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A to Z Guide to Life for Guys Like Us

A to Z Guide for Men, Leadership, and Personal Development

Take a look at this list and let me know what you think in the comments section.

In considering a narrowing of focus from boomers in general to being a resource for men and guys over 50 (and the women who care about them), I have been thinking about what personal development and thriving is for men. This is a list of some of the ideas I have come up with.

It took some doing, but by some magic of nature, I was able to list them in order of the alphabet! Amazing, huh?

  • Ask for Help
    • In working with men for the past (too many) years, one of the thing that is constantly recurring is that the rugged individualist myth is alive and well. Yes, Ayn Rand lives. Being independent is great when it works, but guys that I have coached and counseled are often a little too unwilling to ask for help when they really need it.  I admit that I have fallen into this trap myself. Where is there an area in your life where you could use some help?
  • Brag – a Little
    • Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished and the fact that you have gotten this far. What have been the high points in your life?
  • Cultivate New Relationships
    • You’ve heard this before. Those that are most successful are those with the most effective networks. Connections to others become even more important as we age. Where will you meet new, in person, people?
  • Diet
    • No, not go on a diet. Make sure your diet is giving you everything you need. I am a sometimes successful low carb guy myself. It seems to work the best for me. One of the better diets, according to the research that I have done is the Mediterranean diet. What are your ideas for an excellent diet?
  • Exercise
    • This one is a no-brainer. Lift weights, walk, practice aikido. Do something to get the muscles and heart pumping. You’re working on more than your body. Your brain will thank you, too. Always check your ability to exercise out with your medical provider first, though. What’s one thing you can do to add a little exercise to your life?
  • Find Yourself
    • Do you know what your true values are? Are you living them?
  • Grow Your Knowledge Base
    • Become a life-long learner. Life is constantly changing. Keeping up keeps you young. What will you learn today?
  • Heed Your Spouse’s Advice
    • Research shows that men who listen to their spouses, girlfriends or others of the opposite sex do better. At least take their opinions into the mix. You are smart. Hopefully, you have chosen someone smarter to spend your time with. How can you utilize the wisdom of your spouse?
  • Instigate Bigger Conversations
    • Bigger, deeper and wider conversation make you a bigger, deeper, wider and more intelligent man. What is the big conversation you would like to have?
  • Jump Start Your Brain
    • Exercise your brain by exercising your brain. There are all kinds of brain exercise programs out there. But you don’t have to spend money to improve your brain. See E for Exercise above, play cards, do crossword puzzles, read, write, have those bigger conversations. How will you add brain exercise to your routine?
  • Kick Some Butt at Work
    • As we age, we carry with us institutional knowledge through multiple workplaces. To stay current, though, you are never finished learning new skills. What is a new skill you can learn this year?
  • Legacy
    • It’s said that when we are gone, it doesn’t really matter what we have when we die. A poker playing colleague tells me that we are born with nothing, and we die with nothing. All the rest is just fluctuation. What really counts is what we will be remembered for. What will that be for you?
  • Mindful Living
    • Take time to take time outs. Really. Stop and smell some damn roses. Really! Meditate, contemplate, investigate thoroughly, listen deeply. Where will you build mindfulness into your life?
  • Nuance
    • Take a step back and realize that life, the world, and their issues don’t come in the black and white variety. They come without political parties, religious dogma and exist in living Technicolor. Where could you use a little nuance?
  • Organize and Prioritize
    • These are the first steps in doing what needs to be done, and the two where yours truly needs the most work. What is one thing you can do to organize?
  • Purpose
    • As we grow, we really do let go of childish things. reDiscover and choose a purpose for the rest of your life. Those of us with a purpose in life go further than those who are simply adrift. What will be the purpose of the last third of your life?
  • Quit Smoking
    • If you think about it, there are three things you can do to increase your odds to live a longer life: Quit smoking if you do and never start if you don’t. wash your hands often, and wear your damn seat belt.
  • Read Voraciously
    • Over the years, the more I have learned, the more I realized how little I actually know. It scares me when I hear a statistic that says 70% of Americans don’t read a book after high school. What is the next book you will read?
  • See the World in New Ways
    • Travel, see and do new things, explore your city or countryside, try some things you have never tried before. Where do you want to go today?
  • Treat Yourself Well
  • Use Your Brain
    • One of the things my dad used to say is to use my head for something other than a hat rack. He was so eloquent. Your brain is the ultimate use it or lose it organ. In what ways can you use your brain differently today?
  • reVitalize
    • See all of the above and below and put into practice any that make sense to you.
  • Work
    • Work until you can’t, but be sure to do work you love. It may have been Mark Twain (but I’m not sure) who said to do work you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.
  • Xamine (sorry) Your Life
    • Are you living the life you want to live? Are you loving the life you are living?
  • Youthfulness
    • Stay as flexible as possible in mind and body. Keep an open mind. I occasionally notice myself becoming rigid in my thinking and have to check myself. Old age is simply a state of mind. When do you notice yourself becoming rigid and what can you do about it?
  • Zany
    • Laugh. See the humor in both yourself and the world around you. It’s not all bad out there. An old friend of my used to say, “If you can’t laugh in life, the only thing left to do is to cry.” How will you make yourself laugh today?

Hey, I hope this is a helpful list. It’s only meant to be a thinking and conversation starter.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: LULZ Photography


About Mike

Writes for men in transition, interested in personal development, and who are excited or lost when it comes to life and all the possibilities it offers after 50.

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