Thursday, February 7, 2013

You're The Boss Of Your Own Life

Becoming your own boss is easy. It's one of the many benefits of growing old. As we get older, we have fewer and fewer bosses until, ultimately, we're our own boss-accountable and answerable to no one but ourselves.

Birthdays, we're told, are good for us: the more we have the longer we live. In the blink of an eye, we find ourselves in the driver's seat of your own bus. It seemed like only yesterday that we felt bulletproof, and now we're becoming increasingly aware of our own vulnerability.

The good news is that we have pretty good driving instructions. The challenge is that all we have to do is take the controls. And, for most people, that can be easier said than done.

Here's what we know already.

We know that food is our principal source of energy. And choosing an appropriate diet is pretty straightforward. Even if we need assistance, there's plenty of help on hand. In order to lead a longer, better life, the BIG deal is reduce the amount we consume-smaller helpings, fewer calories, and so on.

We know that fitness is important. That doesn't have to mean going to the gym or being able to go five sets with Roger Federer or Sarina Williams in 40-degree heat. Gardening, walking, and using the stairs instead of taking the lift are some of the many available options. Research continues to show that gym-junkies do not outlive others who maintain a level of fitness in ways other than pumping iron.

We know that friends and family play an increasingly important part in our lives as we age. And we have to work at maintaining existing friendships as well as making new ones. Samuel Johnson's advice may be hundreds of years old, but his message remains relevant today. He said, 'If man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone'.

We know that we must have something to look forward to. That 'something' varies for each of us. There are some great stories throughout history of people who have used this facility to their advantage. And there are numerous studies that emphasize the importance for each of us having some reason to get out of bed each morning.

We know that keeping our finances in check requires regular attention. John Ruskin was on the ball when he said that, 'There is no wealth but life'. And Rousseau drew attention to what most of us have come to realise: wealth is having what we want. Notwithstanding, more than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle observed, '... it's difficult if not impossible to do fine deeds without any resources'. So, getting our finances in order is important.

Despite having this knowledge, most of us don't use it or follow it. We just drive-on regardless, as if becoming our own boss scares us. After all, if people did what they know they should do, there'd be no such thing as Jenny Craig.

No one is exempt from becoming their own boss. Some people respond to this challenge by seeking expertise in their pursuit of these essentials-hiring a fitness coach, a dietician, a financial advisor, or whomever. Others choose a DIY-approach. It's time to apply Roger Federer's helpful-hint to Pat Rafter: 'The Ball's in your court'.

OK, boss. You know what to do. Do it!

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