Recently, I came across an old yearbook from my senior year in high school.
On the back pages there were prompts with questions such as “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” Apparently, I had thought that by age 28, I would be married, with three (!!) kids, in a two-story house that I owned, and have some VP title in marketing or advertising.
Some may accuse me of having high expectations.
Unfortunately, with high expectations come disappointment when you don’t come close to reaching said high expectations.
And, as you might imagine, I didn’t hit all of those marks at 28. Maybe that is why I started to feel that I hadn’t quite lived up to my potential once I reached my thirties.
For my job, I read a lot of books. Many of these I might not have picked up on my own; but I am being completely honest when I say that the titles I am assigned are life changing… about 80% of the time (someone’s going to try to edit this statement out, right? If you are reading this, it skated by!!!)
my initial thought was that it would only be useful for the recently retired.
However, this turned out to be one of those life-changing books for me.
Cameron includes a number of accounts from retirees who had achieved all of the markers for “success” in their lives, only to arrive at a “now what?” moment upon retirement.
his struck me. If this was true, then maybe I needed to redefine my understanding of “success.” Here are a few of the life changing takeaways that I gleaned from this book:
Seriously, it’s never too late to begin again. I know it’s a cop-out that I used the title heading as one of my bullets, but I feel like it can’t be said enough.
So many people, myself included, are guilty of putting an expiration date on our goals and dreams. But this turns out to be misguided.
I love the examples Cameron uses to illustrate her point – seemingly countless accounts of people in their sixties embarking on a myriad of endeavors for the first time – and succeeding at them! You don’t have to be “young” to reach your goals.
Morning pages help you overcome the obstacles to your success. Because, it’s our inner dialogue, our stereotypes, assumptions, doubts and fears that are preventing us from achieving the things we want.
For those unfamiliar with Cameron’s classic The Artist way Morning Pages are three hand-written pages of free-form journaling done each day – and they have helped countless people muster the courage to embark on new, seemingly unimaginable ventures.
Perfectionism is your enemy. Because, it keeps you in fear of failure. And if you are afraid to fail, you won’t even try. Some of us seem to be born with an innate perfectionism – or perhaps it has been nurtured by those who value an attention to detail.
So, Cameron suggests that we confront it in the Morning Pages, and to have a supportive friend encourage our efforts. This means that maybe I will ask my closest friend (and not my 18-year-old self!) for encouragement the next time I dream about reaching one of my goals.