our first online course, published our first Back Forty journal, and created countless banners and flyers. We didn’t know what to expect walking into that exhibit hall, but we had dreams of the contacts we would gain through our raffles and giveaways, the books we would sell, and the contacts we would make.
At our booth, we had a small recording studio set up. We were thinking that we would interview a few people about the passions they discovered while traveling through midlife. We had no idea how big a role this would end up playing at the conference.
We were thinking that we would complete 15-20 interviews each day, lasting about 5 minutes each. What we weren’t expecting was to be so inspired by the stories of finding one’s passion and the joy of sharing that passion with others.
We ended up conducting about 30 interviews over the two-day conference, but the average video ended up lasting 15 minutes. Suddenly, our expected 3 hours of content became over SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS.
Walking into the event, we had no idea the type of passion and joy we would find in those we interviewed. Now, not only have we had the chance to interview amazing people, but we have been given the opportunity to share these inspiring stories with the world. We have decided to turn these inspiring interviews into an online program aimed at inspiring others to create their second half of life as their best half. Now, this course is not ready to be released yet, but I have put together a short video with some excerpts from our two days of interviewing.
Today I was watching a TED Talk about happiness and it got me thinking. The speaker brought up a point that we often seem to just accept without much further thought.
We are always searching for our happiness.
We think, when I get that promotion I will be happy, when I retire I can be happy, when the kids get older I’ll be happy. It’s a common thought process, IF I do this then THAT will happen. But think back 10 years about the IF THEN statements you were telling yourself. Chances are you have achieved those goals and yet chances are that you are still searching for your happiness.
Dr. Srikumar Rao believes that we are hard wired to be happy and that society has just taught us how to be unhappy. You can watch his entire talk below on how to plug into your hardwired happiness, but I have 2 thoughts of my own to share with you as well.
Looking for somewhere to start? Check out my previous blog posts: 75 Simple Ways to Be More Happy with Life and Six of the Best Ways to Fill Your Relationship with Happiness.