Friday, February 29, 2008

Endless possibilities

I continue to be fascinated by the amazing reinventions I hear about. Here are three (and I'm hoping to get their stories on
  • A physician in his 50s who gave up his practice to go back to his alma mater and study philosophy, then teach medical ethics at the college level.
  • An electric lineman who retired from a utility and became a policeman, going through the Police Academy with all the other rookies. (True personal note: I'm writing this in a Starbucks and Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman" is playing on the store's audio system!)
  • An audiologist who is giving up her practice to become a minister and provide pastoral services to people in prison.

The possibilities are endless. What's your rebooting story? From what to what? We'd love to share it with others. Go to our website and click on the link in the "Share Your Story" section.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Use it or lose it

On our website,, we offer help in finding an attorney, a financial advisor and a personal coach. In the next day or so we will be adding another important resource: help in finding a personal trainer.

I used to think that having a personal trainer was a luxury that only the very wealthy, or top professional athletes, would have. That was before I began working out with a trainer.

I've had the pleasure and good fortune of working with four highly dedicated and skilled professional trainers over the last 10 or 15 years. And I'm here to tell you that a good one is worth every penny of his or her fee.

These folks are experts on your physical body, just as financial advisors are experts on your money matters and attorneys are on legal issues. They assess your starting condition, help you establish goals for improvement, then take you through a very measured and effective program for achieving them.

Yes, a trainer will push you harder than you will push yourself, but a professional will never push you beyond your safe zone. And that push the trainer provides will give you an edge you probably wouldn't develop by yourself.

A good trainer will boost your self-confidence as well as your physical condition. And it's OK if you're overweight and out of condition to start. The important thing is to start and to stay with your program.

Your body in some ways is like your car, your house, your financial security. They all require maintenance. The old saying, "Use it or lose it," was probably first used to describe your body.

So use it! And have fun in the process!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

OK, I'm new at this!

Personal note:

So I missed a couple of responses to my blog. I apologize to those who stopped by and posted comments -- what lousy hospitality on my part!

The days of negligence are over. So please join in and post and I'll welcome your contribution.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The End of Retirement

“The subject of my remarks is the end of retirement, and the profound effect this is going to have on all of us personally and on the marketing of goods and services in America and throughout the industrialized world.”

Say what? End of retirement? Who could possibly be saying such a thing?

None other than William Novelli, executive director and CEO of AARP. Even though he said this in a speech seven years ago, the message is even more true today. Novelli has written similar thoughts recently in AARP the Magazine and in the monthly AARP newsletter.

“Retirement as we have known it, as my Uncle Andy and millions of others practiced it, is largely disappearing,” Novelli said in his 2001 speech to the Institute of Public Relations. “And in its place there is a new, much more vital vision of how most of us will be living as we grow older.

“Now people are thinking of retirement as a beginning, not as an ending. We (AARP) did a survey recently showing that two out of three people 50 and older view this phase of life primarily as a time to begin a new chapter, start new activities, and set new goals.”

Novelli continued: “The most fundamental change in the concept of retirement is that it is likely to involve work. Our research shows that 80 percent of (Baby) Boomers expect to continue working in some form past the age of 65 – either for the money or for the fun of it. Many will start their own businesses. Others will work part-time. Still others will reinvent themselves and begin new careers, sometimes in order to give something back. This has implications for virtually every part of society: education, government, corporate America, the nonprofits, and religious institutions.”

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boomers Hit Social Security Age

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, the nation's first Baby Boomer, today made history as the first of her generation to receive a Social Security retirement benefit. Having applied online for benefits at, Ms. Casey-Kirschling, who was born at one second after midnight on January 1, 1946, today received her first payment by direct deposit.

As the nation’s first Baby Boomer, Ms. Casey-Kirschling is leading what is often referred to as America’s silver tsunami. Over the next two decades, nearly 80 million Americans will become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, more than 10,000 per day on average.

From a Social Security Administration news release, Feb. 12, 2008

* * *

In addition to collecting Social Security checks, many boomers will also be receiving income from gainful employment after reinventing themselves. And is here to help them do that reinvention into a new phase of work.

It may be the same work, or a new career. But the key fact is that it will be a fresh start, a new beginning.

For many, the receipt of that first Social Security payment could be called a commencement exercise. Only this time, without the Pomp and Circumstance.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Get those shoes on and just do it!

Here’s more on the study we mentioned yesterday. Men in their 70s increase their chances of living into their 90s by avoiding smoking, obesity, inactivity, diabetes and high blood pressure to 54%.

Men who had all five conditions had only a 4% chance of living into their 90s.

The study, conducted by Harvard University researchers, followed 2,357 men for about 25 years or until death, starting in their early 70s.

The difference in longevity, according to lead author Dr. Laurel Yates of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is “… not just luck, it’s not just genetics… it’s lifestyle. It’s get your shoes on, get out there, and do some exercise.”

You might say this ought to be published in Duh Magazine (to borrow one of Andy Borowitz’s lines). It certainly makes perfect sense. Smoking usually goes with inactivity, and obesity is a leading precursor to diabetes. Smoking, obesity and inactivity do not exactly lower your blood pressure.

Maintaining your physical health at the highest possible level contributes to energy, mental clarity and the overall vitality you need to reboot yourself.

So get those shoes on and do some exercise. Or get some exercise. Just keep moving!

Monday, February 11, 2008

You might live to be 100!

Reaching the age of 100 might be easier than you think, even if you have heart disease or diabetes, according to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The surprising finding might be attributable to doctors who aggressively treat older people’s health problems rather than taking an “ageist” approach that assumes they wouldn’t benefit, according to Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester.

Here’s a link to the Associated Press article at Earthlink:

The study involved more than 500 women and 200 men who had reached 100. While two-thirds of them had avoided significant age-related ailments, the rest had developed an age- related disease before reaching 85, including high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.

The AP article also described a second, larger study of men in their 70s who greatly improved their chances of living into their 90s by avoiding smoking, obesity, inactivity, diabetes and high blood pressure. More about that study in my next post.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The best thing to recycle – you!

Today I came across a magazine titled “South Bay/Peninsula Natural Pages,” one of several directories published by City Spirit Natural Pages of Lagunitas, California.

The company’s website ( says its directories “are THE place to advertise holistic health, environmentally conscious and socially responsible products and services. We are in our 19th year of publishing natural living directories, and have a combined annual circulation of over one million.”

This Readers Digest-sized magazine has a natural food restaurant guide, a calendar of classes and events (topics range from meditation to fruit tree pruning to contemporary dance), a resource directory for natural living, feature articles, and ads for numerous natural and holistic products and services.

An article on the “conscious consumer” features, among other things, recycling. Recycling has become a way of life over the last 20 or 30 years. We now recycle newspapers, magazines, catalogs, glass and plastic containers, cardboard, computers, cell phones, batteries, scrap metal, and grass and yard clippings. It’s about getting second or additional use from scarce resources.

It dawned on me that is about recycling the scarcest resource of all – us! Recycling ourselves – or reinventing, or rebooting – is all about not throwing ourselves away.

And cycle is a great way to think about moving into a new phase of life. The word comes from the Greek kyklos, meaning cycle, circle or wheel. Wheels, to me, always mean motion, movement. Which is exactly what Rebooting is about – staying in motion, keeping moving.

So, my thought for
today: Don’t throw yourself away just because you’ve finished one cycle. Recycle yourself!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Knowledge is power – and empowerment

A potential rebooter shared some of her feelings with me. While she was experiencing some anxiety and fear about an uncertain future, she also made this strong affirmation:

"I feel empowered to know that with time, the right choice will present itself to me. It may not happen all at once, and it may take several explorations to find out what is a good fit for me."

Reaching inside yourself and drawing on this well of self-confidence is a huge step forward toward reinvention. Couple that with the patience to take time to sort things out, and you’ve got a winning combination.

You can build your reservoir of self-confidence – add water to the well – by becoming aware of all the countless possibilities for creative reinvention that exist.

I’ve tried to present a lot of those possibilities for you on I hope you’ll spend some time on the site, looking into the various possibilities – going back to school, going back to work, doing volunteer “good works,” starting your own business, and others.

“I feel empowered.” What a gift. And it came from within. Another gift!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Soaking up the sun

Enough with shadows already! Let’s “soak up the sun,” as Sheryl Crow sang in her 2002 hit.

And speaking of Sheryl Crow, today she was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” The occasion was the release of her newest album, “Detours.”

At Terry’s invitation toward the end of the program, Sheryl introduced and sang the album’s title track, “Detours.” She said the song was about “the many journeys that we all go on that lead us far away from who we know ourselves to be, and how ultimately that detour demands that we come back and remember who we are and who we want to be.”

That’s a powerful metaphor to consider. I’ve taken so many detours they have long since become the main route. Have I found my true self? I don’t know for sure. I think I have, but I’m always open to new things. I think your true self is who you are right now.

Looking back, I see them more as forks in the road than detours. Call them what you will, they add up to our meandering journey through life. Mine have carried me to a fun and wonderful life.

And now you are very likely at new fork, a new journey of your own: thinking about rebooting yourself. Detour? I think not. Finding your true self? Ah, that’s more like it.

As Yogi Berra says, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it” (see

So follow Yogi’s advice. And soak up the sun along the way!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Are you standing in your own shadow?

“Manning moves out of brother Peyton’s shadow.”

The headline, of course, was about Eli Manning and his MVP performance in yesterday’s Super Bowl, leading the New York Giants to a stunning 17-14 upset of the heavily favored New England Patriots.

His brother Peyton was last year’s Super Bowl MVP. Eli for years has been compared, mostly unfavorably, to his older brother. But he demolished all the skepticism about his abilities, and accomplished exactly what his brother had done, with his masterful performances in the season finale against the Patriots, three tough playoff games and this blockbuster.

I was thinking about the power of moving out of someone else’s shadow into your own sunlight. And it occurred to me that a lot of potential rebooters might be standing in their own shadows, the shadows of who they used to be.

If you are, accept a lesson from Eli. Reinvent yourself as your own Most Valuable Player. Reboot yourself into renewed vigor and contribution. Find a new passion.

Who knows, you might even pick up a few endorsements.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

30-year retirement? Here’s a better idea

One of the big insurance companies ran a full page ad in today’s newspapers with the headline, “How long a retirement should you plan for?”

The headline continued: “Consider this: Hallmark sold 85,000 ‘Happy 100th Birthday!’ cards last year.”

The ad said workers today should plan for a 30-year retirement, citing life expectancy projections that a 65-year-old woman can expect to live until 87 and a 65-year-old man until 84. The insurance company recommends reforming Social Security, boosting retirement plan enrollment and passing (or keeping) tax laws that help reward people for saving.

“Let’s save retirement by saving for retirement,” the ad concludes.

We have a better idea: let’s retire the notion of a “30-year retirement” and instead use a big part of those years for continued productive activity – such as working, starting a business, teaching or volunteering.

By rebooting yourself instead of settling down for a 30-year Rip Van Winkle retirement, you can improve your mental and physical health and, if you so choose, continue to make an income.

By all means, do save for those later years. But don’t ignore the multiple benefits of continuing to stay active. Don’t “retire” right now. Reboot, extend your active involvement with a worthy idea, and “retire” later – way later!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Don’t be afraid of your shadow

It’s Groundhog Day, the traditional day when Punxsutawney Phil emerges from hibernation and either sees his shadow (six more weeks of winter) or not (early arrival of spring.)

In “Groundhog Day” the movie, Bill Murray plays a TV weather forecaster who finds himself trapped by the weather in Punxsutawney, and gets caught in a time loop where the days repeat themselves over and over.

I found a remarkable essay on the movie at the website Transparency ( It says in part:

Whereas most of us go semi-automatically through most of our (very similar) days, he (Murray) is forced to stop and treat each day like a world onto itself, and decide how to use it. In the end, he undergoes a breakthrough to a more authentic self in which intimacy, creativity and compassion come naturally - a self that was trapped inside him and that could only be freed by trapping him.

Your true self – the one ready to do something different – may be waiting on the other side of Groundhog Day. You don’t really want to climb back into your hibernation, do you?