Gratefulness

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States of America. It is a day when we remind ourselves of all the things we can be grateful for. As many of you know, my Mother passed away last month. She was 86 years old and married to my Father for 66 years. I am grateful to have been brought into this world by such a wonderful person. I am also grateful for the opportunity of staying with my Father, in the home in which I grew up, for much of the time since her passing. I know he is grateful for the 66 years of married life and is missing his life-long companion more than words can tell. For all of you who have lost loved ones, my hope is that, as you progress through these life transitions, you can feel and express your gratefulness for everything they brought into your lives.

At 2Young2Retire, gratefulness abounds. In addition to being grateful for all our family and friends we are grateful for the opportunity to serve those experiencing life’s transitions. I am also grateful for the kind thoughts, cards, and emails coming my way over the past few weeks and look forward to continuing our interactions. Happy Thanksgiving!

Paul G. Ward

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Purposeful action by CVS Caremark

The news that CVS will stop selling cigarettes has been received with acclamation and at 2Young2Retire we enthusiastically join in the applause for their action. But there’s more! Here is what Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Caremark, said: “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.” (CVS Caremark press release, February 5, 2014).

This reference to purpose was overlooked in much of the press yet, for me, this was an essential part of the message. The CVS purpose is, “Helping people on their path to better health.” Living life on purpose is vital for people inside and outside of organizations, for people of all ages, and particularly for those of us in the second half of life. I don’t know how much the work of the leaders and employees of CVS is consistent with their stated purpose but I was impressed by Larry Merlo’s reference to purpose in the press release. I will be watching to see how well CVS people live according to their purpose: “Helping people on their path to better health. It’s our purpose, our promise, our passion … every day.”

How have you described your purpose? How well are you living on purpose every day? What does purposeful aging mean to you?

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A Mindful Transition Pause

Wherever you are on your journey of transitions, I hope you will find time during this Thanksgiving week here in the US to take a mindful transition pause. Many of us are experiencing or anticipating transitions in our careers and in our lives. These transitions are rarely easy and we can easily fall into a period of depression where we feel disconnected from our past, dissatisfied with the present, and uncertain about our future.

To avoid the mindless transition pause where we feel lost between two worlds, letting go of our past identity without knowing our true identity, or unable to replace the job we recently lost, it is time to become more focused, more intentional, and more purposeful about the future. A mindful transition pause is a time of reflection, letting go of the past to allow space for the future to emerge, a place for you to simply be, in preparation for what is to come. An excellent place to start this mindful transition pause is in the place of gratitude. Expressing gratitude for the past and for the present creates the space for a more conscious, purposeful, and fulfilling future.

My thanks to Madisyn Taylor for introducing me to the mindful transition pause in her inspirational daily OM (http://bit.ly/I2bwpN). Continuing in the spirit of gratefulness, thank you for reading this blog and thank you for your emails and calls. These connections help us at 2Young2Retire to help you, wherever you are on your journey.

I will end this post with a Quero Apache Prayer: “Looking behind I am filled with gratitude. Looking forward I am filled with vision. Looking upwards I am filled with strength. Looking within I discover peace.” I wish you a mindful, purposeful, and happy Thanksgiving!

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Congratulations Purpose Prize Winners!

Congratulations to the 2013 Purpose Prize Winners! The seven inspirational purpose prize winners this year each demonstrate how they use their wisdom and experience to make a difference in the lives of others. Health, veteran support, and parenting behind bars are some of passions of these inspirational elders. They are role models for us all.

Marika and Howard Stone, founders of 2Young2Retire, are past winners of the Purpose Prize. We appreciate the service of all of the purpose prize winners and the many other elders who are Too Young To Retire® and are focused on improving their communities and the world. For more information on this year’s winners, visit: http://www.encore.org/prize/meet-2013-purpose-prize

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Dream the Impossible Dream

Congratulations to swimmer Diana Nyad on her successful Cuba to Florida crossing. Diana’s success came on her fourth attempt at the age of 64. Emerging from the water at Key West on September 2, 2013, Diana is reported to have told waiting TV crews: “I have three messages: one is we should never ever give up; two is you are never too old to chase your dreams; and three is it looks like a solitary sport but it is a team.” After three previous unsuccessful attempts, this dream may have seemed impossible but Diane never gave up chasing her dream. Diane is the first person to swim from Cuba to the US without a shark cage. Whatever your dream, and however impossible is seems, today’s message is: dream the impossible dream then make it happen.

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Conversations on Aging

At 2Young2Retire, we are all about conversations that matter in the second half of life. Changing the conversation around aging is one of Karen Sand’s missions and her recent post on the multiple conversations on aging is well worth a read. Karen talks about conversations with ourselves, with our own generation, and with multiple generations. Convening these conversations is the work of 2Young2Retire facilitators. To read Karen’s article, go to: http://bit.ly/15djyDd

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Baby boomer suicides on the increase

Increasing suicide rates among baby boomers has been widely reported in the press this week. Rather than analyzing the causes of the increase, my thoughts went to how the 2young2retire® community help those affected by suicidal thoughts and those left behind after such a tragic end.

Much of the work of 2young2retire® facilitators is in creating small communities for connection and conversation. Conversations can be about careers, health, financial matters, travel, relationships, or any other topic of interest. Members of the group can select the topic. Reflecting on the past is interesting but looking forward with purpose can stimulate positive thinking and new directions. We all face challenges in our lives but what can we do to help those in greatest need, those who think life is simply not worth living, find something positive?

Reach out to someone today. Create a conversation that matters between two people or a larger group and stimulate some positive thinking.

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Happy Thanksgiving and The Cure

I always knew The Cure as an English rock band originally formed close to my home town in Southern England but now I have learned “The cure is …” a transformational movie not only for those of us too young to retire® but for all ages. This transformational film experience is about how every human body is brilliantly designed for vitality and longevity. It provides inspiration on many levels and many of the important aspects of positive aging such as health, nutrition, and spirituality. Even Napoleon Hill, author of the best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, makes an appearance reminding us of the natural law he describes as: “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

Another reminder in the movie and the three accompanying shorts is about the importance of love. In the season of gratitude, love yourself and everyone. Start by sending love your own way today.

So in addition to wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, I encourage you to find out what the cure is… Cut and paste this link into your browser: http://thecureismovie.com/?page_id=395/#!/deployment_code=16589227mdswr1

Paul G Ward, Principal, 2Young2Retire

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