Don’t Retire Rejuvenate – Session 4 (Transcription)
Hi it’s Ron Kaiser for the fourth and final session of the “Don’t retire, rejuvenate” course. Well I hope that you’ve been active participants in the course. I hope that you’ve heard all the session and I hope you’ve done all the exercises including the one that came with the special email just few days ago with the four critical questions. I hope you’ve had a chance to implement those four critical questions and interrupt your thinking, when appropriate, by using those four questions.
We’ll talk a little bit more about it as we go through it but let’s move forward now because it’s time now to implement the plan that will lead to rejuvenation which hopefully will be a stage of life which you’re going to be in for a long time whether you’re retired from work or not. Now we have a lot of support scientifically to move ahead, I mean the findings of brain science we’ve discussed, reflects the fact that we can change throughout the life span and we can change physically and we can change emotionally but it does take motivation.
Now we have opportunities at this point that we didn’t have before as we were evolving into other stages. We may have had parents or teachers or others who placed road blocks in the way of moving forward. We all had day dreams but we had blocks to implementing them. For many of us this is a lot easier time to function because we only have certain impediments, some self imposed, some imposed by the environment, some imposed by medical conditions and so on but we don’t have somebody telling us we can’t do something unless that’s something that we tell ourselves.
So the mindset the positive mindset, the mindset toward rejuvenating is the critical, critical first and foremost step as we move forward. So hopefully we’re all implementing the positive mindset and hopefully we are fixed on the idea that we embrace the rejuvenating process, we embrace the process of getting a little older, rather than fearing it. That’s the whole basis for the course and let’s hope that that’s you know, something that we’re all implementing.
Doctor Andrew Weil who I’m sure many of you have heard of who is basically a physician who has integrated western and eastern approaches to medicine so that we’re dealing with medicine, we’re dealing with psychology, we’re dealing with mindfulness and lots of things in his writings, his books, his blogs, his lectures and so on and he has been pretty forth right in pointing out the fact that the ageing process in some things is not thought of the same way that it is with respect to humans.
In other words think of the word antiques. What’s better, an older antique or a young antique? You know antique refers to a very positive thing. Same thing lets think I terms of trees. I live in a kind of a wooded neighborhood and I think that one of the attractions for families moving into this neighborhood aside from hopefully some of the people who live here already is the fact that we have some ageing trees that are beautiful and provide a nice wooded atmosphere.
The California Redwoods are certainly very prominent and distinguished and given high praise in the tree world. Same thing applies to elements of food and drink. Aged beef, aged wine, high quality wine that’s aged, cheese that’s aged, lots of things are considered better if they’re older. Now better may not be the direction that we necessarily want to focus because it’s not a battle between generations. But it is important to think positively about the fact that there are some really good things about getting older and when we retire that it’s a time to think of maximizing the use of those strengths that we may have.
Bear with me because every once in a while I’m gonna be checking notes, hope that’s ok. One of the things that I have found that is helpful as we move forward is to recognize that it’s not all easy and it’s not all pluses. We have to accept the fact that there are realities and one of the things that is important to recognize is that we must integrate in those realities and not treat them as negatives but perhaps things to work around.
And I’m speaking of things like finances, I’m speaking of physical health issues you know there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to have to deal with certain illnesses and conditions and fatigue and things of this nature at an older age that you might not have at a younger age. The physiological readiness to embrace the ageing process is something that we’ve gotta be thinking about too, you know, are we prepared to move into the next phase of life at the level that we want to in other words are we forced into retirement at a time that we chose not to you know or are we kind of going along with what’s a normal retirement age even if we don’t particularly want to.
Are we ready to embrace new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things, new hobbies and things of this nature? I call that psychological readiness. Another thing that we may have to be concerned with in dealing with are draining activities and relationships. I’ve pointed out at different times that you know, one of the best things that’s happened to me if not the best is the fact that my wife and I tend to do very well together.
We agree on a lot of things we travel well together and so on and I have not given a minute’s worth of time over the course of my life or a dollar’s worth of money into dealing with divorce. Divorce even when it’s pretty amicable can be a pretty draining type of thing. You know, are we dealing with a draining relationship, are we dealing with the fact that when now we have time to do so are more impacted by negative stuff in our, whether it be our marriage, whether it be family life, whether it be ageing parents, or kids who haven’t totally evolved into adulthood you know draining types of activities can work against us.
Overload which kind of is the aspect of draining that is reality based, it’s what we don’t necessarily impose on each other but overload of say if we’ve got to both work and take care of other people in the family, or dealing with illness, ill spouse, taking on too many responsibilities psychologically, creating overload for ourselves, these are the things that can drain from us, rigidity of personality is not a great trait for someone who is at a position where they can examine lots of different things and have many options open to them.
And the very notion of well not trying something because I have never tried it before or being before or being embarrassed to try something or just have discomfort when we get out of our comfort zone, limits the experiences that we can deal with as we go along. And then we get to play an old inertia. You know the notion that if we’ve got time on our hands and just sit on the couch or lie on the couch or watch TV it’s just that much harder to get up and do things unless we make ourselves do it. So building in activities is a way to overcome inertia.
For example I have a really difficult time talking with people about some of the series because I just can’t count on the fact that I’m gonna be able to watch it, the same show next time or next week or as it goes along so things like Lost and Breaking Bad and stuff like that are conversation pieces that I’m often not part of. You know I can watch things like Philadelphia eagles football games, shark tank in the daily show because watching one show is not dependant on having watch the others and if I don’t watch something I haven’t missed the series. I know you can you know record it and stuff like that abut I, you know, I wouldn’t get around to that either.
So you know I think that it becomes important to recognize and I’m not holding that out as a model by the way, I think that you know it’s great if you can get into a series and follow it and it’s part of your life, it just wouldn’t fit in my lifestyle. But those are some things that are true impediments and I think it’s very important and that’s one of the things on the work sheet is to kind of give yourself a grade on how you’re dealing with these particular impediments. For example if you do have a health issue are you making it the central part of your life or is it only one part of your life so that you’re taking it into account but it’s not controlling everything that you do.
So give yourself a grade and you know if it’s a below average grade then I think it becomes important either change the situation or change yourself in dealing with that situation. Once you’ve kind of gotten through most of the material of the course and once you have kind of the mindset that we’re encouraging I think it becomes very important to develop a positive mantra or a set of positive mantras that you can keep reminding yourself of. Now for example the four critical questions are things that you can implement into rays whenever you may be doing a job on yourself and dealing with negative thinking.
You know different stressors may lend themselves to the question of am I a fortune teller, what can go right, what does this have to do with me, and how is this helping me to where I want to get? You know those are the kind of mantras but I use a more overall positive mantra. A lot of people have used it in sports, I know that Geno Auriemma the highly successful women’s basketball coach at the University of Connecticut has been identified with this in some way but the author is actually unknown but I think it’s very important when for me and again with goal achieving psychotherapy I emphasize the importance of practice and this mantra is don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.
And that’s how I look at the rejuvenation process. In other words I think it is critically important to mean to do things in this way so that I’m rejuvenating in a way that I can’t get it wrong. And if I had to project years ago, that when I got in my seventies that I’d be working at a job that I like and continue to have a very enjoyable marriage, have great relationships with our children and grand children, workout regularly, not be taking any medication and in some ways influencing in a positive way at least some people through my website and my work.
You know I think that I’d done a pretty good job of getting t right and that’s what I’ve worked toward and I do think that the mantra has helped a whole lot. I think that are other kind of positive mantras that you can you can use reminding yourself when you get too overwhelmed by something that you know this isn’t rocket science or this isn’t brain surgery, a mantra that I teach people when we do relaxation while feedback training is just the mantra “I am calm”.
It’s hard to be calm and stressed at the same time so I that’s a really good mantra. When I am tempted and I am from time to time to become toxic in relation to somebody who’s been toxic toward me. I try to implement the mantra of “I’m better than that” you know so these are some of the things that I try to utilize and I think that if you have half a dozen or so maybe one basic one and hand full of others you can call upon, I think that’s, it may seem simplistic but I really think that’s one of the great guides that can help you in rejuvenating and it’s much like, you know, if you’re in math class and you keep reminding yourself as a child that you know, show all your work, you know, it will get you to think of not doing it in your head and it will get you to kind of check on your work.
If you have certain rules in spelling about I’s and E’s and what comes after C and so on, you know, those are things that you can implement and I think the best balers recognize those principles, the best math students have principle to recognize and the best rejuvenators have mantras that they can call upon. Now I think that one of the final things that we should be dealing with, if you don’t have one already I think you should have a personal mission statement.
I actually start therapy with most people by having them come up with a mission statement between their first and second session but I think that this is a good as time as any. The mission statement actually should be going forward what you kind of want to have been looking backward at and you wrote the autobiography that I hope you wrote, I can’t check on it but I hope that you did the autobiography from now until some point in the future.
Mission statement should really be what you’re trying to present yourself as so that the autobiography can then look back and say hey I accomplished that mission. So I think that mission statement should be the kind of culminating activity certainly I’d be glad to hear from you with your mission statements and comment upon it and that may be good way of me knowing that you got out of the course. I’ve had a great time working with you I hope that you have gotten some information that can be useful in thinking in terms of rejuvenation rather than retirement.
By the way the course will be available for purchase by other people on the website once I get it put together and up there so if you know of anybody else who you think might benefit from going through it I’ll be glad to offer them the course too. In addition you’ll be getting a couple of bonuses because of both the impact of whether on the schedule and the impact of my general disorganization in the schedule. I will be coming up with a short reading list that I’ll be sending to you.
And also in helping you sort out your own plans I will be available for a 30 minute phone consultation about your own plans if you choose to utilize that. All you have to do is email me firstname.lastname@example.org. let me know that you’re ready to talk and you know if it’s been a while you may wanna remind me that you were part of the course but let me know and if you’ve got some preferred times, can’t guarantee that they will match but certainly try to make them match.
And of course at any point along the break you can certainly email me and I hope you will continue to be active participants at the mental health gym and perhaps one of these days we’ll have another course that you might be interested in following up on. Thanks again for your involvement and till we meet again lets think in terms of not retiring but rejuvenating.