Opportune Times for Self-Renewal ⋆ Politicrossing
Connect with us

Life

Opportune Times for Self-Renewal

Certain circumstances present themselves as chances to renew your life

Published

on

With the last ten weeks of the year often comes reflections on the year that has passed as well as new insights and perspectives. On the professional front, you might encounter career milestones, such as a big pay increase, appointment to a special/high office, or election as an officer in your professional association or group.

You might be interviewed by a national publication, have your biographical information published in a “Who’s Who” type listing. At such times, you might find yourself naturally inclined to entertain self-renewal: a rethinking of who you are, where you are, and where you want to be.

Milestones for the Taking

Non-career-related milestones that encourage self-renewal include an invitation to be on a special committee supporting your town council, a request for your written opinion from your local newspaper about a community issue, or a decision by a literary magazine to publish your poem. Whenever any of these kinds of events occur, given the new situation, you might find it fitting and appropriate to re-examine your life.

Also evaluate personal milestones in your life. For example, a four-year scholarship could mean that, instead of your son or daughter working the summer before entering college, the whole family can go on an extended vacation.

Before and After a Mate Change

If you’re in a relationship, particularly a long-term one, and it ends, whether your heart is slightly broken or seemingly crushed beyond repair, life moves on. Having your significant other leave you is a difficult change to endure. Even if you initiated the breakup, the loss of a significant other can profoundly impact you.

Many psychologists believe that we need to learn certain lessons, so we attract partners that will help us learn such lessons. Some people believe we are attracted to others who seemingly have what we lack, so in our quest to be complete, we want relationships with these people to complete us.

Whether or not you’ve recently found someone new or you’re in a long-term relationship, you have the opportunity to view your mate in a new light. Perhaps it’s time to talk about how your relationship will be in the coming month, year, or five years.

If you’re in that in-between time, looking for somebody and not sure when and where he or she will appear, then think about what you’re seeking in your next relationship.

Age Milestones

Another useful factor in terms of self-renewal is age. The mere fact that you turn 30 or 40 might be enough of an incentive for you to buckle down and try something new. A birthday ending in zero is a huge event. When you turn 30, 40, 50, or 60, you’ve passed a stage in life you’ll never pass again. It is a great time to clear out the old and bring in the new things in your life.

Age 40 has traditionally been a milestone, as in the expression “life begins at 40.” Age 65 is a traditional retirement age. Age 80, becoming an octogenarian, is, in recent decades, held as a rite of passage. Age 90 is even more exclusive.

Wedding anniversaries are also milestones in your life. Each anniversary represents the opportunity for self-renewal. A 25th anniversary is certainly notable, and every five-year interval after that is admirable. Fiftieth anniversaries are rare, but you may be among the lucky few.

Opportunities Abound

Take the opportunity to renew yourself during passages through your own life cycle. Consider the opportunities for self-renewal before and after moving, when changing a job, or when changing a mate. Also, identify and acknowledge career and personal milestones that you can use to establish new ideas for your life.

Circumstances consistently present themselves as chances to renew your life. It is up to you to take advantage of them.

– – – – –

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


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®



  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
 
 
 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.



Life

Ignore Much of What Pundits Have to Say

Can we be confident in advice we receive from people who have not mastered what they teach?

Published

on

When the opportunity arose, I attended a lecture by one of the most well-known authors and speakers in America. I had previewed his CD and read two of his books prior to his lecture; in person, he lived up to my expectations. So, I was intrigued when a friend, involved with bringing this speaker to our area relayed a personal incident to me. 

Directly following the speaker’s presentation, my friend was responsible for driving him to the airport, and accompanying him until his flight departed. That summer afternoon, it was rainy and the skies were dark.

As it turned out, the author was a nervous flyer and took several drinks in the airport lounge prior to boarding the plane.  I found this incident to be amazing because I had so often heard him say things such as, “Everything in this universe is perfect.” It struck me that, in many ways, the speaker wasn’t practicing his philosophy. Nevertheless, all human beings have their faults and foibles and, as time passed, I forgot about the incident.

High-Priced Gurus

One morning, I had the occasion to pick up USA Today. In the lifestyle section, there was a feature on a relationship guru and author of international best-sellers on relationships. She had won the “Oscar” of infomercials, earning $24 million in a single year.  

In this published interview, the reporter asked her why we should listen to a relationship guru who had been married five times. Five times? I couldn’t believe it! She had wedded her fifth husband, some 11 years her junior, only a short time before producing her award-winning infomercial on having a successful relationship. 

In the infomercial, she is featured as having a loving relationship with her husband. Okay, but in no way does the infomercial tell us that he is her fifth husband and that she had married him three weeks ago.

Not Walking their Talk

I had a flash from the past: I recalled the story about the nervous flyer author. Yet, nothing prepared me for the revelations about the relationship guru, a self-proclaimed expert, using the slickest 21st-century marketing available to sell her information and products.  

She was well-versed in her subject matter. Upon hearing her advice, I recognized that it did seem sound. However, the larger issue is, “Can we be confident in the advice we receive from those who have not mastered what they teach, or who do not even remotely walk their talk?”

– – – – –

 

Continue Reading

Education

Academic Underachievement As a Permanent Condition

Academic achievement occurs through individual effort: One boy and one girl after another rising above

Published

on

On the state and local level, as decisions are made about how and in what form we will educate the nation’s children, an age-old issue remains. The underlying causes of income inequality and civil unrest likely has less to do with media-inflamed coverage and more to do with a lingering issue that few people want to earnestly discuss: educational disparity.

In virtually every U.S. school system, the disparity year after year, decade after decade, and even longer, in mathematics competency, reading proficiency, test scores, honor roll status, and graduation rates, between African American students and other students is disturbing.

A Disturbing Reality

Here in the third decade of the third millennium, with a male African American high school dropout rate at 40% across the U.S., can anyone view the situation optimistically? Any responsible American would understandably be concerned.

As Eric Hanushek, who is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, exclaimed “It’s remarkable.” Following his extensive analysis of the situation, he remarked, “I knew that the gap hadn’t been closing too much, but when I actually looked at the data I was myself surprised.”

In one community after another, and one school system after another, when strenuous efforts to bridge the gap do not bear fruit, invariably someone yells “foul,” as if some grand conspiracy is occurring and a magic wand, yet to be waved, could suddenly redress all. And, as if hard-working, dedicated teachers are not attempting their utmost for each of their students.

An Undesired Path

Consider the school system in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina. This locale, deemed, “The southern part of heaven,” by a variety of writers, is among the most progressive in the United States. The teachers and educators here have a vested interest in demonstrating that their school system, beyond all others, can succeed in the vital area of closing achievement gaps between whites and minorities.

Nevertheless, year in and year out the gap remains. So, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education becomes primed to try anything! Another in an endless line of supposed “fixes” was to eliminate the advanced math classes in the middle schools and to lump all non-pre-algebra students together, with similar plans to eliminate other advanced classes such as in language arts.

Just as you cannot easily erect a sound building on quicksand, and you cannot expect to solve a decades-old problem by starting with a shaky foundation. Taking a lowest common denominator approach to developing school curriculum has never consistently worked, anywhere. It frustrates the students and dramatically increases a teacher’s burden – all such students must then be taught at individual learning speeds. Do you know any superhuman teachers? If so, could you afford them?

Face the Real Issues

Permanently closing the academic gap between underachieving students and the rest of the student population requires addressing reality – airing the truth about the disparity – not resorting to politically “correct” psychobabble and curricula finagling for another ten years, and then another ten, and then another.

This disparity encompasses such issues as the number of hours the television is on in given households, family or parental encouragement for completing homework assignments, a regular workspace, and established hours for studying in a quiet environment, among other factors.

Until solid analysis, exploration, and programs that address these issues are undertaken, no amount of wrangling with classes will prove to be the “winning formula.” And, school boards will have no chance of effectively addressing the continuing problem of poor academic performance among student groups.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Sign of Four, detective Sherlock Holmes says, “…When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The schools in U.S. communities routinely exhaust talented teachers with a task that cannot be solved by them, nor is it theirs to solve.

Students Eager to Learn

However improbable to those who wish to pretend otherwise, academic achievement occurs through individual effort: One boy and one girl after another rising above and cracking the books, then coming to class as serious students, eager to learn, and primed to excel. Such achievement is not likely to occur any other way.

Otherwise, expect that income inequality and civil unrest will continue for decades into the 21st century.

– – – – –

 

Continue Reading

 

Our Newsletter

Become a Politicrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Sites We Like

Our Newsletter

Become a PolitiCrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Trending