Why you need to rewire and not retire?
Life is busy, too demanding? Your asking too much of yourself? So your weighing up whether it’s time to retire and ‘get a life’.
But your not ready, you’ll get bored, your brain needs to be stimulated, not stressed.
Mid life is your time to leave the busyness of life to get on with the business of life.
It’s time to ‘Boom On’ to the most satisfying and productive years of all.
Not long ago we believed that our brain cells formed by a certain age. As we aged these cells deteriorated. Our days to fully participate in life were numbered.
So Boomers lived life to the fullest. We knew that we only had a short time to have a good time. Many of us willing to forgo the loss of a few brain cells using alcohol or drugs to enhance a good time. To quote Jim Morrison from The Doors, “I want to get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames”.
Life’s stages were clearly defined. Young age for learning, early adulthood for earning, late adulthood for leisure before we lost our faculties.
Now that boomers have reached mid life, life’s ‘boomed on’, just like us.
Neuroplasticity has now replaced the formerly held belief that the brain is a static organ. We now know that the brain changes throughout the whole of life. By changing behavior, neurons learn to process information differently building new pathways to replace old worn out paths.
The ageing brain.
Our brain thins with age. This affects our short term memory. It is why we can’t find our car keys. But a thinning brain does not affect our capacity to process new information and learn.
The good news is that our brain improves with age in important areas. Mainly in the area of competence, the ability to compare the old with the new. From this we develop wisdom which is our enhanced capacity to solve problems.
And better still, those years of mental activity in early adulthood have provided a strong foundation.
But here’s the problem. Whilst we’ve been actively involved in delivering the goods, after all of these years we’ve become bored. That’s why it’s time for reinvention.
The time has come to reignite our brain and recover our passion. Sitting around doing crosswords and brain puzzles is not the solution.
10 ways to rewire so your brain won’t retire.
Mindfulness Meditation- Practice mindfulness meditation. Filling every moment of the day is what your accustomed to. Developing the discipline to sit still for 10-40 minutes, working through the boredom and discomfort of a mind used to ‘always planning’ will exercise your brain. This exercise improves your brains capacity to pay attention and remain focused. You will develop awareness of how your mind works.
Journaling- Writing things down helps you remember better. Journaling will organize both your business and personal life. Freewriting is a great way to start unraveling brain clutter, it enhances emotional wellbeing and gives insight to problems.
Develop the mind of a Scientist- How long has it been since you’ve been curious? Efficiency and time management replaced curiosity. Start exploring life like a scientist, you’ll uncover new connections, make breakthroughs, provide new outcomes .
Stop working to a deadline- A busy schedule trained your brain to focus on the deadline. Your brain learned that the quickest route was the priority. You stopped gaining insight to new possibilities. Focus on the job to gain a deeper perspective.
Get into the flow- Much of early adulthood was outcome focused. External focus was needed to provide to survive. That job is done, it’s time get into the flow of life. Flow is the state where you become so fully immersed in the enjoyment of an activity you lose a sense of time and place.
Move on from your story- You’ve been telling your story for so long you may have no idea that it’s no longer true. My story was implanted thirty years ago when I separated, it was my story of struggling to make ends meet. I had not stopped to realize that I had been making ends meet for twenty years. This story needed updating. Once this came into my awareness, I became unstuck from this story and my brain automatically updated.
Exercise -Mid lifers who take up cycling, mountain climbing or running are not crazy. Physical exercise improves brain health as much as body health. Stop reading the news and go climb a mountain.
Face your fears- Are you afraid of public speaking? Join toastmasters. It turns out that facing your fears, even after one exposure, can reset your brain. Imagine all of the new possibilities if you discovered that you actually are quite capable of building your own website.
Artistic pursuits- Keith Richards got it right, artistic pursuits fire the brain. You never had the talent to make it. Your rock star/painter/author didn’t provide enough income. So you moved on from following the rock star, actor, painter or author dream. Now you’ve acquired skills and hindsight. Use your wisdom to pick up where you left off. A rewire will fire the rock star or artist in you.
What fascinates you? - Unleash your talents with what fascinates you. Mark S. Walton, author of Boundless Potential describes a 3-step process used by those who successfully reinvent themselves in mid life. Ask
- What fascinates me?
- Translate this fascination into action in the real world.
- Determine what type of structure you can use to bring this into reality.
Are you now ready to rewire your desire?
How will you get on with the business of life?
Would love your comments.