Why Retirement Is NOT An Option.

I read a wonderful article in Newsweek the other day — "More Senior Americans Are Working Past Retirement, Willingly" (link). There was a powerful quote from Dr. Leonard Bailey, a 74 year-old heart surgeon who still puts in 80-90 hour weeks and has no plans to retire, "There’s no reason to stop. If you’re constantly thinking new thoughts and dealing with new problems, it refreshes your brain cells and makes new connections."

I LOVE IT. That's the way I am. Even my Dad, who retired after 40+ years working for Electrolux, was asked back by management to keep working because they couldn't find a replacement who knew his job. So he worked an additional 10 years (7 AM-12 Noon) and deftly stayed out of my Mom's hair.

Let's break Dr. Bailey's quote down to not only understand it, but to apply it to our own lives:

"There’s no reason to stop."

There really isn't. Retirement is a societally imposed situation that rips out a major part of our life. Work is a part of our life, our personality, our being and it contributes to the 'adequacy' of our being. I constantly tell clients — you generally sleep 8 hours, you work 8 hours, and you spend 8 hours on personal time. Work is a big part of your life for many, many years. Why stop?

I'm not saying keep putting in 80-90 hours per week, but you can power-down slowly. Ask to only work 4-day weeks and reduce your pay accordingly. Then 3-day weeks. Then 2-day weeks. You get the picture.

"If you’re constantly thinking new thoughts and dealing with new problems"

When was the last time you really sat down and brainstormed about your career or business? Really separated yourself and 'thought new thoughts' about your situation, your position, your industry, your client base and all the people around you?

When was the last time you stopped thinking about your 'problems' and started addressing them as 'challenges'? Carlos Casteneda said, "The difference between  a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse." Start being that warrior in life.

"It refreshes your brain cells and makes new connections"

If you keep the flow of new ideas, new challenges, new people, and new activities in your life, it will refresh your brain and make new connections. If you exercise the muscle — it will get stronger.

Keep working, keep meeting new people, keep stretching your comfort zone, keep learning, and most of all keep making it happen.

How To Solve ANY Problem.

Okay — the title might be a little misleading. If you just robbed a bank and are evading the authorities, this post will probably not work for you (Sorry). But for most business and career problems — this will do just fine.

The Secret To Getting Things Done.

Candidly, it hard to get things done. Of course, some things are easy, but many of them are quite difficult. We are always looking for ways to do things better, faster, and with less worry and work. Years ago, I came upon one of the most simple and powerful quotes I've ever read. It's from Mohandas Gandhi, who in his 78 years of life, gave us so many great quotes (and his actions too!).

"Action Expresses Priorities."

That's it. That's MY secret to getting things done.

Think about it — All of your actions, all the things you do, all the things you deliver — set your priorities. Once you take action, you instantly decide what you want to do first. Why? People tend to act upon those things that have meaning to them.

But I think it's deeper than that. I think when you don't know what to do, you need to just take action anywhere and suddenly certain things will start to fall into place.

But that's the problem today — we don't take action. We're afraid to — we procrastinate, over-analyze, and postpone because we are sometimes afraid of action.

Because action will ensure we have to make a decision — we have to do something that is sometimes hard, or we will have to deal with the results of that action.

But what we don't realize is that action moves us forward. It propels us . . . it forces us to rocket faster and faster. And sometimes we are afraid of that.

So ask yourself:

  • How can I take action today?
  • What should I do first? Second? Third?
  • What should I stop doing?

So the next time you are putting off something — a decision, a task, a phone-call — just think "Action Expresses Priorities".


How Not To Get Angry On The Job.

"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you're carrying a grudge, they're out dancing." - Buddy Hackett We all get angry. It's normal.

The real question is WHY we get angry. As I tell my clients, to be happy, we need to have a certain amount of control in our lives. Not totally, but we have to have a handle on many situations to ensure that we don't go quietly insane.