If you’re feeling the urge to make a change at the life stage you’re at, don’t worry … it’s likely not a midlife crisis. It’s just a normal part of becoming the next version of you.
But who has the time or energy? It’s not like you aren’t working full speed already.
The key is not to work more. Instead, focus on what doesn’t feel like work.
Things that cause us to “work” without it seeming so are spurred by intrinsic motivation. It’s something that gets you going from within, as opposed to extrinsic motivators like money, status, or obligation.
Think about a time when you were curious about some random topic. You may have taken an hours-long deep dive into some seemingly unnecessary subject. Instead of feeling like work, though, you likely fell into a flow state, where you became so engrossed in what you were doing that you lost track of time and other concerns.
That’s the power of curiosity. And the things you are randomly curious about can eventually lead to a whole new direction for your life.
Curiosity reflects our intrinsic motivation “to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise one’s capacities, to explore, and to learn.” And curiosity propels us toward deeper engagement, superior performance, and more-meaningful goals.
Acquiring so-called “random” knowledge isn’t the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. That’s when our natural ability for pattern recognition kicks in, and we start seeing intersections between this new topic and our vast reserves of knowledge and experience. Now you tell yourself a new story.
That excitement you feel at this point? It’s basically passion, that elusive level of psychological engagement that can fully eclipse extrinsic motivators.
But you’ll know you’re really on the right track when the spark of passion morphs into something more meaningful — and that’s purpose. All the skills, experience, and wisdom you’ll accumulated over the years now align in a completely new way.
It all starts with curiosity. And just like having a lot of ideas is the way to have a great idea, being curious about a lot of things leads to a lot of ideas that can result in the perfect way forward for you.
Stay curious my friends.
The Five Dimensions of Curiosity (Harvard Business Review)
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Running On No Sleep
In most cases, exercise will help you sleep better. If that doesn’t work, the exercise may compensate for the lack of sleep. The subtle message here is … exercise already!
Motivation is not just a feeling. It’s a habit, a practice that we need to cultivate in our daily lives. It’s not just something we have or we don’t have, it’s something that we create for ourselves.
Death, Taxes, and Points
Purposely paying your taxes with a credit card and incurring a processing fee may seem illogical, but in some cases, you may gain more than you lose.
Ease On Down the Road
A new study says one in five Americans plan to work into retirement. Expect this ratio to go up as Gen X approaches the old school retirement age.
Fight “Inflammaging” to Live Longer and Healthier
By Trudi Roth
Have you heard about 45-year-old CEO Bryan Johnson, who spends a fortune trying to be 18 again? His “Blueprint Project” involves 100+ daily protocols for eating, exercise, and sleeping. As a human experiment, Johnson is living this question:
Is the fountain of youth here right now hiding in tens of thousands of scientific publications and really hard work?
According to longevity expert Dan Buettner, the answer is probably not — yet. The trick is to extend your healthspan long enough to benefit from future scientific advancements that deliver an aging rewind.
Luckily, you don’t need to go to extreme measures to start the flow of the fountain of youth. All you have to do is become aware of and address a leading cause of the diseases of aging: inflammation.
Intro to “Inflammaging”
Inflammation is vital to the body’s natural defense system, sending cells to fight acute conditions like injuries or illnesses. But as we get older, inflammation can become chronic, compromising the immune system and damaging organs and arteries. In the US alone, 60% of Americans develop conditions or have existing issues complicated by low-level chronic inflammation.
This process is referred to as “inflammaging,” and it is thought to represent a significant risk factor for conditions like heart disease, cancers, diabetes, muscle loss, as well as brain disorders like dementia and depression.
Unlike acute inflammation, which you’re aware of thanks to swelling and pain, chronic inflammation is silent. Most of us don’t realize when an acute condition morphs into an ongoing low-grade inflammation, as our bodies tend to make less of immunity-triggering chemicals as we age. Plus, conditions like obesity can exacerbate the inflammation situation.
While there is no one calming elixir, it’s not hard to turn down the heat on your brain and body. All you have to do is make some tactical nutritional and lifestyle shifts.
The Right Snuff
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the “typical” American diet, chock full o’ refined carbs, sodium, added sugar, and saturated fats, destroys your health. A big part of why Mediterranean and Nordic people, along with Blue Zones icons, the Okinawans, enjoy excellent longevity is their food choices naturally combat inflammation.
There are thousands of health-promoting substances in healthier foods, including wider-known ones like vitamins, minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and lesser-known ones, such as flavan-3-ols (in tea and cocoa) and anthocyanins (in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and other red and purple plant foods).
Plus, they’re physically active and get plenty of rest. Make those choices, and consider adding other soothing practices like hot and cold therapy to your regime. Then you’ll be on your way to naturally tamping down inflammation — and firing up your lifespan and healthspan.
How Inflammation Ages Your Brain (Psychology Today)
Sinead O’Connor – Mandinka
The Lion and the Cobra, 1987
With all due respect to the one Prince wrote, Mandinka is my favorite Sinead O’Connor song — by a lot. One critic described it as “possibly the most absolutely brilliant single to never be a hit.” (YouTube)
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