This post starts an eight part, very confrontive, challenging series. Don’t discount the theme. Commit to follow it all eight posts. Whether CEO or new BSN, it applies to all levels.
As middle aged adults, we often look at the younger generation with a little bit of envy. It is said that the peak reaction time of our body is around 26, when we are at our physical peak. To the outside viewer that seems pretty depressing. It means that some of us (not naming names) are over 30 years past our “prime”. That can be a pretty dismal thought. For many of us, we look at our twenties as a time where anything was possible. Some of us were choosing careers. Others were in college. Some were getting married, having children and experiencing a lot of firsts. It was an exciting time. A fulfilling time. Many of us now enjoy the fruits of our labors – a salary, grandkids, no more ramen, and other significant measures of success. If we are enjoying success – why are the forties, fifties and sixties not called the prime of our lives? Not to say that we are all in a slump, but I want to dig deeper here. Is it the physical condition? Our bodies not being capable of their twenty year old load? Is it the grinding daily routine? We had routine in our twenties. So what is it you might ask? In my view it is one strong possibility. What we loved about the early years of our lives was the possibility of accomplishing our dreams.
So here’s the challenge: Identify whether or not you have a dream. Don’t roll your eyes here and stop reading. This is exactly when you want to keep reading.
This seems like a simple task, however, it can be deceptive. I’m not pigeon-holing all who are over 40 into a hopeless group trying to find purpose. Instead I want to help each of you break the thinking that dreams are all fulfilled or died in your twenties when a job and real life put them through the shredder. Or that there is an age limit to accomplishment and reaching goals and dreams. Just yesterday, in the rolling hills in Oregon wine country, my family and I headed toward a little dairy at the end of a road where they make custom cheeses. These are amazing culinary arts!! The factory started just ten years ago. Lining the walls are ribbons and certificates proclaiming their prestige and accomplishments. Articles from major publications, including the Wall Street Journal, announce that they have arrived. And who started this? A woman who was tired of her corporate job and decided that she wanted to pursue a dream. Was it convenient? Probably not! Did she have naysayers that said she was crazy? Probably.
Did she do it? Yes!!
I am saddened by the response I many time receive when speaking about this subject of dreams. It is as if life has taken the spark out of people. The dream talk just gets the rolled eye response and the glance at the watch signifying that the mind has moved beyond the topic. Sometimes the practicality of high intellect precludes the cognition needed for creativity. Please don’t have that happen to you. These next few blogs could be game-changers.
So consider: what dream do you have? Who’s dream is it? Is it really yours? Or is it your parent’s, a friend’s you always wanted to be like, or a spouse’s dream, and you’re doing it to please them? This might hit some sore spots. Maybe you’ll realize that you are partly where you are right now due to someone else’s dream. So there is some deep thinking on tap for this week. Find what dream you have, and be ready to bring it to the table this month. Having a dream does not mean that it has to outside of your current realm of expertise! Dust it off, despite how impossible it might seem at this point in your life. Mediocrity is the absence of drive toward a dream. Mediocrity is your choice.