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Pick of the Week! 3/16/98

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    Over 40? Is your work full of purpose?

    By Craig Nathanson
    The Vocational Coach™

    How do you define your work?

    Do you look to your work to define meaning and joy or just to collect a paycheck? Each carries a different result.

    Those who seek meaning and joy in their work tend to choose carefully what they do; they know what they do helps determine who they are. For others who work just for the money, there is little expectation of meaning or joy-just as long as the paycheck rolls in.

    Career vs. vocational passion

    In my work, I am often asked, "What is the difference between Career and Vocational Passion?" Jobs are just an exchange of services for money. Careers are the same but with a better title.

    Sadly, for many people, jobs=careers=retirement=death.

    Can you avoid death?

    Probably not, but you can get more enjoyment and happiness out of each and every day before you get there.

    Vocational passion means having a life's work that you can do for your whole lifetime without the need to ever retire.

    Retirement is only for people who don't like what they do!

    Want a quick path to death? Retire and wait. Sure, there's much to do including travel, relaxing and visiting friends, but this doesn't last long.

    For most of us, our later years will also bring tension and anxiety about how to spend our days and in many cases, how to make a contribution.

    Get going before your crisis hits!

    Claire Hegarty of Ireland wanted in mid-life to pursue her love of animals and start a pet sitting business. But it wasn't until she read about someone who became ill suddenly at the age of 41 and dropped dead in the middle of a stressful presentation did she decide to take action.

    Jennifer Clare of Australia was middle aged and overweight. She had little energy and little hope. One day, she decided to help herself and others by turning her challenges into a business that helps other people lose weight quickly through new creative strategies.

    Are you on a path to just retire, too?

    The French word for retire means to "retreat, take out of circulation, move away from, withdraw from" and "rest". Is this what you want for the second half of your life?

    Here's the best way to retire and then die.

    - Worry about what others will think if you start to do what you love - Look for approval from others - Be afraid of change - Wait for a crisis to occur

    What happens in mid-life?

    We re-evaluate everything from our relationships, our work, our health, our finances and our emotional state. We need to recognize that this is healthy and important to do.

    How to gain purpose in your life now!

    Realize that what you do determines who you are. Is your work a reflection of who you are and/or want to be?

    Mid-life is a great time to:

    - Align your abilities and your interests - Reflect deeply about what you are passionate about - Ensure your work is maximally expressive of your passions - Ensure your work meets your personal needs - Ensure that the work you do feels just right for you

    Is your purpose worth it to you?

    Only you can be the judge.

    Mid-life adults with purpose can experience:

    - A greater sense of integrity and authenticity - An experience of being more alive - An increased feeling of contribution - Stronger health and psychological well-being - A life that's more congruent - An acceptance of your own mortality and as a result, less fear of death and a greater sense of your life plans and their meaning - An increased sense of self-esteem and happiness

    Choose a purpose

    This is what Claire and Jennifer did and so can you.

    The more important question is

    "When will you start?"

    Craig Nathanson is the author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day and a coaching expert who works with people over forty. Craig's second book, Don't just retire and die, is due out at the end of 2006. Craig's systematic approach, the trademark "Ten P" model, helps people break free and move toward the work they love. Visit Craig's online community at where you can sign up for a class or private coaching, or you can read other stories of mid-life change and renewal. Craig works with clients all over the world. Craig's office is located at
    7960 Brentwood Blvd,
    Suite D in Brentwood, Ca.
    Craig can be reached at (925) 240-0770

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