Dec 7, 2022
“In general, we've added about 30 years to our life expectancy, and our mindsets tend to think, Oh, I'm going to be older, longer. We tack those on to the end. But that is not how we experience the added years and decades in our life. What's happened is the middle part of life has expanded,” explains Barbara Waxman, coach, life stage expert, gerontologist, and author. Gerontology is the study of adult development and aging. And today, Barbara talks about middlescence and the five rules for authenticity.
The human life expectancy has increased by about 30 years overall and it is time to change the collective mindset that has typically viewed aging in a negative light. Instead of worrying about the myth of the midlife crisis or planning for retirement at 65, it is time to shift toward planning for how you can maintain your health and what career paths you can take to earn money as an older adult. Middlescence is a life stage that is often overlooked but that comes with many changes, both internal and external, and can be a great time to re-evaluate your life. It is never too late to figure out who you want to be when you grow up and start living authentically.
To be an authentic leader you must know your own story. When you are clear on who you are and how you came to be, you can really take ownership of that story of your life. Instead of viewing middle or old age as the end of the road, start to view it as the first step of a new journey and focus on how you are going to take those next steps forward. This will help you to be the most authentic leader you can be.
“Being authentic is actually taking the time to know your own story.” (5:43-5:48 | Barbara)
“In general, we've added about 30 years to our life expectancy, and our mindsets tend to think, ‘Oh, I'm going to be older, longer.’ But that is not how we experience the added years and decades in our life. What's happened is the middle part of life has expanded.” (21:10-21:36 | Barbara)
“We're not starting a downhill slope. We're sort of at the height saying, ‘okay, what's the next mountain? How do I want to get there?’” (23:37-23:46 | Barbara)
“Companies are recognizing that they don't have enough people in the pipeline. We need to maintain people at a high level who can continue to work longer and have them mentor younger people, so that there's consistency of leadership throughout.” (26:45-26:59 | Barbara)
“Oftentimes people think their most valuable currency is what they've got in the bank, or their contacts, their social networks, and that is part of it. But really, your currency is your energy.” (27:49-28:03 | Barbara)
“Life is not a linear path. It's a journey and an ever unfolding story. So to lead others, to lead yourself, to be a good coach, it's really important to take the time required to know your story.” (34:54-35:10 | Barbara)
“The strongest among us are those who are willing to expose parts of themselves and take risks.” (36:04-36:11 | Barbara)
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