Maybe you need a new dream?

Dreams come true. We enjoy them. And then it’s time for a new dream (rinse, repeat). This cycle goes on throughout life, but seems to really come up for many between 40 and 50. It doesn’t mean the old dream isn’t still wonderful, just that it is completed (you got the t-shirt). That’s what it felt like for me back in 2008, when I decided to take an early retirement package. I was leaving a great corporate job that for me that had truly been a dream come true when I began 16 years prior. Yes, I still liked working there, doing interesting work, with great people. But, gradually, I realized I wasn’t really learning anything new, and admitted to myself that didn’t really want to climb the corporate ladder any longer. The days had a “same-ness” to them and the dream job wasn’t as fulfilling as before. It was a still a great job; it just didn’t feel like it was my job any more. Many of my coaching clients who are 40+ years of age have those same stirrings of unrest, feeling like something is missing. Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on LinkedIn They know a change is in order, but are frustrated by not knowing what is wanted instead. They need a new dream. While there is discomfort in that place of mild discontent, it can be a great pivot point toward something new. William Bridges writes in Transition, his classic book on change process, that every beginning starts with an ending. For me, the discontent with the “dream job”...

Mid-Life Reinvention: You 2.0

Jason is a 40-year old quality improvement manager at a huge conglomerate where he’s spent his entire career. He is successful, earns good money, and has a really nice life going. But there’s a gnawing feeling that there is something more life. Joyce, 52, felt stuck in her upper-middle management communications role at a major corporation. With her two great kids in college, a burgeoning healthy relationship with her fiancé, and a wide circle of friends, she too felt uneasy about her professional life. By most measures, both Jason and Joyce are successful in their lives and careers, enjoy good health, relative comfort financially, and express general gratitude for what they have accomplished and acquired. And yet, they are experiencing discontent, a stirring that what they’ve worked toward so far in life isn’t satisfying. Joyce and Jason, composites of many of my coaching clients, are experiencing what Dr. Wayne Dyer describes in his excellent book The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning. There are many life-stages theories, explaining various phases of our lives; I really resonate with Wayne’s “shift from ambition to meaning” model. From childhood to between 40-50 years of age, most all of us notice that there are more years in the “year-view” mirror than ahead in the windshield. We’ve worked ambitiously to achieve many goals we set forth in careers, in building families and lives, and acquiring a lot of the “stuff” that are trappings of success in our culture. What’s more, we are living longer than any other time in human history, and yet all those extra years need not be simply extension...

What’s Your Money Story?

Money is a powerful concept. Just think of all the ways in which most of us give our attention to money – how we earn it, manage it, account for it, save it, spend it, worry about it, and even give it away. Not surprisingly, many of us have unquestioned limiting beliefs about money. We may even hold judgments about the relationships others have with their money – rich or poor, lavish spenders, or overly frugal. In The Energy of Money, author Dr. Maria Nemeth challenges readers to create a personal “money autobiography” by writing a description of our lifelong experience of money, from earliest memories to now. She suggests that what we observed and learned about money from our earliest memories informs our money beliefs as adults. What a sobering exercise! My money autobiography showed me how my own Money Story – my current beliefs about money – was very much shaped by my parents’ beliefs about money. My folks were members of “The Greatest Generation.” They were kids during the depths of the Great Depression and were young adults during WWII. (Keywords: Lack, Scarcity, Limitation, Rationing, Distrust, Secrecy, Hardship, Doing-without.) Understandably, they saw the world as generally an unfriendly place; money was hard to come by and to be protected at all costs. For them, the glass often looked half full. I acknowledge that I didn’t experience the hugely challenging times they endured growing up. Different life experience means different worldview, so I see and experience the world differently – as a generally friendly place of abundance that is full of choices and opportunities. For me, the...

Be Bad!

“Be Bad!” That’s what comedian Kate Clinton wrote when she autographed a photo for me a few years ago. Be Bad really landed for me, as a good departure point – not from being “good” or “kind.” No, the departure point was from being “nice.” I spent way too many years living in ways that catered to others comfort and wishes at the expense of my own wants and needs. Maybe you can relate? With the help of my coach, I learned that I often saw rules where there weren’t any. I unconsciously opted out of many things in life based on unquestioned assumptions I made, informed by rules that I made up or that others imposed that were unacceptable. Moments of clarity like that are powerful outcomes from working with a coach. So, I took Kate’s admonition to heart. I made a commitment! If living life with dignity, integrity, personal power, speaking up, playing bigger, with joy and kindness is somehow bad, then okay – I choose to Be Bad. If this resonates, I invite you to consider some coach-like questions for yourself: Where do you see rules that aren’t there? What would it feel like to come out of the “nice” closet and Be Bad? What might happen if you said “no” to one unreasonable request today? How will you know when you will be ready to make a change and Be Bad?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Perhaps we can explore coaching together? (Go on, Be Bad!) Contact Tim...