(#369) About Kayaks And Perspective

June 18, 2017

If we focus on the possible negative, we get sucked into it.

Lessons. Everywhere, lessons present themselves.  And they remind us that we are always students. Lifelong learners. If we pay attention.

My latest education has come over the past few weeks courtesy of my new twelve-foot ocean kayak.

Previously, I had paddled in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and in North Florida inlets.  Let’s say my first week of ocean kayaking has gifted me some wonderful lessons.

  • Perspective. I spend time on the beach observing surfers and paddle boarders. I notice smooth water, small waves, and storm-tossed breakers. The appreciation for the conditions, though, changed when I walked my kayak into the ocean for the first time. The waves took on a very different perspective  atop of (and soon tossed from) my kayak seat.
    • Lesson. Until we dive into a project, we do not have a full appreciation of what to expect.  A new job might look perfect—until we report to work. Perhaps it’s criticizing a co-worker, government action, or the stance of a group different from ours.  Until we get into that water, we really don’t understand that perspective.

  • Respect and Fear. I have always had a deep respect for the ocean.  That is different from the fear I felt the first time I paddled beyond the breakers. I could feel myself tense up—which in turn led to poor body mechanics. Instead of attacking the waves, I stopped paddling–and eventually ended up in the water with the boat on top of me. (With a broken seat back and lost sunglasses, thank you very much!)
    • Lesson. Fear can lead to counter-productive actions. We start to focus on the thing we do NOT want to do. I once heard a race car driver’s advice on how NOT to hit the racetrack wall. Simply, he said, do NOT look at the wall. If we focus on the possible negative, we get sucked into it. My first day on the kayak I focused on the waves and not being tossed rather than focusing on the shore and gliding to a stop. I tensed up and face planted in the water.

  • Adrift. The first time I got beyond the breakers and to (relatively) smoother, less undulating water, I looked back and saw that I was further from shore than I had thought. The voice in my head cried, “What the hell are you doing out here? Way out here?”
    • Lesson. When we attempt something new, when we stretch ourselves, we might feel adrift. Like we have no anchor. We find ourselves treading unfamiliar waters. Some people quit. Some figure out how to persevere. Some look for reassurance and guidance.  In my case, I looked a little north and spied surfers and paddle boarders. I felt better knowing others were close by. They wouldn’t paddle my boat but just knowing others were in similar waters gave me a feeling of security. When you feel lost and adrift, look around for those who may be in similar waters. Collegiality can be a powerful motivator.
  • Coaching. I sought out a neighbor with experience to help me with kayaking technique.  From posture, to paddle stroke, to entering and leaving the surf, he has provided needed guidance. Simple ideas take root due to his repetition
    • Lesson.  There is no need to be an island.  Reach out for coaching.  A fresh set of eyes and a different perspective can help move you to a new level. (And do not forget gratitude. Bruce found a twelve-pack of his favorite beverage on his patio later that week.)
  • Daily Discipline. Each day I go out, I see improvement. I paddle further; spill less frequently; unload, load, and strap the kayak to the cart with more skill.  I now look at how the waves break on a particular day before lunging into the surf.  I am more aware. I still have a long way to paddle—and I have come a long way, as well.
    • Lesson. Whether you want to call it locus of control or self-efficacy, when you fall short, get up, fall again, get up again…ad nauseum….you learn, you grow, and move closer to a goal. If we fail to notice that we fail to notice—we hinder our movement forward.


Video recommendation for the week.

Sometimes laughing is the best way to soothe a bruised ego. With that in mind, my bride sent me this video link.  Even kayakers have a blooper reel.


Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


(#350) Regrets? Choices And Lessons.

February 5, 2017

A culmination of all those choices. Some small.
Some large. All help create the person you are becoming.

Would you, if you could, go back in time and change the choices that you made?  I know.  A wide open question and open to lots of interpretation. (I’m not thinking about those 1970’s leisure suits you might have bought…though I can remember that red crushed faux velvet suit I wore in 1974.  Insert hand against forehead here!)

In response to an earlier blog post, a friend shared a Mercyme music video with me last week. (I have posted it in the Video Recommendation section below.) The songwriter is writing a letter to his younger self. At one point he considers, “Even though I love this crazy life, sometimes I wish it were a smoother ride….”

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

While there have been some rough, tumultuous, and gut-wrenching times, I don’t think I would change my choices. Yes, some of the stuff was a real pain in the posterior. Sure, if I had the “power” to go back, I would be tempted to take back an ill-advised word, change a self-congratulatory action, or rethink an ill-conceived plan.  And while I might wish I had had more tact, diplomacy, and grace, I am willing to concede that all of those choices for good or bad made me who I am today.

I own the choices. I look at their culmination in the mirror each day.

I have had failures to be sure. As cliché as it sounds, they helped me grow.

Again, Mercyme sings it this way to the younger self:

…Or do I go deep

And try to change

The choices that you’ll make

‘Cause they’re choices

That made me….

Regrets? That’s a question each person has to answer. I do not make light of traumatic situations you may have faced or currently confront.  Consider, however, your overall life journey. The people you have touched. The differences you have made and the legacy you will leave (and build each day).  A culmination of all those choices. Some small. Some large. All help create the person you are becoming. Don’t be too quick to dismiss any of them. This does not excuse inappropriate behavior. It does look for lessons, though.

John Milton observed that “the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

I titled a song on my second CD, “Love My Life.”  And old man speaks to a young person and shares:

Listen to what I say

Life’s too short to throw away

It’s filled with many threats

And too many do regret the life they’ve lived

But I choose to live my life instead.


Enjoy the entire recording by clicking below. (c) Steve Piscitelli. 2010. All rights reserved.


Video recommendation for the week:

Mercyme’s Dear Younger Me.


Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

Check out my latest podcasts at The Growth and Resilience Network™
(http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

Check out my website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


(#347) Clues At The Tip Of My Nose

January 15, 2017

The little child had returned to remind and reassure me
to believe in my abilities and myself.

A few months ago, I sat on a balcony three stories above the Gulf of Mexico in Key Largo, Florida.  The pre-sunrise morning had a calming stillness about it.  As I sat alone, I listened to a guided meditation.

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

One of the suggestions during the practice asked me to imagine looking in the window of my childhood home and describe the scene.  How old was I? What was I doing? How did I look? And, how did I feel looking at “little Steve”? On the other side of the window, I saw my younger self, sitting there.

On that balcony, with my eyes closed, I saw this unfold in my mind’s eye, at the tip of my nose. I distinctly remember experiencing a flood of emotions. Some happy. Some not so joyful. At one point of the meditation, young Steve, turned toward the window and looked at his older self, staring at him from the outside. As I looked into his eyes, little Steve looked hopeful, fearful, joyful, and tearful.  He appeared to need reassuring.  What would it be like on the other side of that window his eyes seemed to ask?

A few days ago, during my morning meditation, a host of random thoughts attempted to crowd into my bid for peace in the gap. All at once, I experienced a blur—kind of a fast-motion video—at the tip of my nose. As I focused, the image slowed down. I saw faces of smiling innocent little children pass by. Finally, there was little Steve again. Looking me straight in the eye. Why was he back? Had he ever left?

I searched for a message—what was the little person looking for?

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

Photo (c) Steve Piscitelli

At the time, I had been grappling with a few major decisions and challenges. More so than normal (for me), I had been feeling a bit anxious about the next steps. When I thought about my younger self, I remembered all of the times little Steve felt anxious about the future—sometimes, just about the next day. Back then, I found a way forward. At times with help from those near me and, at other times, by my own grit. (Though, at the time, I had no idea what “grit” or “resilience” meant.)

So, maybe, the little child I saw at the tip of my nose that morning had returned to remind and reassure me to believe in my abilities and myself. In his child-like way, he knew I was the one needing reassurance.  He had my back and he reminded me of all I learned years earlier about courage, fortitude, and appreciation for myself.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection.
– Buddha –


Video recommendation for the week:

Enjoy this video reminder of what children can teach us…if we only pay attention.  While I cannot speak about the book promoted in the video (I have not read it), the video packs a lot into a brief few minutes.  Enjoy.


Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

Check out my latest podcasts at The Growth and Resilience Network™
(http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

Check out my website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


(#323) Who Sets Your Agenda?

July 31, 2016

Why let someone else interrupt
my thought process and mindset
with what they see as something
I “need” to know “right now”
from the “world out there”?

Every cardio machine in our local gym has the ubiquitous television monitor attached to it. And every morning you will find members dutifully burning off calories, building stamina, and getting their daily agenda (in part or in full) set for them.

Maybe you know people for whom, after awakening each morning, the first exercise they get is to grab the remote and click on the morning “news.”  This assumes, of course, that they had not fallen asleep with the last thing they heard coming from the agenda of someone else’s mouth.  Perhaps they suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I don’t know.

A study from more than forty years ago found

In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news* story and its position….

Arvind Balaraman@FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Arvind Balaraman@FreeDigitalPhotos.net

[The above * added by me.  According to dictionary.com, “news” is defined as “the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper or other periodical or on radio or television.” Perhaps we should address whether the “news” is really “news.”  Other than a change in name or location, for instance, does the general presentation of the “news” change?  Look at most programming and you have some semblance of this order: “Breaking News Alert” followed by “story about death” followed by “story about destruction” followed by “story about weather catastrophe” followed by “story about crash during rush hour” followed by “story about economic calamity” followed by….

Doesn’t really sound “newsy” to me.]

It would be simplistic to state that the “news” tells us how to think.  It may not be much of a stretch, however, to say that the “news” does direct what we think about–if we allow it.  And it’s not just the network or cable news. If I were to wake up and immediately go to my social media feed, I stand the chance of my “friends” setting my agenda for the day.

The late Jim Rohn (speaker, author, trainer) said that you are the “average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Who we hang with matters.  Matters in terms of good/poor physical health, optimistic/pessimistic outlook, hopeful/fearful about the future, and loving/hating others.  These people can, if we let them, set our agenda for the day.  They will “contribute” soon enough during the day. I make the argument to give yourself some time to think, reflect, set YOUR course, and then invite them onto YOUR agenda. Maybe create a JOMO movement (Joy Of Missing Out!).

Years ago, I decided that I would take more control of setting my daily agenda. Not just the to-do list but my mindset as well.  I don’t wish to start my day with someone squawking at me from the TV or screaming through my earbuds.  I seldom read the newspaper with my morning coffee. There will be time enough to get to my email. I am fortunate to live in a loving relationship (rather than a conflict-habituated one) that starts the day with pleasantries rather than an argument.

I still get my “news”—but remain discerning (and hopefully critical) about my sources (looking for various views).

I have eliminated just about all “news” alerts on my devices. Among the few exceptions: baseball, local weather and airline texts when I travel.  Why let someone else interrupt my thought process and mindset with what they see as something I “need” to know “right now” from the “world out there”?

Video recommendation of the week. And since it’s “news” I think I already know the categories of the most recent “Breaking News Alert!”

Yes, of course, if there is an emergency situation, I can tune it.  But if every moment of every day is an “emergency” then we might need to redefine emergency.

Even if your start time is only fifteen or thirty minutes (or five or ten) before the world starts calling you, why not take control of that little time to set your intentions for the day? Their intentions will come calling soon enough.

“Breaking News Alert!”- Start your day intentionally and make it a great one.

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

Check out my latest podcast (about ex-offenders and resilience).  You can find my podcast series at The Growth and Resilience Network (http://stevepiscitelli.com/video-media/podcasts).

Check out my website  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.

(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 

 


(#249) A Life Well-Lived

March 1, 2015

Yesterday, our Buddy arrived at the end of his nearly 15-year journey
and crossed over the rainbow bridge. To say there is a hole in our hearts at the moment is a gross understatement. But,  we have to remember that Buddy touched us as he did so many others he met on his journey.  He leaves lessons and a life well-lived.

Years ago I read Tuesdays with Morrie the story of a dying professor and one of his past students.  The reader is taken on the emotional journey of Morrie’s slow demise. There were moments of humor, tears, and life lessons. The author, Mitch Albom, weaves a tapestry of life with meaning.

In one scene, Albom asked Morrie how he envisioned his final day of life here on earth.  While I don’t recall the exact details, I remember that it was simple.  A walk in the park, time with friends, hugs with family.  And then it would be time.  A life well-lived.

Yesterday, our Buddy arrived at the end of his nearly 15-year journey and crossed the rainbow bridge. As often happens with “old age,” Buddy had physically and cognitively slowed down considerably. He could no longer enjoy (or make) his way to the beach. In the last two months it was becoming increasingly evident that he was not going to recover from his many maladies.  But his spirit kept him (and us) going.

Buddy

(Buddy in his younger days.)

Heck, on this past Christmas Day he showed his good nature and neighborliness by dressing up as Santa’s “Rein-dog” to help deliver holiday cheer to our neighbors.

Buddy 001

A few years ago on this blog I wrote about lessons that Buddy taught us. The short list:

  1. Treat each experience as the first.
  2. Explore often.
  3. Be curious.
  4. Smile, greet, repeat.
  5. Don’t miss a meal—or a snack.
  6. Bark as needed.
Image: kangshutters @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: kangshutters @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Pull at the leash.
  2. Nap as needed.
  3. Enjoy a massage.
  4. Unconditionally love.
  5. Hold no grudges.
  6. Licks of love.

In his last couple of days, Buddy got to meet and greet his four-legged friends at his favorite renewal hangout (Pooches Playhouse) and spend peaceful time with his family. And we were able to recount and be thankful for the life lessons he taught us. To say there is a hole in our hearts at the moment is a gross understatement. But,  we have to remember that Buddy touched us as he did so many others he met on his journey.

Indeed, many lessons taught and a life well-lived.

Make it a great week. And H.T.R.B. as needed.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) with friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 


(#240) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2014 In Review

December 28, 2014

May your 2015 goals lead to your actions and your actions lead to your dreams.

In May of 2010 I made the decision to begin my first blog. I had 3 goals:

  • Experience a new (for me) aspect of social media
  • Develop and flesh out new ideas
  • Provide something of value—not just another cyber rant.

I believe I have accomplished the first and the second. It is up to you whether I have accomplished the third. My blog posts contain videos, book recommendations and summaries, questions to ponder, and always a takeaway to apply immediately to life.  I have remained true to my commitment to publish one blog post per week. This post marks the 240th consecutive week.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.  I would love to hear what you found of value on this blog. And, please feel free to share any ideas you have for future posts.

Image: dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: dan/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For this last-of-the-year post, I have returned to each of the previous 51 posts I have made to this blog in 2014—and provided a statement about each. I have linked each title to the actual blog should you want to read it, re-read it or share it.

Perhaps a nugget or two will provide inspiration. Thank you for your continued support and comments.

All the best to you and your family and your friends as you enjoy a wonderful 2015! May you experience all this wonderful world has to offer in 2015—and beyond.

May your 2015 goals lead to your actions and your actions lead to your dreams.

189. Be Bold. Be Daring. Be Authentic * Be the person you want to be on the way to being the person you want to be!

190. O.I. or R.O.R * R.O.R. (Return on Relationships) trumps R.O.I. (Return on Investment). In fact, effective R.O.R. will build R.O.I.

191. React, Respond or Initiate? * Managers react. Leaders initiate.

192. Be Brave and Go There! * If I have learned anything over the years, playing it safe is usually the biggest risk…We could well find ourselves in an unacceptable environment that we quietly let grow around us.

Video recommendation for the week:

My thank you to you, my readers and followers.  Thanks for sharing!

193. Matching Words to Action * For the coming week, challenge yourself and someone you care about to take specific action and develop one of the six characteristics ….If we all do it, think of the change we can generate.

194. Honor the Past. Celebrate the Present. Embrace the Future. * “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” (Soren Kierkegaard)

195. Nurturing an Internal Locus of Control * A person’s interpretation of an event can have a powerful impact on future motivation.

196. On Collegiality and Collaboration: Reflections from San Diego * It takes more than exchanging an email address or a business card to build meaningful connections.

197. Significance and Passion* So, what single project or task do you consider to be your most significant career accomplishment?

198. Appreciation * It was a reminder to appreciate my obligations and continue to find and embrace ways to meet them head on.

199. Retirement? Let’s Rename It * Whenever “retirement” comes for me, I know it will not be a work stoppage or a forgetting of the past but rather a grand anticipation and embrace of what the future holds.

200. Have We Become More App-Dependent than App-Enabled? * Apps are tools that can have a transformative effect on our world.

201. Collegial Collaborations: Building Connections With Adjunct Faculty * When it comes to developing and appreciating our adjunct faculty, we need to find ways to build opportunity, supervision, community, advancement, and respect.

202. Obstacles to Goal Achievement * Stating or writing a goal is the easy part.  The work is found in making a plan, executing that plan, and re-calibrating along the way.

203. I Don’t Have Time To Grow Old! * Complete the following: “If you don’t have time to ______ then when will you ____?

204. College Ready?* I think, more poignantly, the question for our colleges and universities comes down to “Once the students (college-ready or not) are admitted, what do we do to best serve them?”

205. What? Why? How? * This exercise can help with major life decisions.

206. Two Shoulders. One Realization * Do you know when a goal is the wrong goal for you?

207. Building a Transcript—or Building a Life? * Just like the dashboards of social media that measure “likes,” “friends,” “followers,” and “connections,” we have to examine if the numbers by themselves have any real meaning.

208. Community * What do you see as the primary characteristic of a community? What greater purpose does it serve?

209. What Consequence Have You Created Today? * We all have choices. What’s your choice–and consequence–today?

210. Keeping the Hands Raised * I’m thinking we should hire these young folks to help our so-called “leaders” understand the basics of human dynamics and collaboration. 

211. The Power of the Crowd * Well-constructed and delivered staff training/development programs represent a “value-added” investment in an organization.

212. Teachers Make a Difference—Everyday! * Think of your favorite teacher, counselor, or advisor.  What did she/he do to make a difference?

213. Your Drama Ain’t My Drama * When you come face-to-face with a drama queen/king, what do you do?  

214. Check Your Baggage at the Door * Rather than living by the creed of F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out), why not embrace J.O.M.O (Joy Of Missing Out)?

215. Consistent Talk or Consistent Action * What goal will you focus on this week? What action do you need to take to reach the goal? How will you maintain your consistency of action?

216. Value-Driven Actions: What Guides Your Life? * This strategy (let’s call it “Five in Your Pocket”) might be the nudge or reminder you and I need to practice this week.

217. What We Think We Become * Until she made the decision to start focusing on how her now created her later, she lived a life of unfulfilled expectations.

218. Stop Saying “I Understand!” * Don’t guarantee what you cannot deliver.

219. The First Day of Class: People Before Paper! * Student success will be enhanced when we establish an environment of personal validation and respect.

220. Be a Blessing: Show Gratitude * Rather than focusing on being “blessed” why not practice “being a blessing.”

221. The 3Rs:  Rapport, Rigor, and Responsibility * I need to take responsibility to develop authentic and meaningful relationships with my colleagues.

222. Thirty-Three Years of Dreams * I never lose sight of the fact that I have an obligation to each and every person in the seats in that room.

223. The Longest Movie of Your Life  * It’s my challenge and duty to make the “movie” worth viewing.  And it’s their job to be engaged with the movie. 

224. Every Student Has A Story: Great Teachers Build On That Story  *  A teacher’s calling is to recognize each of these types (and combinations thereof) and reach out with encouragement, challenge and recommendations to appropriate resources.  

225. Awareness  * If we think we are the best we can be, then we will never be the best we could have been.   

226. Kaizen: Movement Toward Improvement * Assumptions not only invite us to ask questions, they beg for questions. 

227. Action * It is often said what we think we become. Let’s take that one step further: What we do we become.

228. Motivation: What Gets You Going—And Keeps You Going? * Identify a motivational best practice you have used in the past. How can you apply this to a current dream you have?

229. Where Can You De-clutter Your Life? * Where have you allowed clutter to invade your life?

230. Your Habits—Your Choices * As Aristotle said, “Excellence is not an act, but rather a habit.”

231. Rookie Mistakes and Life Lessons * The takeaway for me is not that we made errors but we have taken time to reflect and grow.

232. Silos to Bridges * What is your organization doing to break down silos and build bridges?

233. Feed the Butterflies * The day I stop getting a little bit anxious before addressing a group is the day that I need to stop speaking.

234. Are You Waiting for It? * You don’t wait for a goal—you work for it.

235. What Are You Doing for Game Film? * “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

236. Hometown Appreciation: A Different Perspective * Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by daily events. Still, there are people, businesses, locations, and memories in our hometown that add immeasurably to our lives.

237. Core Values * What guides your personal and professional life?

238. Practicality Over Bean Counting * If all we do is look for the “research to inform our actions” we will drown in an ever-rising sea of mind-numbing numbers, tables, graphs, and pontifications for more research.

239. Reflecting On Meaningful Professional Development * Professional growth benefits the organization and the people it serves. Just as importantly, the growth can stimulate and sustain personal resilience.

240. A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2014 in Review * A listing of the previous 51 blogs for 2014.

Thank you for the conversation, positive light, and the difference you make in the world.

Choose well. Live well. Be well—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please share it (and any of the archived posts on this site) with friends and colleagues. You also can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli).  If you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 


(#199) Retirement? Let’s Rename It

March 16, 2014

Whenever “retirement” comes for me, I know it will not
be a work stoppage or a forgetting of the past but rather a
grand anticipation and embrace of what the future holds.

At the beginning of this calendar year, I received an email from my employer’s human resources department reminding me that this is the year I will hit my retirement age.  Not that I needed a reminder; and not that I have not been planning for this for decades. But the email still made me stop and think.

Wow!  Retirement.  As cliché as it sounds, it really does seem like just yesterday that I started teaching at Stanton College Preparatory School.  And whether I leave the classroom this year or in five years, there is a bigger point I have been considering for most of the previous decade: What will retirement look like for me?  Besides the financial end (which is huge and will have an impact on what I write below), what will my day-to-day activities look like?

For starters, I don’t like the word retirement.  At least not in the sense that it came to take on with earlier generations.  Retirement always seemed like a cessation of work; sitting back and doing whatever leisure activity the retiree wanted to do.  And I had heard that such a retirement—one lacking a real and sustainable purpose in life—could actually shorten lifespan.  I recently heard that successful retirees chase after more than a golf ball or a secluded beach. Retirement is not the opposite of work–at least not in my eyes.

Photo: Steve Piscitelli

Photo:
Steve Piscitelli

An article in The Wall Street Journal reported on a study that suggested a purposeful retirement accounted for significantly better cognitive functioning.  A retiree who is a regular at my gym always says, “Motion is the lotion.”  He simply means that if a person stays active, he/she will have a better chance of a more limber body and mind—one that will continue to carry him/her forward to enjoy life.

Whenever “retirement” comes for me, I know it will not be a work stoppage or a forgetting of the past but rather a grand anticipation and embrace of what the future holds.  I have loved (and still do) classroom teaching. When I walk off campus for the last time, I will not be walking away from anything.  All those years will have prepared me for what lies ahead. And I have been preparing for quite a while–financially, professionally, and personally. It is not something I want to consider for the first time when I wake up in the post-working world life.

A much younger colleague recently asked me, “Well, what will you do when you retire?”

Image: jscreationzs/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: jscreationzs/
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Below is my shortlist of what I will do. The interesting point for me is that as I review the list, each one of those actions is something I have attempted to do during my “working years” with varying degrees of success.  A retired professor told me that even though he remains busy with professional activities, retirement has allowed him the time to truly reflect on all that he has read and done during the so-called “working years.”  And it has made him a more effective post-working world professional.

Life has a way of firing-hosing us over the years. The so-called retirement years provide a great opportunity to reflect and synthesize those experiences. And then give back to our community in new ways.

With that mindset, maybe we should not think about retiring. Here are a few thoughts—and I would be interested in yours as well. Consider:

  • Reflecting
  • Reinventing
  • Repurposing
  • Recalibrating
  • Refreshing
  • Redesigning
  • Renewing
  • Reinvesting (beyond dollars and sense)

Make it a wonderful week— H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


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