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From Tragic to Mythic

Suggested Song: Brand New Day, Ryan Star Suggested Drink: Samuel Adams Ambition Pale Ale

A few questions for my mid-life readers.

Q1: Approaching the end of your core career and anticipating retirement years filled with golf, travel, grandkids, and wine collecting? That’s tragic!

Q2: Building a unique base of talents, knowledge, experience, and contacts over decades of studies, work, moves, parenting and life lessons, and letting that skill-set decay in pursuit of the good life? That’s tragic!

Q3: Committing that sizeable retirement stipend to a beautiful home remodel, new furnishings, flashy toys in the driveway, and other impress-the-neighbors stuff? That’s tragic!

Q4: Over 50 and still living someone else’s vision of your life? Unwilling to disappointment a parent, partner, boss, friend, or child? Now that is really tragic!

Our greatest potential starts at midlife. By then we have made our share of mistakes; been scarred and tempered by life’s nasty lessons; been educated, coached, and drilled; have a clearer sense of our natural strengths, weaknesses, and motivations; and are driven less by income, more by passion. We may also have more disposable time and income as the core careers wind down and the kids move out. All of this offers tremendous possibilities.

Yet this is the moment when many of us decide to downshift, to redirect our time and savings toward the good life, and let our toolkit slowly rust. The truth is, sadly, that a lot of folks are happy to let entropy do its dirty deed on their brains and bodies while parking their derrieres on the proverbial bar stool of retirement. For the rest of us there is hope in the engaged life. It is one of our own choosing and can generate tremendous meaning and sense of purpose during the most productive years of our lives.

Q1: Approaching the end of you core career and anticipating a new mission; an exciting challenge steeped deeply in your grandest ambitions? That’s mythic!

Q2: Using your singularly unique base of talents, knowledge, experience, and contacts compiled over decades of studies, work, moves, parenting and life lessons toward this mission that defines your powerful sense of purpose? Pursuing the engaged life. That’s mythic!

Q3: Committing the lion’s share of that sizeable retirement stipend toward the planning and implementation of your greatest ambition? Classes and training, tools and gadgets, educational travel, new contacts for new horizons; the things that strengthen your abilities, expand your awareness, and build your legend, …not fill your garage. A pursuit centered on creative production, not competitive consumption. That’s mythic!

Q4: Over 50 and living where you want, with whom you want, and doing what you want? Writing your own life story and pursuing a Grand Ambition that brings the greatest sense of anticipation for every new day. Now that is truly mythic!

 What’s your Grand Ambition? What are you waiting for?

Bill Magill Aix-en-Provence

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