• Chemical Brain Freeze

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

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.