The Midlife Transition Series

Moving through MY midlife.Some researchers have argued that there is no such thing as a midlife crisis.  They say that it is not an actual event or crisis.

But just ask any therapist or life coach.  You will hear a different story.  We work with people in the midst of a midlife crisis (or trying to put the pieces of life back together after a crisis) on a regular basis.

The problem is the research assumptions.  Yes, everyone goes through adolescence.  And there are clear indications of this life stage.

But not everyone has a midlife crisis.  And the indications can vary from person to person.

If you are here, you probably aren’t doubting the reality of a midlife crisis.  You are probably trying to understand it or figure out what to do about it (or the damage from it).

I put together a series on midlife crises.  You can find the links to each episode in the series below.

MID LIFE TRANSITION SERIES:

4 Myths of a Mid Life Crisis

The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis

A Healthy Midlife Transition

Midlife Crisis or Depression?

My Midlife

3 Ways Fear Keeps You Stuck

3WaysFearKeepsYouStuckIt seems to be a specialty of mine… getting people UN-stuck.  Which means I spend a fair amount of time noting what gets people stuck in the first place.  Makes sense, right?  If you want to get un-stuck, you need to know why you got stuck.

There are some clear reasons why people get stuck.  For example, when you violate one of the 16 Immutable Laws Of Living I highlight in my latest book, you will end up stuck.  Guaranteed.  Which is why I try to spell them out for you, so you can get unstuck.

One area that consistently gets people stuck is fear.  And the way to get un-stuck is not to eliminate fear.  Mostly because it is impossible to eliminate fear.  It is wired into your brain.  Just part of being alive.

But, and this is the good news, you only have to do a little pivot in order to let fear help you.

Before I go into how you can pivot, though, I clarify three primary ways that fear can get you stuck (and keep you stuck).  Listen to learn the three ways, and the one necessary pivot.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Immutable Laws of Living Book
Getting Un-Stuck
Fear and Living

The Happiness Trap

TheHappinessTrapHave you noticed how many books there are in the bookstore on how to be happy?

Which raises the question on why, in a recent poll, only 1/3rd of Americans claimed to be happy.

We have fallen into the “happiness trap,” chasing after happiness as if that is the goal of life.

It isn’t.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing lots of interviews in lots of places about my new book, The Immutable Laws of Living.  In just about every interview, they ask me about the Immutable Law, “It isn’t about happiness.”  Some have even asked how that can be so, since the forefathers of the United States noted the right of “pursuit of happiness.”

First, their concept of happiness was far deeper than our current definition of a feeling of elation — usually about something that “happens.”  But second, pursuit is different than having.

When we chase happiness, it stays just out of reach.  Keeping us trapped in the chase… trying to find the next thing that will finally do it… only to find that it fails, too.

What’s the answer?

Listen to this episode to find the way out of the trap.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It’s Not About Happiness
Chasing Happiness Chases It Away
“I’m Just Not Happy”
Dealing With Down Days
The Immutable Laws of Living

When Your Ego Trips You Up

WhenEgoTripsA couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu.  One of my lessons was about “egoless learning.”  Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved.  And what’s wrong with that… the ego?

Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives.  Why?  Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like.  And because of that, we try to keep up an image.

And because of that, we trip.

Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor.  Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching.

So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process.  It was supposed to be a learning event.  A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach.

They weren’t looking for me to be the best teacher.  I was at the beginning of my teaching.

That said, part of my task was to teach… so they could evaluate me and help me to be better.  And to get ready, I had practiced.  I created a killer PowerPoint.  I had “show and tells.”  I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was.  I would show them!

I finished.  They offered feedback.  The first piece, “You went 2 minutes longer than your limit.”  I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized… I was not learning.  I was proving.  I was worried about my appearance.  My ego was there.

More feedback.  More temptation for rebuttal.  My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn’t the first time.  When ego appears, learning disappears.

Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
Trial and Error Living
Life As An Experiment
Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

Surviving To Thriving

FromSurvivingToThrivingWe always start at survival.  You have to survive to do anything else.  Surviving is based in dealing with scarcity and threats.

Sometimes, people get stuck in survival mode… whether it is necessary or not.  For most people, survival mode is less a necessity and more a habit.

Then, we live.  Living is about finding comfort.  People to support you, work to do, things to enjoy.  And for many people, this is the stage that feels like success.  The paycheck and opportunity gives enough comfort to enjoy life.

So, many people get stuck in the live mode.

But then, there is the opportunity to thrive.

Survive >>>> Live >>>>> Thrive

What makes the shift?  Realizing that the living isn’t enough.  There is something more.  Something deeper and more satisfying.  It’s about finding your purpose, finding your deeper meaning, making an impact in the world.

It requires taking on the challenges, looking for the opportunities… growing and stretching.

While surviving is about scarcity, living is about comfort, thriving is about abundance.  It isn’t a change in what is around you, as much as a shift in perspective.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about making the shifts.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning and Purpose
Making An Impact
Building A Thriving Life

Live Each Day As THE Day

Rules for Living Series

Rules for Living: Forgive and move forwardAncient Stoics and Latin Christians believed that every day we should “memento mori,” we should remember our death.  This practice was not to contemplate how you might die, but that you will die.  As will I.  And everyone else.

Which is what makes life so precious.  And which is what gives value and power to the choices we make in how to live this day.  Not how we lived yesterday or last year, nor how we plan to live tomorrow or next year.  But how we live today.  This is THE day you have.  The only one.

This moment.

We live our lives, spending our time (our most precious resource) moment-by-moment.  Sometimes, time slips away… with us making little progress (or maybe even some regress) toward what we want in life.

This moment.

We move toward our hopes and dreams… we carry out our life purpose… we make an impact in the world in this moment, this day.

It is the only one we have.

In this podcast episode, we talk about living life more fully, more in the moment — today.  In this moment.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
#9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment

Listen To Your Higher Self

Rules For Living Series

Rules for Living:  Listen to your Higher Self

Have you ever had that moment when you were doing something or saying something, and there was that other voice in your head… the one questioning why?  Maybe you already knew you were acting in a way you would not want to, or perhaps you were saying something you knew would be hurtful.  But you found yourself doing or saying it anyway….

Your Higher Self was talking.  Were you listening?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we talk about listening to that Higher Self.  It is far more resilient and wise than that other voice, the Ego, that gets our ear (and our actions) lots of times.

But when we make a shift… to that Higher Self… our lives make a shift, too.  We make better choices, treat others better (along with ourselves), and work from a place of courage.

This week’s Rule?  Listen to your Higher Self.  Listen to this episode for more.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Find Freedom From Forgiving

Rules For Living Series

The Rules of Living Series:  Forgive to Move Forward.Have you ever noticed how many times, we get dragged into the past and the pain, even when those hurtful times are over?  Those remnants of the events can keep us stuck, frozen in the hurt and pain.

Unless we forgive.

That’s a big word, I know.  One that is packed with meaning… and not always helpful meanings.

In another podcast, I highlight my process for actually forgiving.  It is important enough that I have a book coming out on the Forgive Process (actually, the name of the book) in October.

In this episode, we discuss why it is so hard to forgive, why you should do it anyway, and why this is so important as a rule for living.  If you struggle with forgiving, please take a listen.  It might just change your mind!

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains

Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains

Rules for Living Series

The Rules of Living by Lee Baucom

Losses are painful.  No way around it.  They are also normal. Or to say it differently, loss is a normal part of life.  Not an anomalie.  Part of being alive.

And loss leads to grief.  That is our natural reaction to any loss.  Big grief or small grief — that is simply how we process a loss, so that we can re-weave life and continue.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the “unfairness” of a loss, and we get stuck in the grief. In the process, we lose out on life.  We fail to celebrate the gains that also are a part of life.

Think of these three stages throughout your life.  We have a certain orientation to life — we understand what life is about… until something changes — a loss or a gain.  And then, we experience disorientation.  The process of grieving and celebrating brings us to a new orientation — a re-orientation.  Not the same as before.  But not necessarily worse than before.  Just different than before.

So, rule #4 is to grieve your losses and celebrate your gains.  Listen for details below.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Be Present In The Present

Rules of Living Series

Rules of Living:  Be Present in the Present

Last week, we started in a new series about my own Rules for Living.  These are the rules I try to follow in my efforts to live a thriving life.

This week, we head into rule #2:  Be Present In The Present.

These days, the buzzword is “mindfulness.”  In reality, our minds tend to be much too full.  And mindfulness is really about being present — really being in the experience of this moment.

But how do you do that?  First, you have to really show up.  Second, you have to make sure that you “distract-proof” yourself.  Third, it is all about understanding our thoughts — and letting them just be thoughts that pass on.

I cover some reasons why this rule is so important… and how to improve your “presence in the present” in this week’s podcast episode.  Listen below.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct