Preparing for the new year requires us to reflect on the past and envision the future although not necessarily to spend equal time on each. As I approach the new year, my focus has been sharpening on the meaning of consciousness and mindfulness. I commend Ron Pevny’s new book, Conscious Living, Conscious Aging, as a good read for those wishing to age consciously and purposefully. I found the stories, examples, exercises, and practices described in this book to be most helpful in living and aging more consciously. You may not be ready for conscious eldering but we can all focus on living and aging more consciously.
I resonate with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness: “awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” but I have yet to find a definition of consciousness that really aligns with my own thinking about conscious leaders. Consciousness and mindfulness are both about having a clear purpose and greater awareness but, as conscious leaders, we are also about intention, actions, and making decisions for a sustainable future. If you have a definition of consciousness, please share it with me via the contact page on this web site.
From all of us at 2Young2Retire we wish you a mindful, conscious, and purposeful new year.
– Paul G. Ward, Principal
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?