Baby Boomers Come of Age to Save Themselves and the World’s Economy

Our story begins here…

baby boomersBeing part of the ‘silver generation’ – my husband, Jim, 69, and myself 64 – we are amazed at how surprised governments seem to be regarding the ‘explosion of numbers reaching pension age’ (their words, not ours). They have ‘suddenly’ become aware of the enormous problem they feel they have to solve.   In the UK alone, there has been a 30% increase in numbers, this year over last year, of those reaching pension age.  Of more concern is the fact that now this number will increase as a continuous flood of ‘old people’ – some 600,000 every year from now until 2018 becoming pensioners – in the UK alone.  We ‘oldies’ are seen as a liability all the way around!  And if that’s not enough, this same thing is happening virtually around the world.  The prize has to go, however, to the fact that while the world continues aging and the ‘silver generation’ continues to be the major concern of our governments, those of us of in this age group still have sharp minds, usable skills and a growing pool of wisdom the likes of which the world has never seen before!

Now is the time to turn things around

We are the magic multiplier for a revolution in any economy that cares to assess the assets that are resident within our ranks!  We, and our fellow baby boomers, have the clear potential to be ASSETS; to contribute not just to the coffers filled by taxpayers, but to becoming healthy and wealthy individuals with both the ability and the desire to continue to be wise members of our communities.

Jim and I are unprepared – as are many millions of our age group across the world – to sit in our easy chairs and wait for the grim reaper while simultaneously overburdening the health care system in our respective countries.  That has never been the way we have seen ourselves.  On the contrary, we have decades of wisdom, experience and expertise to offer, and we, my friends, are only the tip of the iceberg.  We are highly motivated and want to be active and self-sufficient because we want to live the life that we have always been told exists as the ‘Golden Years.’  Now that we are here, we can’t find them, but we know that we can create them if given the opportunity to do so.

Our plan as our story unfolds

In the UK today more than 1.6 million people over 55 are running their own business (quoted from SME figures on national registers) and millions more may actually want to be doing the same things but may not have the courage to do so.  Our plan – briefly stated – is to help those of the ‘silver generation’ who wish to realize and utilize their time more effectively mixing business into their weekly activities.

What do we need in order to steel our nerves – to create a small business enterprise?  We need more than reassurance and bravado. We need more of a practical support system.  We believe that would encourage a new creative and entrepreneurial energy in this cohort of people having gained wisdom through experience.  We believe this is possible because we have many years of teaching and presenting critically needed information to a large cross section of individuals using an innovative educational model.  We recently found a similar model with a history of success spanning more than 12 years in Malaysia, albeit for the younger generation.  Our plan at this time is to work with those having created this model for the benefit of the silver generation.  Together we hope to achieve the paradigm shift in education that has been too long in coming. What we need to do now is to find a way to get those with the power and the authority to get things done to recognize the experience and wisdom that we bring to the table.

Why is age not valued as a source of wisdom?

7 mixed BBHigh court judges are appointed for life.  Why?  Because we value their wisdom – and wisdom only comes with experience which, for the most part, comes with age.  Some people never retire because they are passionate about what they do.  Their work is their passion.  In these instances, where people are able to do what they are passionate about and get paid to do so, they never have to work a day in their lives.  They are happy.  They are healthy.  They see the world through different eyes than those who spend 8 to 10 hours a day for 30+ years to earn a pay check in order to live a relatively comfortable life.  And they do it so that one day they can enjoy the fruits of their labours – their ‘silver years.’

This may interest you:

  • Many ‘retired’ people create start-ups or turn a life-long hobby into a business for two primary reasons:
    • To have something to do that they enjoy doing rather than just becoming sedentary, or
    • To supplement their retirement benefits (the government’s word, not ours) to relieve financial worries while doing something they enjoy doing.
  • Studies show that a child’s natural creativity – found in more than 98% of all children starting school – is systematically ‘educated’ out of them by the time they reach have completed their 5th or 6th year of school
  • The education model in use by virtually every institution of higher learning in the world today was developed in response to the growing need for workers for the increasing demand created by the growth and proliferation of industry that came into its own during the mid to late 1800’s[i]
  • Retired people or those nearing retirement show a marked increase in creativity believed to be linked to not having to sell their time to the highest bidder any longer.

No one with a desire to continue working need necessarily stop because he or she ages into the ‘silver generation’ nor do they need necessarily stop doing those things we like to do.  Using our natural talents and acquired skills or being motivated to get up and be active, are all key factors that will help us live a longer, healthier and potentially wealthier life. There are countless success stories of people beyond 55, beyond 60, beyond 65 … who have created successful small businesses and who have created highly successful businesses that have grown into multinational corporations. The point is … if it is something you want to do, you should be able to do it!

Being a statistician, I am intrigued by the multiplying factor that can be extracted from the statistics we have researched. The baby boomer demographic is unique if for no other reason than the sheer size of this particular cohort! More than that, we are at the tipping point NOW! It is, therefore, time to review the potential that is intrinsic within us.

Let’s look at the global picture of a world in economic crisis

worldDo we have viable and applicable answers?  We are confident that we do. There are 945 million people in the world today between the age 55-74, and taking just that demographic, if 10% of the non-working members of this cohort begin or continue to build a business/life, run their own enterprise, collaborate with others or gain employment, that 10% (remember, we talking 94.5 million people who would in some way create no more than one job space per individual)  would not only reduce the number of people/households depending upon the government for some form of assistance – from pensions to health care to welfare – but would, in fact, broaden the tax base and contribute dramatically back to the nation in the form of tax revenue.  The other side of the coin is, this 10% would potentially be more motivated and healthy because of the dignity gained from being considered something other than the liability that we are identified as today.

Now let’s take the UK as an example. 

UK mapThe United Kingdom is my home land and one I know well. The ‘silver generation’ – once encouraged to create start-ups – may no longer wish to be engaged in the 40+ hour work week and indeed prefer a more balanced approach to business and life in general.  Technology allows us that freedom – the opportunity to leverage our time in such a way that one is neither required to spend 3 to 5 hours a day commuting, nor is he/she required to spend 8 to 10 hours a day in a cubicle or office that has a tendency, in many instances, to obstructs one’s creativity and innovative predisposition.  Without having to be restricted to the oftentimes drab confines of an office, one is free to generate a revenue stream sufficient to adequately supplement other income which in turn offers a more comfortable lifestyle.

If only 10% of the UK’s ‘silver generation’ were to create a one person commercially viable enterprise – one with sufficient revenue to incur taxes payable of £1000 per annum – the net increase to the government in tax revenue alone would be approximately £1 bilion.

Let’s suppose too that these enterprising ‘liabilities’ created just one job space in addition to their own – a job space filled by one other person – we have then simultaneously reduced the national unemployment figures significantly and added even more grateful citizens to the roles of the active tax payer.

Perhaps the ‘silver generation’ is capable of being perceived as something other than a cohort out to steal the future of those coming behind.  Is that possible?

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April 17th 083April 17th 081April 17th 084This story continues and we will share our plans and developments with you.   This blog continues next week so kept following our journey. Your comments welcome.


[i] The educational model currently in use by virtually every school, college and university around the world today was developed in response to the rapidly increasing need for employees to meet the demands of what is referred to as the Second Industrial Revolution or the Technical Revolution of the mid 1800’s.  The independent discovery – by Henry Bessemer (the Bessemer process) of England in 1855 and William Kelley of the United States in 1851 – of a cost effective industrial process for the mass production of steel led to an unprecedented expansion in manufacturing which in turn led to the simultaneous development of the employee focused teaching/learning model that prevails today.

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Silver Veterans seeking their ‘Golden Years’ will change the face of business

April 17th 084

The aging population (or Silver Veterans as we choose to think of those of us in the 55+ age bracket) across the world is capable of – and in point of fact is already actively involved in – changing the face of business.  In fact,  62% of UK SMEs  are sole proprietors (and SMEs account for more half of the UK workforce) and one third of these are aged 55-70! 

Oddly, rather than sit back and try to live on one’s pension – something that the government fears we want to do – these people want to work and need to work if only to maintain a reasonable quality of life and health.  This need has the potential to save local, national and indeed the global economy.

These Silver Veterans can and will do this by drawing upon decades of creativity, wisdom, passion and practical experience … the experience needed to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Evidence shows that this segment of the population can and will achieve substantial positive results as long as they are allowed to flourish.  Essentially what this means is that the overly restrictive policies designed and legislated to regulate large organisations need to be seen for what they are – controls for large companies, not for small and medium sized companies.  Since our ‘Golden Years’ can no longer be what we were promised four plus decades ago, shouldn’t our inheritance then be one where we can choose to create our own destiny rather than sit and be considered a burden to the self-same government that is responsible for having painted the rather rosy picture of what our ‘Golden Years’ was going to look like when we were in our early twenties?

April 17th 083Jim, my husband, and I are both in our silver years – 69 and 64 respectively – and are only now setting out to build a new entrepreneurial enterprise with the vision of taking our expertise to the world, both in person and online.

Let me say here that our original vision was to base our operations in the United Kingdom but some very restrictive immigration regulations have put that, temporarily, beyond our reach.  Our business focuses on how entrepreneurs of any age, ethnicity and economic persuasion can succeed and thrive if individuals can add some essentials ‘tools’ to their virtual tool boxes.

We teach the core principles and tools of entreprenology along with the principles of gender appropriate interaction.  In total, what we teach is “the art of science of creating success.”

Jim and I met in November 2011, fell deeply in love, married in October 2012, and surmounting various issues such as surgery, long distance and visa blockages; we are now planning to succeed in our new joint venture.

What we envision ourselves doing is working with other Silver Veterans to help them find their particular gate to the Golden Years.  How ironic – two individuals already perceived as a liability reaching out to and working with an already enormous yet steadily growing number of perceived liabilities known simply as ‘baby boomers’ … the gigantic storm cloud on the governmental horizon.  At this point it might be good to add that we plan to reach out to all those of younger years as well … any wanting to learn how to put their myriad ideas, skills and experience to work.  If, however, you happen to be among the millions who are unemployed or who have given up looking for a job, then we want to put you back to work!

You see – It’s never too late for us baby-boomers.April 17th 081

Maybe we have a different spirit? … a spirit born during or shortly after the WWII years, growing during the boom years of the 50’s, moving into the teens during the ‘magic’ of the love revolution spawned in the 60’s to maturing throughout the three decades beginning in 1970 and culminating in 90’s.

We know now that life is more than a collection of memories.  Over time we have learned that we draw upon these memories that have been filtered through perspective and refined with wisdom born of experience.  Essentially that means that, in our particular case, we have a minimum of one hundred years of experience between us.  Imagine the possibilities of reinvigorating an economy if we put even one-quarter of the combined experience of the ‘boomer generation’ back to work … allowing them, through entrepreneurial means, to remove the stigma being placed upon them by a well-meaning if heavy handed government. of the 50’s, moving into the teens during the ‘magic’ of the love revolution spawned in the 60’s to maturing throughout the three decades beginning in 1970 and culminating in 90’s.

We feel the time is absolutely ripe for Silver Veterans to make a difference in so many ways.

Now we’re not asking you to take our word for this no matter what your current age as of your last birthday.  You too – depending upon that age – may be viewing us too as a liability rather than the asset we are continually proving we are.  There are numerous articles bemoaning the fact that the aging demographic is draining the resources of every country which scares the younger demographic who are looking 20 or 30 years into the future.

April 17th 080

What we suggest is … do your own research.  As they were so fond of pointing out at the beginning of every episode of the X-Files … “The Truth is Out There!”

Read a few pieces online:

PowerHomeBiz   “The baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1964, have reshaped the economy by their sheer number. As this age group enters their retirement years, repercussions of this demographic shift will likewise be felt in all areas – from consumer spending to markets, government programs and health care, to employment and workforce.  The aging population will also change the face of small businesses”

“Entrepreneurs are more likely to be wise old owls than young guns”  Nominet Trust Organisation research:

Contrary to popular belief, the largest number of British entrepreneurs are 55 years and over, rather than 20-somethings like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.  New findings by Nominet Trust explode the myth that older people don’t have the desire or know-how to be entrepreneurs. Most people believe that entrepreneurs fit into the 25-34 age group, when in fact they are more likely to be over 55.    Nominet Trust has also found that perceptions of how older people use the internet and what they have to offer are largely incorrect: most people believe that people over 65 are luddites when, in fact, the fastest growing users of digital and social media are older.

Forbes Magazine says “Americans are getting older. But that creates opportunities for baby boomers looking for a second career.  Careers in aging are not the next big thing. They are the new big thing.”

“By 2050, according to Pew Research Projections, about one-in-five Americans will be over age 65, up from some 39 million Americans, or 13% of the U.S. population now. And the number of those 85 and older is expected to more than double to about 5% of this country’s population”

“This demographic shift is already creating a wave of new fields and opportunities for workers of all ages. It’s just a tease of what’s to come”

 

Are we doing the right things? Or are we missing the obvious and merely doing things right?

DSCF0441Time for radical change – let’s begin 2013 by doing the right things!

As 2012 closes its portal on a strangely chaotic and yet transformational year, I reflect on what is happening both in my own life and in the bigger picture in the world. Everything from politics to social reform – and of course ‘the weather’ – has thrown curved balls at all we used to know; governments over turned, hurricane ‘sandy’ hitting New York, austerity and bankruptcy across Europe…The famously reported ‘end of the world as we know it’ on December 21st came and went and chaos reigns supreme. But there does feel like a new underlying energy is emerging and in places one might not expect.

We are at a tipping point I believe where things cannot continue the ‘same old same old’ way. I have in my own world transformed everything to be different; aged 63, I met and married my true love from another continent all within the year, I stopped working the way I was doing, I am looking at new ways to create income, have moved to new environment by the sea and choose with my new husband to risk all for a new future together. We are not throwing our past away, nor become defiant and revolutionary but more we see that the way most of us do things right because we believe that keeps us safe, in fact miss the opportunity to do the right things.

Within the chaos of last year’s events, governments and authorities, civil and social rules still appear to cling to ‘doing things right’…rules and regulations tighten their grip on world affairs (and our lives) and the minute details of our everyday existence suffers out of our control… bills get bigger, incomes smaller, law abiding citizens threatened with bankruptcy and poverty line-living, austerity extends its embrace, and still the rich get richer. “Tighten our belts” is the great chant of EU countries and others across the world, even the US, as ‘austerity’ lingers it stifles the desire for growth. We continue to impact people through rules that have outgrown their sell by date. Red tape, banks, taxes, liabilities, fines, all stunt those small businesses that are the lifeblood of many countries by applying unfit rules that governed last year’s budgets. Why don’t we question whether ‘doing things right’ is right?

titanicHow can we fit desirability for a better healthier wealthier life into ‘rules’ and into ‘doing things right’ if the right things are not being done? When rules are outmoded, who gets to transform them? Dare I ask – who gets to create new designs, guidelines, “rules” for a new order that embraces the ‘right things’ rather than stay “doing things right” as governments, politicians and rule makers tend to do merely because it’s the way we’ve always done things? A bit like the Titanic, built by doing things right to ensure an unsinkable boat, the designers didn’t do the right things to compete with an iceberg… the ship went down, the past is sunk. The world is being thrown curved balls wherever we look yet all we do is keep on doing things right and not noticing when it does not work.

Let’s deepen the point… take an example personal to me and mine.

I married my true love, Jim, this Oct 7th 2012; and being of mature years, he American and me British, with over 90 years of expertise between us, we have much to offer the world of work and the desire and the need to do so. Experts in the field of Entreprenology and Gender Communication, we deliver inspiration and information- rich programs that can add richness (in all ways) a new class of successful SMEs and budding entrepreneurs that the UK desire to kick-start our economy.

The first ‘doing the right things’ rule, that is a stumbling block rule for us right now, is that one can’t just fall in love, get married and turn up in the UK and develop business even though we desire to add to the UK coffers by paying lots of taxes, spreading employment and boosting the UK economy.

Given we are 63 and 68 respectably, (and the US and the UK are not as friendly about letting people into their lands just because they are married), we have not got a work visa yet for my husband and a deadline looms when we might have to fly away for a period of time before being let back in. Due to the rules, we might end up being forced to be apart for two months (which will be painful as we are very much in love) so we may have go to yet another destination and disturb our hopes of building a strong business in the UK. The worst scenario is that it could bankrupt us merely by stopping us doing what we do best.

Ever the optimist, “hope springs eternal” and we hope to gain the VISA permission soon (I will let you know as that occurs)… but it’s not easy because rules say what has been laid down and therefore must be followed … rather than doing the right things and looking at case by case scenarios.

It appears the fundamental principle behind this particular set of ‘doing things right’ immigration rules is that few countries heed a love story – it’s all about money and costs; i.e. can we be a ‘credit’ not a ‘cost’ by being UK or US residents?

This got us thinking about the ‘cost’ of old age and whether we (as society) are really doing the right thing when it comes to our expanding mature generation. Something Jim and I are acutely aware of… and paying attention to!

Why do we see only the cost burden of old age – rather than as an amazing pool of talent as a credit base for a revival economy?

In the course of our own investigations, we have discovered that if two mature over 60’s people such as us, 63 and 68, from different countries fall in love but didn’t have the inclination, skills or energy to develop a business or a lot of money, they wouldn’t be allowed to stay in either country to live together. Each country fears the burden of old age – because ‘old people cost money’… now although I can understand that care needs to be taken in the case of immigration in general and rising populations are costly, more and more oldies like us can contribute a lot.

Surely wisdom adds value?

In a world where we are growing an ever increasing mature world population of oldies, with more people over 60 and rising life expectancy especially for women, it would be a good idea to view over 60’s as potential credits to society i.e. see them as wise experts whose talents can boost a failing economy – both driving new business and lowering the drainage on medical care by staying motivated and healthy for longer – let’s not view all oldies as a disaster zone!

Millions of oldies like us do not feel or act old

There is much evidence that many oldies (for this example 60+) are choosing to be single again after long marriages, often seeking new energy from new love relationships (without the need to have babies), potentially parting company from spouses on friendly terms, and wanting to ‘give back’ to society, create businesses and building a meaningful ‘old age’ rather than giving up and waiting to die as a burden to society. Jim and I don’t want that. Having found each other, we may not have the energy of our teenage years, but as we jogged down to the sea today, the spring in our step was strong and our desire to improve society rather than rest on our laurels was a “10 out of ten”. How powerful is that if we harness over 60s rather than write them off?

By doing the right things many have been locked into ‘being old is a burden – viewing retirement, pensions and eventually being in care homes as the only course ahead. We disagree and in fact see our generation as a potential rich source of economic revival. However we need a new perspective on this not the old rules of business controls, restrictions and penalties – or the good intentions of many entrepreneurial oldies of 60+ could be shattered forever and we create an even greater burden of an unmotivated unhealthy old age.

photo (3)My husband, Jim, and I are not prepared to retire and lay down our gifts, we want to work for the good of our homelands – the UK or US economy – and do the right things not just for our own life together but for our children, their children and their children. We want not just to work but to be an advantage to a failing economy, not a cost but a credit note on the bottom line. And we know millions like us. We plan to educate and teach them the core practical Entreprenological Skills and mindset needed. Watch what happens when wisdom, imagination and experience take up the mantle once more and ‘economic heroes’ are 60 plus!!!

Footnote
Wisdom is doing the right things, not doing things right
Taking a lesson from ancient wisdom, Solomon chose the mother who would rather give away her baby than have her child cut in half when two mothers claimed the same baby. Solomon did the right thing by observing the personal emotion of the mother who cared.
Mature oldies have much to care about, yet governments and society often penalises, demoralises and restricts their contributions and ideas when ‘doing the right things’. Oldies like us have been around a long time, let’s do the right things and give credit to a life that is worthwhile, and create ways that people like us who are willing to contribute into the economy in new ways, can do so.
Let us know your views

Business, relationships, sex and snow!

A new era of conversations is required – it’s not about men versus women or the survival of the fittest but “survival for all, abundantly” working together to create magic.

It’s been a hugely transformational 2011 that has led us all to this year, and the bad stories have not gone away in 2012! Where are we going? The New Year of the Dragon sky tells a story of fire and fun maybe?

Major financial issues attack us on every news report, EU confusion and mayhem, top men tumble and top women get isolated from the marzipan layer of females who just haven’t risen to the top yet, social unrest rides high in youth communities, vulnerable women and children grow greater in numbers, as do prison inmates; education is under the critical spotlight, students rebel or just stop going to university, the NHS crumbles more, the Government is challenged at home and abroad; hacking, benefits scandals and unemployment figures rise. BUSINESS is sticky. We’re still having the “same old same old conversations” and nothing gets better. I have friends who just don’t watch the news at all!

Then SNOW came this last weekend brought a kind of strange release from such matters and a crisis once more brought people together, everyone helping sliding cars to stay on the road and people get home even after hours in freezing conditions. Today the snow has gone from my street and the world looks pretty much the same.

Why is it we see the magic of human kindness only in crisis?

With many like minded enlightened circles of friends and mentors, I see the requirement for people is to collaborate, to share resources and to realize there is a different blueprint required. Collaborative living and working, full of conversations about collective consciousness and practical application come to the fore for me. A wonderful balance of the material and the esoteric, task and relationship, operation and service. We need both men and women to be responsible co-parents if we are to survive and thrive as a society and a sustainable economy. These thoughts impact the way I see ‘business and life’ merging and coming together as there is no longer a defined separation in that relationship. This merger has come mainly through the influx and growth of women wanting careers, business recognizing markets are changing, consumers being more feminine and men recognizing business is about RELATIONSHIPS and service; entrepreneurism is growing at a rate of knots, and philanthropy and social responsibility are key to our overall fulfillment and meaning of life. Our old paradigm economic foundations are now shaking in the very concrete pillars of our once stable male world and many struggle with leaping into a new paradigm of the unknown.

Is this a battle or a game? Maybe SEX does get in the way?

It sounds like I’m full of doom and gloom, however I am very positive and incredibly excited about this year – the crisis of collapse will shake us all together at last? Men and women will maybe own their true authentic nature, SEX will play a part and we will all have to do things different whether we like it or not. We’re all humans, we have needs and that surely our passion for life itself is the main force of renewal and hope?

It’s now time to take on board a serious paradigm shift for 2012

It’s now time to get serious about new ways of working, living, connecting, sharing, and survival for all. The old ethos was ‘the survival of the fittest’ and in that paradigm we shall no doubt continue to experience battling between the sexes both on a business and political stage but also in the streets of our towns and in our own backyards. If we shift our thinking to ‘survival for all, abundantly’ we grow hope and prosperity of mind, body and soul. However we need trust in all we do and each other. We need to open up trusted conversations, let our egos go to the wall and enter a circle of human value as key to renewal. I do believe indeed we have all the resources we need right here, right now and, with care, men and women can co-create a much healthier wiser world that will emerge through coming together in magical conversations.

I do believe the way we unpack the conundrum about women rising further in business, and maintaining their natural female attributes to co-create with men at the top…. is to get the men talking! I am convinced that women will never make the top in greater numbers unless men have a mind-shift change that allows them ownership of a new blueprint to do business in ways that will suit women.

Do read our latest research on MEN it shows that men really do want things to be different but don’t know how to hold the conversation. Call us now to learn more or go www.corporateheart.co.uk for our programmes for men.

MEN ONLY PROGRAMME for men who want to learn to be more aware of how they manage everyone – this would embrace gender aspects, communication barriers, relationship mastery, dialogue and professional presence among a range of topics, allowing men an opportunity to own the conversation in a closed male group, guided by our experts.

“Wisdom starts with wonder” Socrates

Ever thought about where your wisdom comes from? What has been imprinted into your very being before you are born from generations before you? This is not in the sense of past lives (that’s for another blog…) but simply the wisdom of inheritance from 2-3 generations past, merged through male and female lines, and the communities around them, into your essential being as you occur in your day.

Our wisdom is so influenced by the nature of your family history and adjusted by the times they lived in and merged with the times you now inhabit. Our wisdom comes from both maternal and paternal pathways of course and whether these are actively known to us during our childhood or not, whether we are orphaned, adopted, fostered or brought up by our natural parents, in wise or unwise whys, the unconscious guidelines are there. How can we bring these alive into conversations today where we share the wisdom over generations, like a wisdom waterfall, seeking our elders, to talk with our mid-life ages, and our youth to really listen to the evolution of current day wisdom.

I was fortunate to be born into a wise tradition of love and family values, and my childhood was one of love and togetherness. I look around today as people talk about the breakdown in ‘family’ living and community cohesion, and I wonder how and why we, collectively, have lost what people most cherish, a rich and fulfilling life; a sense of belonging, a pride in contribution for its own sake. The wisdom of the word ‘rich’ has been misplaced by the obsession for money and not as a word to describe a desirable natural life of joy and happiness, rich in all aspects of life, relationships, love, identity, achievement and wholesome success. It feels somehow we have got the whole word trapped in a sticky web of materalism. Where does our sticky state come from? Is it inevitable because of our history or can we unstick the web of the past to emerge like a butterfly. I know we can all do so, and use the wisdom from ancient times to present day.

My own wisdom was influenced by my history and the times I was born into. It has also evolved through the route I have taken, the attitude I have developed and the good daily practices of living that guide my journey. I have evolved with my own children’s development; influenced by my choice to be of single status after 30 years in a partnership with their father; now as a grandmother and an entrepreneur, my wisdom evolves further as I seek to engage in a new way of collaborative living suitable to this era of transformation. Collecting strands of wisdom from all ages, all diverse individuals and multi-potential groups across society is a passion of mine. We each have so much to bring the conversation and time is pressing us to observe, converse, and merge our wisdom for the common good.

Socrates says ‘Wisdom starts with wonder’…

…as in wonderment of all that is wonderful in our world. It seems we only get bombarded with disaster, war, famine, mistreatment, injustice and pain. The world is writhing in agony in so many parts of the globe, near and far, yet I see also the clinks of light where human beings step into their wisdom.

Samuel Smiles said “We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do: and probably those who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”

Some simple wisdom strategies:

• Put aside the constraints of your past for the possibility of a wise future (and if you don’t know what constrains you, then take a personal review journey with me)
• Do not fear your mistakes , know these provide ground to seed new discoveries (I have learned so much form my mistakes, I love ’em!)
• Allowing all (wise) views to come into your conversations, listen with your whole being not your pre conceptions and moral high ground (open your mind and heart to views outside your reasoning)
• Leave judgments and opinions outside the circle of conversation, hear wisdom from all corners of the world, draw the full square of life into a flow of inspiration (when the flow is stuck in an eddy, notice and then get paddling)
• Encourage good intentions and heartfelt expectations to raise everyone’s game, lead as you would leaded with unconditional love (life is about expansion or contraction, observe what is occurring for YOU not outside of you)
• Focus on sharing always in a consistent wise manner, join and leave every conversation inspired to inspire others (be present to the moment, this is NOW and the only space we have, take time to ‘wonder’ about all that is)

In my experience, wisdom is often mistaken for expertise or being clever – NO – wisdom does not happen because we think we know the answer, only when we don’t know what we don’t know, and we’re OK about not knowing, then we open up a space for wisdom to transform our lives… and magic conversations occur!

Join me for Magical Conversations in Richmond, starting from mid-May; dates and venue to be announced, register your interest by emailing me at pauline@magicalconversations.co.uk

Be curious about life

A curious adventure

In January 2006, I set off on a curious adventure and a turning point in my life.

I walked up Mt Kenya to reach 4200metres. Why curious? I am sure for walkers, mountains climbers and the like, this seems a good effort but maybe not a big deal but for me it was. It was my curiosity that pushed me to book a flight to Nairobi into the unknown.

I had never been a great walker, indeed not much of an outdoor type unless at sea, where I loved sailing. I didn’t know anyone I was travelling with and had made the decision to go only three weeks before leaving with my borrowed rucksack and inadequate golfing boots for over 2 weeks in Kenya.

There was something else happening than the usual ‘holiday’ desire, there was a curiosity to explore, to know what a totally new experience would teach me and to do something I had never done before.

My curious desire to expand what I knew about ‘me’ was certainly achieved although, as ever, not quite like I’d imagined and not necessarily in a predictable fashion. My first learning was that changing every parameter i.e. unknown place, people and context (mountain/tents/latrines/altitude) challenged my usual good sense of confidence; I was alone in a crowd on a dangerous track, and I became shy! Eeekkkk!

I needed to acclimatize.

I had never realized until then the true meaning of that word. I found myself timid, reserved and it was like being back as a child of 11 going up to my upper school without my best friend because we had fallen out. Then I had developed coping skills of communication, rapport and relating so that I could become the ‘connector’ of the class and so gain respect from all. I found myself doing the same with my climbing companions. Facing a challenging task with a range of experience, a diverse set of people and intimate living in communal tents with strangers was a good way to test your people skills!!

It reminds me now of how we can get over confident with our known experiences and forget to check-in on how others are feeling in the same situation which may be new for them.

How often do we not notice what others are feeling?

I sought courage!

The second challenge was the actual ‘doing’ the trek, it was tough. Apart from rushing up and down my 47 steps to the front door of my flat, I had really had no exercise as such. The mountain was long, slow, and steep – for me. We took it slow, a trip that can be done in 2 days easily by fit walkers, was taken over 5 days. I learned about endurance, courage, and pace. I learned also about ‘being’ at your pace not being worried about competing, the mountain was asking me to listen to my own rhythm.

Slowly, slowly, I learned to walk at a snail’s pace; breathe, and look up and notice the world around me rather than being stuck in my own fear of “can I do this?”

How often do we do this in our daily over pressure life?

I found insight and wisdom…

At the top of my trek, I stopped and rested at 4200m I saw the world in a new light. The mountain peaks, the valleys, the overhangs, the boulders, the pathway strewn with tiny sharp stones, the community we formed, the support network as we walked and talked and ate together, all formed a world in itself. Each experience, each adventure, each curiosity, was a micro view of my world and the whole world.

We come together, some unknown to each other, some friends, some family, all with different ages, genders, nationalities – and we all experienced the experience differently. I learned not to take things for granted, to get out of my own comfort zone, and to be in tune with the ground beneath my feet and the sky above me and all the beauty of life in between!!

My wise advice – Go be curious, be adventurous, delve into the unknown and know always it enhances your life if you’re willing! If I had not, I would never have seen this view….

The perfect TIME is right now

Do we often try too hard to challenge TIME? And then wonder why we are not getting what we believe we deserve? We put TIME under pressure and the more we try, the less TIME we have. We want more, we want it now, we want to speed TIME up. Contrarily, when we don’t want to get old, we want TIME to slow down. The more TIME pressure we exert on ourselves everyday (getting frustrated because we think it’s caused by obstacles outside of us), do we blame the world for all those things that don’t turn up? Do we say there’s just not enough TIME in each day?

When I allow myself to feel that way and am impatient for instance that contracts are not turning up that I have pushed hard on, or emails are not being responded too fast enough, or meetings get pushed back when I have prepared for hours to present my case, who’s stopping the natural flow of time and effort merging into a seamless flow? It’s me.

Having transformed my whole existence in the first quarter of this year, unsticking that which was stuck i.e. my place of residence, my surroundings, my excess baggage, I am now experiencing a whole new view of TIME in my life through being in a different place.

I have allowed TIME to help me slow down and flow. I have made choices that underpin an inner realization that if I am not being my best, doing what I do best and feel honestly in tune with, then nothing will arrive on this path. This is what I teach my clients to value, so I needed to set my own life into the right TIME and motion.

It is when I slowed down to the natural speed of TIME that I saw things differently. I now notice what I had not seen before, and I sense the path beneath my feet, I feel more grounded, I love the breeze on my face, the rhythm of my physical movements as I rise every day, the spring in my walk across my bridge every morning, the ease of smiles with strangers on my journey.

I recognize a shifting sense of the new, still tempered with the past wisdom but fresh now with ideas, insights, patterns, words, and new definitions of potential and future gifts that I can share with my family, friends and clients as I create my successes and grow my desired outcomes.

We can’t argue with TIME (we get the same 24 hours each); we can mis-use it, we can abuse it, we can steal it from others by bad time management; we could nurture and value every moment and use wisely, honouring TIME in our world. Maybe assess TIME as a friend not an enemy, and see what comes to be.

To help us notice TIME in a new way:

T Thinking – use your whole brain; don’t be concerned about what you think; notice what you think; become an observer of your thoughts; know that not all your thoughts are useful; use those which feel good and positive, and let the others go…
I Intuition – sense equilibrium in the swirl of time around you; know that balance is personal, physical, mental, emotional; tune into that inner-sense and innocence within; listen; breathe; exhale as you go with the flow of the day…
M Motivation – be moved by the rhythm of your own body first; observe if you are flowing with others or against; try going with the flow of conversation around you; create energy in your flow like whirl pools in a river, watch for rocks (obstacles) and go around then easily (welcome the thrill!)
E Execution – act on TIME; be on TIME; allow TIME to inform rather than direct your day; we each have the same 24 hours to play with! (DO PLAY!!!)

If time seems evasive, observe why, let go, and thank TIME for helping you to recognize the moment. Stop and breathe. Apply TIME to your business, to your relationships, to your life, and watch the magic that emerges.