Tuesday, January 22, 2013

5 Ways to Make the Second Half of Your Life Count

Many mountaineers have lost their lives on the Swiss Matterhorn and are buried nearby in a Catholic church cemetery outside the small town of Zermatt. A recent study by a historian found 2/3 of the climbers in this graveyard made it to the Matterhorn peak, but died on the way back down.  They started strong but could not finish, mainly because they were not adequately prepared.
All of us are susceptible to this danger; if not on a mountain, then in life.  It’s easy to go full out in the beginning, but it’s much harder to finish well.  That takes diligent planning and preparation. 
Granted, it’s pretty much impossible to know for certain if you’re in the second half of your life. The definitive information isn’t available until you really don’t need it anymore. However, there is something undeniably pivotal about arriving at your 40’s and 50’s, and hearing, “It’s all downhill from here” (or something like that).
Regardless of exactly when “The second half of your life” begins, there’s absolutely no reason for any All Pro Dad to fail to live with enthusiasm, resolve, and passion. Here are 5 ways to make the second half of your life count.

1. Fine-tune your purpose:
Younger men invest so much energy in “getting ahead” and establishing a family that they sometimes forget to consider the “so what?” That “so what” is going to help you to shine despite the empty nest, retirement, and loss of professional focus.
2. Carpe Diem:
Take some classes. Teach a class. Volunteer. Get involved in your grandchildren’s lives. Put the wisdom of your experience to good use. In other words, grab the opportunity and seize the day. Don’t wait for meaning to come to you when there is so much need that can benefit from the gifts you already have.
3. Arrive there in sound fiscal shape:
Prepare now for the second half of your life by making financial decisions that will free up your resources to serve your family and be generous to the world.
4. Love your family like never before:
By now, you’ve learned a lot about your own gifts and the particular needs of the people you love. Don’t waste this opportunity. Put that knowledge into practice and love your family with all the wisdom and skill that you now have.
5. Avoid slipping into maintenance mode over performance mode:
Don’t fall into the trap of letting your guard down because, “All the hard work has already been done.” No, fight for your wife’s love like never before. Get to know your kids all over again. Hone your existing skills and learn new ones. Continue to push the envelope.  Get after God like you never have before.  Finish in a sprint.

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