As I sit down to write this article, I will celebrate my 55th birthday in a few days, and I can’t wait. For some people, this juncture of true middle age could bring on a melancholy mood after taking inventory of a life possibly more than half complete. Yet for me, I am excited about my golden years of stepping into a truer, stronger, fearless and wiser me. I have always loved the five’s of a decade because I see it as an opportunity to create not only a vision of what I would like to accomplish in the next five years but also determine how I want to step into my own deeper, richer evolvement.
Where will you be five years from now? What will life offer you? For we tend to overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate all that we can do in five years.
Looking back, I realize every decade (and even those five years in between) has given me insights into myself, seeing how I have been both blessed and challenged.
In my 20s, there was Colorado Outward Bound feeling fearless and confident. After college graduation, maybe a little conceited, I chose typical life experiences such as my first “real job,” marriage including married into a family business and the birth of my daughter. I was bold, brave and even had moxie. I also suffered the loss of my father – one of my greatest mentors. In my 30s the successes of having a family, a home, and important work to pursue with our family fitness business, but so did business demands and life adversities like my newborn son’s congenital heart defect requiring three open heart surgeries. I was humbled as I spent sleepless nights while running a business from the fifth floor at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and also more enlightened to know what’s truly important in life. I discovered the meaning that our children are truly our teachers. In my 40s I re-energized with new enthusiasm, purpose and determination to lead in all areas of my business and life. I was sales driven, all work and out of balance – for stress release I went back to marathon running. Then the unthinkable happened – my daughter was diagnosed with a terminal osteosarcoma. I was left with my heart broken forever. Certainly my mid 40s and early 50s have brought the good, the bad, the happiest and truly the saddest times of my life. I even sold our family fitness business a mere six weeks after my 50th. Through it all, I have experienced the rawness of life – gifting me the opportunity to transform myself.
Now being on the threshold of a new age group – only as a runner is this important if you want a Boston Marathon qualifying time; I am positively embracing all of the past five years this decade of 50 offered. And am letting go of the things that I have no control over or no longer serve me. The Serenity Prayer by American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr sums it up nicely—“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
For me, my next 5 years will be about life mastery, relaxing more into myself and using wisdom to stay on my journey and act accordingly in the world. I hope every gesture; thought, desire and action will be a reflection of my true essence. I want to inspire others authentically with passion, love, selflessness, compassion, vulnerability and joy. I believe deeply in the power of one’s personal path and the inner wisdom that can prevail when we take inventory and stop betraying ourselves, get out of fear, embrace our dreams, love richly and quit playing small in the world.
I want to live my bigger game in life by empowering business owners and leaders globally to live authentically. My deep desire for others is that they will become ecstatically happy with themselves so they can build the kind of lives they want to live.
Too often, people say they don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.
Five years ….260 weeks…1,825 days…. 2,333,000 minutes.
What will you do with it? What could you do with it?