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.
What if development of people became our organizational raison d’être?
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
What is the purpose of business?
Milton Friedman, a Nobel-prize winning economist, wrote that the purpose of business is maximizing profit for the shareholders.
Peter F. Drucker said that “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” and “the purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things.”
Blaine Bartlett, bestselling author of “Compassionate Capitalism” says that “the purpose of business is to uplift the quality of life on this planet.”
This is my personal favorite:
“Business is where you practice your human skills. It’s where you grow.” Andrew Cherng, Co-Founder and Visionary, Panda Restaurant Group, Forbes’ 2015 America’s Best Employer.
Part of Panda’s expressed mission is “becoming a world leader in people development.” According to Vipul H. Shah, Regional Director of Operations at Panda Restaurant Group, “Panda exists to better the lives of people, and we build an organization to allow that to happen. How we do this is selling American Chinese food.”
Andrew Cherng has more to say about that: “I’m talking about everyone who works at Panda. They’re inspired to better their own lives. We’re not really selling Chinese food, you know. Our real purpose is about developing people. You have to grow! You grow as a person, and then you will grow in business.”
Why would we, as leaders and visionaries in Conscious Organizations, want to make development of people our raison d’être?
8 Why’s To Have People Development as Priority 1:
This sounds like an organization I want to be a part of!
Bottom line is this: if we make development of people the purpose of our business, all other purposes fall into place:
How could this apply to your organization?
When interacting with partners, sponsors, customers, members, and The Back Forty community in general, there is one question that gets asked over and over.
Usually by that point, whoever I’m speaking with knows that our company, The Back Forty, is about making your second half of life your best half of life. So the logical jump is that we are talking about life between the years of 40 and 80. And this common misconception leads to questions like, why do you say midlife starts at 40? What if I’m over 80? What if I’m 37? Why are you putting these strict rules around what defines midlife?
To all of these questions, I say wait just a minute and let me explain.
If you didn’t know this, don’t worry. This phrase is less popular than over 80% of all words in the English dictionary. Like the definition mentions, it was originally used to describe the most remote 40 acres of a farm or ranch and was first used in the 1860s when the Homestead Act of 1862 granted 160 acres of land to anyone willing to farm it for at least five years (thus two front forty acres of land and two back forty acres of land). So, when farmers were too far away to be reached it was usually because they were in the back forty of their farm.
Knowing all of this probably brings up more questions than you originally had. For example, “what the heck does farming in the 1800s have to do with midlife?” Hang in there just a bit longer because it is all about to be made clear.
So, no. The Back Forty isn’t referring to the ages of 40-80. It is simply a complex metaphor demonstrating that midlife is full of even more possibilities than you could ever imagine. Many people believe that once you hit midlife your life gets more predictable. You have a family, responsibilities, a job, you have to save for retirement, or your children’s college…the list can go on and on. We at The Back Forty believe the opposite is true. Midlife is just the beginning and your first half of life was simply research for what is still to come.
Whether you are 35, 43, 67, 92 or anywhere in-between, we believe that the best things in your life are still ahead of you and that you can cultivate your own “back forty” to be full of playfulness, passion, and purpose.
If you would like to learn more about The Back Forty, click the link below to download our Co-Founder’s Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half of Life!
Today I am bringing you another quote. Have you ever heard the little voice in your head saying, “you can’t do that”? Maybe you think, “it’s too late for me to change careers” or “that’s just the way things are”.
Well, my quote today is here to tell you that those mindsets are simply incorrect. Take a moment to read it through and I”ll meet you on the other side.
Take a moment to think about that. By telling yourself that you can’t do something you are basically sealing your own fate.
If you decide you can’t then you won’t, but what would happen if you decided that you could?
If you decided that you could get that job, that you could change your lifestyle, that you could actually achieve your dreams and goals, then anything could be possible.
So this week I have a goal for you. Try to think of something that you haven’t done simply because the voice in your head said that you couldn’t, and go for it!
Purpose. It’s a word that seems to carry a lot of weight. When someone says their career gives them purpose or their family gives them purpose, it has a kind of awe-inspiring effect.
People with a purpose to strive towards are naturally propelled forward and makes it easier to see long-term goals.
People without purpose (or people who haven’t thought about their purpose in a while) tend to focus more on the short-term and ultimately have a smaller picture than those who are striving for something.
If you take some time to reflect on your first half of life it may be easier for your purpose in your second half of life to become more defined.
The next step is to accept your purpose, the only thing that can prevent you from living out a purposeful second half of life is letting yourself fear failure. When you are truly striving towards your purpose there is no possibility of failure, only progress and learning.
Come back next week for Pro Tip #7 and remember that purpose is key!
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
– Thomas Edison
True, inspiring and motivational thoughts from one of the Gods of creativity and industry…and yet these words may leave us feeling a sense of weight and sweatshop enslavement.
We want to be busy in pursuit of productive endeavor, yes, but how do we transform the flavor of being busy to one of excitement and exploration vs. serious and heavy?
I’ve noticed in my own growth toward expanding coaching services, delivering transformational programs, and growing brand awareness that there’s rarely the old gaps in between activities or big plays.
Though not running a country or even a huge corporation, it causes one to wonder how to best keep playing big when being busy can start to wear on you.
For myself, I see that what’s needed is a transformation in my relationship to “busy”. So, when clients are double booked, there could be excitement at having seen a hole for an upleveled system to implement vs. the self-judgement of having “messed up.” When there’s an ad campaign that spent good money with no results, there can be a jubilant “Hooray!” because we’re finding out what doesn’t work first (like Edison) vs. the woe-is-me marketing-loser feeling.
Bringing the element of “play first” into the mix – where you only consider “learning experiences” vs. mistakes – is a good antidote to oppressed busy-ness. It provides the willingness to keep getting busier and playing fuller until things don’t work anymore…and learn and grow from the insights gained vs. pull back.
When production starts to stretch the current systems — we miss scheduled appointments, the ordering systems fail, longer hours are required to fill demand — these are all good news and opportunities to level-up, system-up, and play-up.
An attitude of gratitude for things starting to fall down on the job — vs. making ourselves or others wrong because things didn’t work “perfectly” — can support the “Bring it on!” thrill of growth.
Where can you joyously thank your breakdowns today for leading to your breakthroughs tomorrow?
Got a busy body?
“He not busy being born is busy dying.”
– Bob Dylan
So many people think that they don’t have control over their future once they find themselves in the midst of midlife. We want to change all of that.
The Back Forty teaches that:
“The only way you will ever be able to create your own radical future of play, passion, and purpose is by enabling yourself to have a say over how life will go from here on out.”
– Darrell Gurney, Co-Founder of The Back Forty
Take a moment to think about that. How many times have you caught yourself thinking that you are who you are or that you can’t change the path of your life?
The Back Forty teaches that you have a say over how your life will go. You can control your future, if you just take the time to invest in it. The second half of your life can be full of playfulness, passion, and purpose. You just have to decide that you want it to.
Everyone’s midlife experience is different, but regardless of the path you are following, here are 6 ways to absolutely fail at midlife!
As I said earlier, those are some absolutely wonderful ways to fail your midlife experience. If you noticed yourself as being subject to some of those thoughts or if you are just looking for a way to make your midlife better, click here and get your Top Ten Tips for a Radical Second Half of Life!