Over two years ago, I was attending my regular National Speakers Association meeting. The agenda stated this meeting was dedicated to honoring a woman of influence who had highly contributed to the field of speaking. Her name is Lee and she was 89 years old. After she received her award, she gave a compelling speech that changed my life.
She said, “Life begins at 50!” She told her story about how she completely changed careers, encountered obstacles and overcame the pain of divorce, remarried and has lived a life filled with joy and accomplishment, ALL starting at age 50!
After her speech, I introduced myself to her and expressed my appreciation for her inspiring message, especially because I would be turning 50 in a month. I was building my coaching practice and felt her message was not only timely but powerful. She actively listened to me, took my business card and called me the next day to set up a meeting with her. She has become my mentor and has helped me to grow and flourish. She is now 91 and continues to live life to the fullest, with a growing business, a happy marriage, health and vitality. She reaches out to me regularly with lovely, affirming messages and I feel valued and inspired by just listening to her. She advises and supports me in my professional and personal life. We have numerous and dear memories and I am grateful for a relationship with her.
This has been one of the catalysts for me to embrace my life at 50. I have been given a second chance to flourish. I have realized that I have a choice to make given any thought, feeling or circumstance that impacts me. I can choose the “learner” path or the “judger” path. The learner path asks: “What happened, what can I learn, what am I responsible for, what’s possible, what are my choices and what’s best to do now?” By choosing the learner path I am solution focused and it is win-win relating. The Judger path asks: “Whats wrong with me, what’s wrong with them, why am I such a failure, why bother?” It is blame focused, has automatic reactions and is win-lose relating. It leads to the judger pit.
Slowly but surely, I have learned to choose the learner path. My mentors, family, friends and profession have cultivated this choice and reinforced the outcomes. It all adds up to a life that is more capable now to flourish than when I was younger. My best days are ahead of me!
For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.