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Miles to Go Before You Sleep

Mile-high goals may be in store for you – even if you’re past 60, 70, or 80

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Have you hit the big 6-0, or even 7-0? In case you’ve already passed a certain age and are thinking, “I have this big dream, but I’m too old,” take heart. Even if you’re in your thirties, forties, or fifties, mile-high goals may still be in store for you – even if you’re past 60, 70, or 80! Chances are good that you’re going to live longer than you think you will.

There’s no telling what you’re capable of two, three, or four decades hence. The legendary Grandma Moses became famous as a painter in her seventies and eighties and still was creating notable works of art past age one hundred.When Ronald Reagan was re-elected as US President in 1984 he was already 73-years-old, and he left office when he was 77. These days, of course, 73 is not even “old.” In Reagan’s career, he spent twenty-five years in the motion picture and entertainment business before entering politics.

Challengers frequently belabored his show biz background, yet because of his longevity, his political career was often longer and more distinguished that that of his challengers. He had simply lived more years, and hence, had done more things.

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For My Second Career…
In Age Wave, Dr.Ken Dychtwald explains how it’s likely that you’ll have several careers within a lifetime, some totally unrelated to each other. After all, if you get out of college at age 22, you can work for 15 or 18 years in one industry, not even hit your forties, work 25 years in another industry, and even get your pension, and still work another 12 to 15 in another profession and only be in your 70’s!

As average life spans extend beyond eighty and ninety, and the health and well-being of the typical professional continues on at an advanced age, it’s not unrealistic to assume that you might achieve some spectacular goal in some arena of your life that is not even in consciousness for you at this moment.

The Seeds Have Been Planted
Many people believe that the seeds of what you might be doing twenty, thirty, and forty years from now are already in formation, if only at the cellular level!  When I took the course Technologies for Creating, designed by Robert Fritz, author of The Path of Least Resistance, I encountered one of the most powerful affirmations of my life to this point. Imagine, Fritz encourages, that everything that you’ve ever done is preparation for what’s coming next…

All the successes, all the failures, all the things that went well, all the things that went up in flames, and all of your experiences and learning to be applied for the highest good for what is coming in your life.

With that perspective, you’ve incurred no down time. There have been no wasted jobs, wasted years, or wasted efforts. Your life has been a laboratory of sorts, helping you to prepare for some grand good the likes of which might still not be clear to you.

As the philosophers say, the pattern of the universe (or, more specifically for your purposes, the pattern of your life) is right there, visible in everything you do. You have only to recognize how to work with your strengths and limitations, aptitudes and blind spots so as to transcend yourself.

Rather than living life as if looking through a rear view mirror, you boldly go where you’ve never gone before, and set and reach goals that in an earlier time might have seemed beyond your essence, yet on some level, perhaps were within you all along.

Fear and Anxiety
The two behaviors most likely to inhibit your ability to take bold, decisive moves are fear and anxiety. In her essay, Fear and Anxiety, Dr. Karen Horney offered a simple distinction between fear and anxiety. If a mother comes into her child’s room, for example, and it appears that the child has stopped breathing, one could readily observe that a fearful response is warranted. Alternatively, if the mother were to break into a panic because the child has a small rash, the mother’s response could be said to be an anxious reaction.

Dr. Horney explained that fear is an appropriate response when there is a visible, tangible signal or other significant cause for alarm. In viewing a situation, if others can understand why one might be fearful, they are more inclined to say that the fear is justified.

Anxiety, observed Dr. Horney, is based on more subjective, personal criteria. An anxious response to stimuli might be the result of unconscious association with past events. Independent observers would likely have difficulty in understanding why a mother might respond with panic to her child’s rash.

Dr. Horney explained that to a person experiencing anxiety, the associated feeling of fear is just as real and present as to someone who, objectively, is confronted by a fearful situation. Thus, it is futile to attempt to “talk” someone out a strong anxiety. Reasoning means little. The anxious person might well realize that his/her anxious response is an overreaction.

When contemplating your potential for great achievement, it’s sobering to realize overreactions – anxieties – are more likely to hold you back, than tangible concerns –  fears. This is so, because chances are you might not even be able to acknowledge that which you won’t attempt when anxiety is associated with an event.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Education

Putting North Carolina Public Education Back on Track  

With Michelle Morrow’s leadership, North Carolina public schools can be better equipped to educate and inspire today’s students.

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It’s no secret to conservatives that the nation’s children, every single one of them, are at risk. In the main, not for reasons malnutrition, growing up in a tough neighborhood, or having toxic parents. The risk that all kids face today is the potential to be indoctrinated in public schools by their own teachers, teacher’s aides, and administrators.

America’s Children Are under Siege

Some school districts in America, are populated by boards of education, principals, and school administrators who think it is their sacred duty to indoctrinate children, exposing them to all manner of adult and sex-related topics long before any child should be. As such, they usurp the rights of parents and guardians.

Nowhere is this more evident than in North Carolina where 23% of all kindergarten through 12th-grade students are enrolled in either a charter school or private school, or study at home, and the percentage increase in these three options is 84% over the last 11 years. Why? Parents want to determine the best educational options for their own children and they don’t believe that North Carolina public schools are doing an adequate job.

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Fortunately, one candidate running for NC superintendent of public instruction means to the state’s education programs back on track. Her name is Michelle Morrow, and she is a personal dynamo whose grasp on the issues is outstanding.

First and foremost, Morrow advocates having safe schools with a culture of academic achievement and civility. If it takes having a security guard in every single school throughout the state to ensure the safety of children attending class as well as teachers and school staff, Morrow is all for it.

She believes that schools should be the safest buildings in the state. Alas, they are not. In North Carolina, school crime and violence increased a whopping 84% in just the past five years. The top three crimes being reported include drug use, weapons possession, and assault – even assault of teachers.

An Advocate for What Counts

As the NC superintendent of public instruction, Morrow will support fair and effective policies that both deter crime and promote classroom civility. She’ll be a strong advocate for teachers’ rights to employ fair and reasonable measures to manage their classrooms as they see fit.

Morrow will insist on parent-friendly schools, recognizing that a child’s academic performance often hinges on the vital partnership between teachers and parents. In too many schools throughout the state, parents are kept completely in the dark about medical treatments and, surprisingly, even academic performance.

Some children are forced to take surveys requiring them to reveal details of their sexual habits and mental state, and schools employ such data to monitor, diagnose, and treat psychological issues. Parents alone, however, have the right to make medical decisions in relation to their children’s health and well-being. Government sponsored data collection needs to end. Morrow will enforce a Parents’ Bill of Rights to ensure that families are protected and that parents have dominion over their own children.

Back to the Basics

Academic achievement has suffered for years on end in North Carolina’s kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms. A staggering one-quarter of eighth graders cannot meet national math, science, or reading standards. Test scores throughout North Carolina reveal that more than 800 schools are under-performing.

As superintendent, Morrow will be focused on ensuring that all the money earmarked for education actually makes its way to the classroom. She will ensure that schools focus on teaching science, math, reading, and real history. She will advocate for small group tutoring when needed by students who are not performing well, and touting for those who are doing exceedingly well and can do even better.

Morrow recognizes that the government in Washington, D.C., has no business in the education of North Carolina students. Parents are not co-parenting with the federal government. The programs and policies that politicians and special interest groups attempt to impose on North Carolina schools must come to an end, and any interference in teaching core academics must cease immediately.

As such, Morrow will sever the ties with public interest groups while helping to strengthen local school districts’ ability to employ proven teaching methods, with the goal of enhancing core academic achievement.

The Big Picture

Morrow will seek to enhance national unity and patriotism. Too many students throughout North Carolina are subjected to one-sided history lessons that portray America as an oppressive, racist, unredeemable nation. Some schools go so far as to stereotype their students and inform them that, as a result of their ethnicity, sexuality, or religion, they are oppressors.

This one-sided, warped view of humanity and method of education must end. Instead of dividing students, Morrow will seek to foster unity and understanding. America is an exceptional country. While every country faces challenges, ours in particular has been fair, compassionate, and forward thinking in recent years.

With Morrow’s leadership, North Carolina schools can be better equipped to educate and inspire the next generation who will become the leaders of our great nation.

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Business

Bite-Sized Motivation

The insights or wisdom we need to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words

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I’ve spoken to 1075 audiences at conventions, conferences, and meetings, and have had the opportunity to hear probably 800 other speakers as well.

The insights, perspectives, or wisdom we need, to get us going often don’t have to be more than a few words. Here are 52 of my own six word “speeches,” drawn from my keynotes and breakout session on the topic of work-life balance. Some of these likely will resonate with you:

Choose from what you already have.
Everyone needs breathing space, especially you.
Information overload obscures meaning and relevance.
Deep breathes are essential for well-being.

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Make every day an organized day.
Allow your natural rhythms to rule.
Stay confident and in control daily.
Manage your time, manage your life.

Slow down to plot your course.
Look for the best in others.
Make yourself indispensable on the job.
Compete with yourself, not with others.

Learn to take control of today.
Manage your time to make time.
Take control of your desk clutter.
You’re the best when you’re fresh.

Do something to take control now.
Major projects often require a jumpstart.
Methodically pare down your paper piles.
Don’t attempt too much at once.

Evaluate your situation and what’s important.
Narrow your priorities to stay focused.
Avoid making promises you can’t keep.
Learn to embrace your many talents.

Take the time to become organized.
Become aware of how you react.
Arrange your space; help isn’t coming.
Manage the flat surfaces in life.

Periodically challenge yourself to perform better.
Take long, deep breaths as needed.
Reclaim your places, spaces, and graces.
Start big projects well in advance.

Don’t rush the truly important things.
Make the best use of today.
Schedule accordingly: plan for your future.
Be kind, cut yourself some slack.

Opportunity knocks, but are you answering?
Conventional wisdom has diminishing value.
When practical, substitute time for money.
The market for top talent lives.

The self-reliant survive and thrive.
Leadership requires forethought and super-vision.
Learn from and capitalize on mistakes.
Firmly face the future with confidence.

“Now” holds a lot of opportunity.
Control but don’t curb your enthusiasm.
Treading water won’t propel you forward.
Have you ever really tested yourself?

Life goes on; do your best.
Continually seek out the higher ground.
Luck is distributed evenly, but disguised.
You must be doing something right.

 


 

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