John W. Gardner was a legendary public intellectual, leadership expert and civic reformer famously credited with the term “tough-minded optimism,” which is a balance of unique ideas, deep convictions, and resilience in the face of change.
Finding ourselves in the ‘MiddleLiving’ place in our lives (I have expanded the range from 45-75 to 40-85 years old, thank you to my highly educated guests) we need to embrace tough-minded optimism as our mantra! Embracing continuing education is the key to longevity, and the 21st century is a perfect time to leverage opportunities.
Going through the motions is just not going to cut it, not if we are planning on living to 100 with a high quality of life. If we are living a ‘Healthy & Fit’ lifestyle we have a chance. I do not deride the challenges of life, it’s a tough journey, but I worry about those who are living below their potential.
Boredom is the avoidable ailment of all ‘MiddleLiving’ souls; the key thing is recognizing how we begin to slowly slip.
The times we live in, where we find ourselves so busy yet so bored, are a paradox. With smugness, imprisoned by our own comfortable habits, we grow rigid and unable to change and move. We become physically, emotionally, and intellectually stuck in our ways.
I refer to this paradigm as the “Carousel of Life,” where we ride for 25, 35, 45 years, get off and then wonder what happened! The image that of our life is perceptual. Rather than ruminate on what might have been, reflect on what can be.
Think flexible and exciting: tough-minded optimism is the way!
Thinking our way forward, moving more, sleeping better, eating just a little bit better can be the opening of the door. Try some of these tips:
- Do a personal self-assessment
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
- Create a vision board
- Seek coaching
- Stay connected
- Keep working
Tom Matt is the host of the ‘Boomers Rock’ radio talk show syndicated throughout Michigan on the Michigan Talk Network and can be heard locally Saturday mornings on the ‘Big Talker’ WJIM 1240 AM. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a CPT/FNS/SFS. For more information please visit www.boomersrock.us