Staying on Course with Relationships

Staying on course with relationships in retirement can be a challenge. It takes constant adjustment to maintain a good solid relationship, just like paddling a kayak.

As a baby boomer retired or getting ready to retire one of the key non-financial issues you will encounter is dealing with relationships in retirement. Working relationships will change just due to the fact you won’t be interfacing and connecting with co-workers the same way you did while working. The same with vendors, salespeople, customers, etc. whom you worked with for years. It’s just a matter of out of sight, out of mind and relationships drift apart.

Now you start to look for new relationships on your next journey and your new adventures. As you determine your next journey, who are the people resources you will be seeking to help you out? The people with similar goals and ideas who have some experience in the areas you are exploring. How do you engage them and get their perspective?

How about your partner and your new relationship with them now that you are retired and perhaps they are also? Maybe for the first time in years you are both home 24/7 and spending more time together than ever before? How do you handle that? How do you meet each other’s expectations?

What about other family members such as siblings, children, grandchildren and more? How do you effectively connect with them and gain value by having a good solid relationship with them?

Do you feel bombarded with questions about relationships? Well you should because your relationships are going to change for both the better and the worse depending on the situation.

One of the key tools that will help you out is learning how to effectively listen when having a conversation. I know that sounds trivial but it is a powerful tool that will help you communicate.

Our default behavior is to listen for a break in the conversation so we can cut in and provide our perspective. We really aren’t focused on what the other person is saying because we have a better story, better bit of advice, better tidbit to place into the conversation. But guess what? Once we jump in when there is a break in the conversation, we don’t connect or empathize with the person. The focus isn’t on them but rather it is on us.

Listening to Understand
Rather than listening with the intent to jump in when there is a break in the conversation,try listening to understand. One of the key phrases you can use to help you connect is a very simple one. “Help me understand.” That simple phrase is so powerful in a conversation. Try it in your next conversation and see what happens. You will be amazed at the response. Some connection question variations are simple also:
“Help me understand how you’re trying to deal with that issue?”
“Help me understand how I might be able to help you?”
“Help me understand a little bit more about what you’re experiencing.”
“Help me understand how that’s affecting you?”
“Help me understand why that’s important to you?”

Good relationships take a lot of work and learning how to use some simple tools can help make the process of building good relationships easier.

Check out the podcast on Chemical Brain Freeze “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” Show #3 at Anchor.FM/216-THE-NET. You’ll be glad you did.

Check out AdventureJerky.com for some great resources, like the book on dealing with non-financial issues in retirement.
Thanks for coming along!

Non-effective Listening – A Negative Default Behavior

 

Non-effective listening, did you ever think it was a major negative default behavior?  Working with Baby Boomers, I’ve found one very interesting characteristic of those retried or getting ready to retire.  It has to do with listening effectively.  Baby Boomers talk about their dreams and goals in retirement but (http://adventurejerky.com) sometimes they don’t express these ideas very distinctly with their partners.  Sometimes there is a fear of their goals not being accepted or even being rejected.  When this type of fear appears, we move into what we call “default behaviors.”  We actually avoid key conversations because we worry about what the outcome may be.  Maybe we worry the conversation may go in the wrong direction and we don’t get a chance to work on our goals.

Here is the key to having great conversations, it’s not about what we have to say.  That’s right, it’s not always about what we have to say.  But rather showing empathy and listening to what the other person has to say. It’s amazing what happens when empathy is applied to a conversation, especially key conversations.

So, what are the keys to really good listening?  First, we need to understand our default behavior when we have a conversation.  In most conversations, we don’t listen to understand but rather we listen in order to reply.  We actually wait for when there is a break in the conversation.  When our partner pauses for a breath, we jump in with our perspective or our bit of advice. We almost fear silence and jump in to squelch that silence.  This default behavior is believing the important part of communication is what we say.   When actually the listening step to hear what the other person has to say is most important.

It is fascinating to watch what happens when another person feels like they are being listened to effectively.  They open up and suddenly they are receptive to what you have to say.  All of a sudden goals and dreams get discussed in earnest and open, honest conversation takes place.

Think about the impact we could have with family members, friends and peers if we changed our listening skills.   Where we truly try to listen to what the other person is saying. If we listen with the intent to truly understand, people will share with us what their goals, wants and needs are.  They will also share the solutions they are looking for to possibly solve these needs.

Effective listening with the intent to understand, it takes practice but it is well worth the effort.

Be sure to tune into our new radio program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. We cover stories and concepts dealing with Baby Boomers plans for retirement. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00-12:00AM CST on Monday mornings and a repeat of the recorded program on Tuesdays from 7:00-8:00pm, Wednesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00-7:00PM and Fridays 11:00-12:00AM, again at 21.6 THE NET. You can also find the show as a podcast on Anchor.FM

Thanks for coming along

 

 

Announcing the launch of “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” radio program

It is with pleasure to announce the introduction of a new internet radio show that will start on Monday, September 10th airing from 11:00-12:00AM CST at 21.6 THE NET.  “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” will air every Monday during this time period.  Co-hosting the show will be author and speaker Chuck Inman along with author and radio host “Rancher Ron” Hoesterery.  We will be discussing the non-financial issues baby boomers deal with in retirement or as they get ready to retire.

A key component of the program will be discussing elements such as the impact retirement has on relationships, priorities, planning, default behaviors, decision making and much more.  You know all those things we wrestle with trying to figure out our best journey in retirement. There will be a key component concerning the effect of Chemical Brain Freezes and how to stay in the game during difficulty and stress.

Some of the most stressful situations we find ourselves entangled with in regards to retirement are dealing with facing the unknown of the future.  Retired or getting close to retirement there are plenty of unknowns which we encounter. Understanding how the brain works during stressful situations is key to positive self-leadership and providing a path through the unknown.

So be sure to tune into this new program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00-12:00AM CST on Monday mornings and a repeat of the recorded program on Wednesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00-7:00PM and Fridays 11:00-12:00AM, again at 21.6 THE NET.

 

Emotional challenges for Baby Boomers

Baby boomers face many emotional challenges as they retire or get ready to retire. A simple but dynamic sentence isn’t it! When you examine the dynamics of the US population we see a shift in demographics that our country has never seen before.
Baby boomers, the generation of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 began reaching age 65 in 2011 and will continue until 2029. This generation makes up approximately 20% of the US population. The staggering fact is that there are 10,000 baby boomers reaching age 65 every single day. That is someone turning age 65 about every 7 seconds of every single day.

The focus of this particular sector of the population and its relationship to the subject of chemical brain freeze is very interesting. It deals with emotional challenges that baby boomer will have in retirement. Let’s reflect back on what a career provides for you besides just a paycheck. At work, you had an identity and were a contributor. You were respected for the work you did and people relied on you. You had a social network whether it was being a mentor or hanging with your favorite lunch cohorts. With the demands of your career, you also realized you provided value to your associates and customers. You exchanged feedback and advice, praise and criticism. You were part of something larger than just you.

Now with retirement just around the corner or already having taken place we have some new things to think about. For instance, what provides that feeling of purpose in your new phase of life being a baby boomer. The place to look for that feeling of purpose is within, whether it is adjusting your lifestyle or adjusting to a new career.

This is where the personal leadership and emotional intelligence comes into play in your changing world. A simple example, is a married couple who both retire within a few years of each other. For the first time in their marriage they are both home at the same time roughly 24/7. They seem to get in each other’s way trying to figure what to do with this next stage of life. One of the spouse’s may be operating a small business out of the home and can’t seem to get the privacy needed for conference calls and business calls. Default behaviors, those automatic responses you have to specific stimuli, come into play and tempers get short. It doesn’t take too much conversation to anger either spouse because they don’t feel like they are being heard or understood properly. Sharp words are exchanged in a heated argument and then silence because someone doesn’t feel valued.

This isn’t quite the ideal mood that was anticipated for this stage of life. Everything was supposed to be relaxing, calm and tranquil. These are the golden years but they don’t feel too golden in a lot of cases. This is where the emotional intelligence and personal leadership material can have an impact. You now have the time to work on those difficult conversations. So how do you make those conversations happen?

One of the key subject areas in the Chemical Brain Freeze- How to Stay in the Game During Difficulty and Stress book, is understanding how the body works when the brain responds to stimuli. You’ve heard of the fight or flight syndrome, right? Where our brain gets ready to fight or flee it sends some chemicals to different parts of the body so we respond appropriately when we feel threatened. There are times when even a question is asked in a certain way which can cause us to get defensive in a matter of seconds.

Have you noticed there are times in our everyday lives where we feel stuck in a rut and we can’t move in the direction we want to go? When we question why we aren’t moving forward and reaching our goals, we realize there are default behaviors holding us back. Look at some of the issues baby boomers will be experiencing in the next several years:

o Caring for their elderly parents
o Health Issues
o Being Able to Afford Retirement
o 2nd career
o What to do with time
o Finding a sense of purpose
o Boredom
o Depression
Default behaviors will definitely have an impact in dealing with these issues because there are numerous emotions centered around baby boomers in a changing world.
You can click on the Chemical Brain Freeze book and buy a copy at the on-line store. You will be transferred to the Adventure Jerky website where the on-line store is located. Adventure Jerky – Fuel for the Journey, provides fuel for the body and fuel for the mind. The book “Be Your Best on Your Next Journey” will help you find your sense of purpose and passion. You will then be able to pick your adventure and ignite your activity.
In going through the stages of finding your passion, picking your adventure and igniting your activity, a little bit of personal leadership and emotional intelligence goes a long way!
Thanks for coming along!
Chemical Brain Freeze

Setting Goals for our Adventures

journal-with-logoI recently came back from a speaking trip and was reflecting on the questions I received after my keynote. I have heard this question or a version of it almost every time I speak from attendees after the presentation. “I have this goal, idea, adventure or dream I want to follow up on but I don’t know how to get started. Do you have any suggestions?”
My first response is always write your goal down and give it a date for when you want to accomplish it. I then reference this study done at Harvard Business School years ago on goal setting. I thought it might be good to review this study again. I first heard about this study when I went to see motivational speaker Brian Tracy live. After his presentation I wrote down a goal of wanting to travel internationally.
Two weeks later I received a phone call from an old colleague about an international position. I interviewed and got the job as an international marketing product manager. I started traveling internationally. When I finished my career, I had traveled to over 40 different countries. I give a lot of credit to just writing down my goal of international travel.
Here is the essence of the Harvard study:
In 1979 the Harvard MBA program conducted a study on students that provided some interesting insights into the power of goal setting. In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13 percent of the graduates had goals, but they were not in writing. That left an incredible 84 percent of the graduates with no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
In spite of such proof of success, most people don’t have clear, measurable, time-bounded goals that they work toward. Which is why I always respond to question on “How do I go about fulfilling my dream or goal?” Write it down. We’ll talk more about goal setting in the months to come.

 

What’s your next Adventure for 2016!

What is your next Adventure for 20Sydney Blog16!
It’s that time of year again when we exit the old year and bring in the New Year. Of course resolutions make up a big part of that celebrating of bringing in the New Year. It’s interesting to note that almost 80% of resolutions don’t get done. I wanted to share with you a true story about an event that happened to me in Sydney Australia and it very subtlety gets the point of what we need to do to make our plans and adventures happen. It’s only a 4-minute story but it might change your perspective on goal setting and resolutions and prepare for your next adventure.
Enjoy and let’s have a great 2016

 

Being Your Best on Your Next Adventure

No coastingHave you ever asked yourself the question “What would it look like if I became my personal best on my next adventure? Most people just rise to a level of acceptability and not excellence. A great question Mike Rayburn (www.MikeRayburn.com) raised during a recent presentation. “Have you resolved to be your best?” What do you think that would look like?
In today’s world most people coast through life and that’s fine. The one thing you need to recognize and understand is that the problem with coasting is that it’s all downhill. If comfort is your goal, success is not in your future.
So what does it take for you to become the best at what you do? Interesting question because most of us know what we need to do but we just don’t do it. This why a sense of purpose is so important to us. What are those goals and adventures that are so important we don’t want to approach them half-hearted or in a coasting mode? Do you really want to be a half-hearted spouse, parent, friend or co-worker? Every adventure we embark on has an impact on others and do we provide a positive impact? Anything worth doing is worth doing well. But sometimes we need help and this can be our biggest stumbling block.
You’ve heard people talk about being self-taught and we all teach ourselves quite a bit and the Internet makes it easier everyday. However sometimes when we are self-taught we fail to notice that our teachers aren’t great in every area. Take the time and effort to find good coaches to help you with you adventures. It can have a big impact.
Sometimes when we set out on a new adventure we start by compromising when setting our goals. We aim too low and wind up settling for mediocrity and second best. Instead, continue to work on asking the question “What if? What would this adventure look like? How could I make this happen and what would be the positive impact on those around me?”
Tough questions to ask, even tougher questions to answer when you are true to yourself. But by asking these questions and answering them truthfully, you define who you are as you embark on your next adventure.
Thanks for coming along!

What if, When Making Plans for the Next Adventure

Mike RayburnThere I was, working and planning away on my new adventure and feeling good about it. Then I had an opportunity to go see Mike Rayburn(www.MikeRayburn.com) live at a recent program. He was absolutely phenomenal. Not only a gifted musician and storyteller but he really got you thinking. He has a book titled “What If?” and I would suggest purchasing it on his website. I wanted to point out just a few key things Mike got me thinking about as I plan my new adventure.

He asks the question, “What if?” Not meaning that you are going to do it but rather just asking what is possible. What if I could? How would that work if I could?
He points out that our default behavior in life is that we look at or for reasons not to do things. Instead we should change our default behavior to where we look for reasons we can do things! A very simplistic but astute rationale on how we can get things done. He also points out the only way to manage change is to create change. Again our default behavior is to fight change. What if we shifted that to creating change and embracing change? It creates a completely different picture doesn’t it? The one thing we know to be true about our plans is that nothing ever goes according to plan! So embrace change.
Here is the reason for these default behaviors: We take problems and put them on a pedestal and worship them. Mike’s perspective is, quit driving through life with the brakes on and get creative. The world need’s our creativity. He lined out three steps to get started:
1. Outside Observation – get that 30,000-foot view of what you are dealing with and get a handle of the size and scope.
2. Take a problem or situation and say, “What is the Opportunity?” Then ask, “What if?”
3. Open up creativity and take physical action on it.
Here are a couple of his other thoughts, which will get your thinking moving in the right direction:
A. Set goals you can’t achieve, not 5-10% increases. What does it take to double what you want to do?
B. Don’t start with what’s possible?, start with what’s cool?. The type of goal it takes courage to think about.
A sense of purpose is the most motivating factor. What is your sense of purpose? Some good food for thought until next time.
Thanks for coming along.

What’s your next Adventure?

Backpacking crossingThe great Helen Keller provided this prolific statement, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!” What a great way to look at our lives. Helen Keller overcame so much adversity and became an inspiration encouraging boldness and audacity. We may not have the adversity Helen Keller did, but we do have our ups and downs, our successes and failures and our starts and stops. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out exactly as we plan but the key question is, ”What do we do about it?”
I have watched people who have stumbled and they just struggle trying to get back up and moving forward. Sometimes they get moving again but its like they are in a fog and not really living life but rather just going through the motions.
What is it that we have to do to begin living the life we want to have and move in the direction of our dreams? In my book Chemical Brain Freeze, I talk about overcoming default behaviors and moving forward. These are some key thoughts to making a positive move in order to get you moving in the direction you want to go.
Sometimes it just makes sense to break things down into smaller steps.
Summer has just about come to an end and it was a great summer. We usually think of all kinds of adventures to be had during the summer months.
Now ask yourself the simple question; “What’s my next adventure?” What’s my next adventure for today? This week? Next month? Next year? Come up with an adventure and go make it happen. It can be such a positive experience. Don’t wait for something to come to you. Go make something happen and have fun with! You’ll be glad you did! In the weeks ahead I’ll fill you in on what I have been working on the last half of this summer and what an adventure I’ll be starting. Over 25 years ago I was told I couldn’t do something and I decided now was the time to go it.
Thanks for coming along!

Adventure Lessons

This week a good friend shared this perspective with me. He said, “The trouble with America today is that the adventure is gone.” I showed my grandson his Mom’s hiking stick she had wLittle man big stickhen she was little. It had feathers, a tiny pine cone and beads she had used to decorate it. I carved her name into the side of the stick. We journeyed for years. Each summer I would carve another summer hiking ring at the bottom for our adventures. There were 13 rings she had accrued, when I showed it to my grandson. I don’t know if he had a clue what it was I told him about heritage. He just picked up the stick and started walking. He has that adventure gene in him. The same gene that made America great. I think we may need more hiking sticks in America today. It’s still a great country full of adventure, even if 2 1/2yr olds teach us this lesson instead of today’s Congress. What is your next adventure?

  • Chemical Brain Freeze