Which makes me feel a whole lot better about the last 5 years of my life. Thank
you nicely, Udhay.
> On Sep 21, 2016, at 20:42, Udhay Shankar N <ud...@pobox.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 11:28 PM, Sandhya aka Sandy <
> sandhya.varn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> To Dave and other's points on wondering what to do with time - I don't
>> think I'll have that challenge at all. I have a number of things that I
>> want to do. Or want to do more of. Like not ending a sentence with a
>> preposition. Shame on me. :)
> Something just floated past on the clickstream that seemed appropriate in
> this context:
> 8 Ways You Can Survive — And Thrive In — Midlife 7:52
> One secret to midlife happiness is being a rookie at something. Trying new
> things and failing keeps you robust.
> After two years of research and more than 400 interviews about midlife,
> former NPR reporter Barb Bradley Hagerty received dozens of insights about
> how to live well in the middle years. We've distilled them here, with a
> little context. And, by the way, these ideas work well for people on both
> sides of the midlife divide.
> 1. Aim for long-term meaning rather than short-term happiness, and you will
> likely find both. Aristotle suggested as much when he talked about
> eudaemonia, or the good life: striving with a purpose — raising terrific
> children, training for a marathon — rather than setting your sights on
> immediate pleasures, such as enjoying a good meal or a day at the beach.
> It's also the best thing you can do for your mind and your health.
> 2. Choose what matters most. Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School
> describes the eroding effect of short-term decisions — specifically, doing
> the activity that brings you immediate gratification (such as work) and
> putting off harder but ultimately more fulfilling activities (such as
> investing in your marriage and children). I talked with many people who
> privileged work over family because work brought immediate rewards. These
> people closed the sale, they shipped the product, they pulled an
> all-nighter to get the story on the radio, they were promoted and praised
> for a job well done. "And as a consequence," Christensen says, "people like
> you and me who plan to have a happy life — because our families truly are
> the deepest source of happiness — find that although that's what we want,
> the way we invest our time and energy and talents causes us to implement a
> strategy that we wouldn't at all plan to pursue."
> 3. Lean into fear, not boredom. Most of us become competent at our work by
> our 40s, and then we have a choice: Play it safe or take a risk. Howard
> Stevenson, also a professor (emeritus) at Harvard Business School, believes
> the greatest source of unhappiness in work is risk aversion — which leads
> to stagnation and resentment. "There's a difference between 20 years of
> experience, and one year of experience 20 times," he says. Stevenson and
> the other career experts I interviewed do not recommend chucking it all to
> blindly follow a fantasy. Rather, be intentional as you try to shape your
> work to reflect your skills, personality and talents. But we have only one
> spin at the wheel, so make it count. A great line from Stevenson: "Ask
> yourself regularly: How will I use these glorious days left to me for the
> best purpose?"
> 4. "At every stage of life, you should be a rookie at something." This
> insight comes from Chris Dionigi, a Ph.D. in "weed science" and the deputy
> director of the National Invasive Species Council (that kind of weed). He
> believes trying new things and failing keeps you robust. He took comedy
> improv classes and now spends many nights and weekends riding his bicycle
> as an auxiliary police officer for Arlington County, Va. Always have
> something new and challenging in your life, he says, "and if that something
> is of service to people and things you care about, you can lead an
> extraordinary life."
> 5. Add punctuation to your life. Young adulthood offers plenty of
> milestones: graduating from college, starting a career, getting married,
> having your first child. But Catharine Utzschneider, a professor at the
> Boston College Sports Leadership Center who trains elite middle-aged
> athletes, says midlife is like "a book without any structure, without
> sentences, periods, commas, paragraphs, chapters, with no punctuation.
> Goals force us to think deliberately." She was so right, as I found when
> Mike Adsit, a four-time cancer survivor and competitive cyclist, challenged
> me to compete in the Senior Games (for people 50 and older) in 2015.
> Suddenly I had little goals every day — a faster training session, or a
> 50-mile ride — and the prospect of these little victories launched me out
> of bed each morning. Even if you don't win — I came in seventh in the race
> — you win.
> 6. A few setbacks are just what the doctor ordered. Bad events seem to
> cluster in midlife — losing a spouse, a marriage, a parent, your job, your
> perfect health. But people with charmed lives — zero traumas — were
> unhappier and more easily distressed than people who had suffered a few
> negative events in their lifetime. According to resilience research, some
> setbacks give you perspective and help you bounce back. And here's what I
> learned from Karen Reivich at the University of Pennsylvania, who trains
> Army personnel about resilience. After I fell off my bike and broke my
> collarbone — threatening my book deadline — I called her up. She gave me
> two tricks: First, "OPM": Other people matter. People who let other people
> help them tend to recover better than those who are fiercely independent.
> Second, rely on your top character strengths to get you through. (You can
> take the character strengths test as well as other questionnaires on the
> University of Pennsylvania's website.) As embarrassing as my strengths are
> — industry and gratitude — they helped me cope until I could drive, type,
> dry my hair or unscrew the mayo jar.
> 7. Pay attention: Two of the biggest threats to a seasoned marriage are
> boredom and mutual neglect. The brain loves novelty, and love researchers
> say a sure way to revive a marriage on autopilot, at least temporarily, is
> to mix things up a bit. Go hiking, take a trip to an undiscovered land — or
> drive an RV down the Blue Ridge Parkway, which my husband and I did in June
> 2013. Honestly, I thought nothing could be more pointless or boring, but
> based on the novelty research, we piled in with our dog, Sandra Day, and
> two friends. Something went wrong almost every day — we got caught in a
> flood, the brakes nearly went out, we could not figure out how to dump the
> blackwater (don't ask) for some time. We had the time of our lives. It took
> us out of our comfort zone, it gave us a grand adventure; it was, in short,
> The Best Vacation Ever.
> 8. Happiness is love. Full stop. This observed wisdom comes from George
> Vaillant, a psychiatrist and researcher who directed Harvard's Study of
> Adult Development for several decades. The study — still ongoing — followed
> men from the Harvard classes of 1939-44 to see what makes people flourish
> over a lifetime. Vaillant found that the secret to a successful and happy
> life is not biology. It is not genes. It is not social privilege or
> education. It is not IQ or even family upbringing. The secret to thriving
> is warm relationships. Oh, then there's this happy coda: Second chances
> present themselves all the time, if you'll only keep your eyes open.
> Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the author of Life Reimagined, and a former NPR
> ((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com)) ((www.digeratus.com))