Too many people slide into their post-career years with low expectations. Life has taught them not to expect much. They arrive at this station in the journey, beat up and worn out. Surviving becomes the all-consuming goal. They’ve not figured out the necessary mental shifts to maximized living.
At 60 years of age this described me. I was out of work, beat up, worn out, and focusing on survival. But something happened. I had several mental shifts which helped me to maximize this part of the journey. My life is on track and I feel this is the best years of my life.
Here’s 4 critical mental shifts I made which will help you discover maximized living.
First, to achieve maximized living, shift from checked baggage to carry-on.
At this point in life, you carry lots of baggage. People have hurt you. You’ve been betrayed. The boss has mistreated you. Dreams of becoming rich and famous never materialized. All of these collected hurts and disappointments represent baggage you carry through life.
Have you discovered the joy of flying with only a carry-on? It relieves the hassle of paying to check a suitcase and waiting at the luggage carousel after a long flight. But to fly with only a carry-on means letting go of lots of stuff. Your life will improve when you decide to let go of the past. I wrote an article on this subject which you might find helpful. You can find it HERE.
Second, to achieve maximized living, shift from Ptolemy to Copernicus.
Ptolemy thought he had the universe figured out. He taught that the earth was at the center of the universe. Everything else revolved around the earth. Some people live their lives with this model. They see themselves at the center of the universe. Everything revolves around them. If this is your model of the universe you will experience a life of hurt.
Copernicus, on the contrary, had another idea. He believed the earth revolved around the sun and was not the center of the universe. It is a wonderful day when you realize the universe doesn’t revolve around you. Things make more sense. Frustrations decrease. Realistic expectations emerge. Realizing the importance of others is an important shift to make.
Third, to achieve maximized living, shift from Clark Kent to Superman.
Clark Kent was described a meek and mild-mannered. He was unsure of himself. Some might call him a zero. Many people enter this stage of life feeling like a mild-mannered zero. Life has proven to them there is little use in trying.
Contrast this with Superman. Here’s someone who is able to leap buildings with a single bound and is faster than a speeding bullet. To maximize this chapter in life you need to shift your self-image from zero to hero. You can become a hero to someone in your life. If you need convinced, read this article I wrote called 5 Reasons You Are Qualified to Start Investing in Others.
Fourth, to achieve maximized living, shift from victim to victor.
Many bad things have happened to us. We are survivors. But it doesn’t take too long for us to feel like a victim. We say to ourselves, “Why do bad things always happen to me?” We feel powerless to the circumstances around us.
Life takes a turn for the better when we shift from victim to victor. This shift, contrary to what you might think, is one of the easiest to make. Begin by refusing to allow “victim thoughts” to remain in your mind. Find small challenges and conquer them. Increase your confidence. Work your way up to greater challenges. Maximize your life by shifting from victim to victor.
Life is precious. Choose to maximize it by making these mental shifts.
Which mental shift do you need to make?
Note: a version of this article was originally published on Sixty and Me.
Well, I’m almost 70 and I have been driving a convertible for over 23 years…and I don’t WANT to be rich and famous…sooo, I guess I’m on my way! :)
I once owned a 1965 red fastback 2+2 Mustang . . . oh wait, that’s not what we’re talking about. I’m cool with tooting along in fourth gear at this stage of my life, and only shifting into overdrive on an as-needed basis. In another 10-15 years I’ll be in 3rd gear, and 10 years after that groaning along in 2nd. And then 1st. By the time I top 100 years I’ll probably just be sitting around in neutral. I’m OK with all of that. The only thing I want to avoid is sliding into reverse. And now that I know I can become SuperCopernicus the Victor with merely carry-on luggage I’m confident I can pull it off! Thanks for the great mental visuals, Randy. That’s what we need.
Great comment! Not sure why but as I read what you wrote I had this vision of me wheeling into a nursing home in a wheel chair. Ouch!
Kathleen, this is fantastic: “SuperCopernicus the Victor with merely carry-on luggage.” Yes, my goal!
Randy, love the carry on vs. check in. Yes, we do pay a price by continuing to travel this life with so much we’d be better off letting go of … physically and, in turn, emotionally!
So true. It’s so hard for some people to let go of the baggage from the past. I do pretty good, but once in a while…
Thank you, gentlemen.