A masterclass on turning 50

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If you take a different direction in your fifties no matter how small the turn, be prepared to be accused of having a mid-life crisis. “Crisis” implies calamity and danger. But the stereotypical mid-life crisis can also mean something very different. It can simply mean a change point and therefore opportunity.

A reckless turn will indeed invite danger. But for most of us, our fifties are more of a time for doing new things. Call your yearning for change a crisis if you must. But there is nothing to fear in turning 50. In fact, there are some authentic, liberating…


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The what and why of creativity?

It seems no matter where you look these days, someone’s extolling the virtues of creativity and the absolute necessity for it. The WEF Future of Jobs Report 2020, lists 15 skill groups as essential for 2025. One grouping is: ‘creativity, originality, and initiative’. However, the report neglects to say what creativity is and creates confusion over the concept by labeling another skill grouping as: ‘reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation’— unarguably also creativity. The lack of definition and common understanding of creativity leads to problems for employees and employers as to what exactly they need to be upskilling.

So how do psychologists…


Nature is the room designed for rest and respite

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Oh, you fool of a mother I chastise myself as I wind up my inquisition: “How are you this morning? What are you doing? Is your homework done? Hurry up or you’ll be late for school!”

Without looking up, he flicks his phone on the bed, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Irritated with my own lateness and overwhelmed by tasks not done, I turn away.

I can’t say how it then happened. I can’t say why. But as I walked toward my own hectic day there was a moment of realization. Some call it a eureka moment! I call this one a…


When I decided to write about death, I walked 3 miles to sit under the shade of a Gingko to simply wonder what that word meant. It wasn’t long before the bright summer sun forced my eyes shut and my thoughts drifted here and there and after a while, the only thing I could be sure of was that death and life are inseparable in contemplations, in yearnings, and in the daily practicalities of living.

But when I began to ponder the subject in this way, which seemed unavoidable, I soon realized that it had one fatal drawback. I would…


The latest from neuroscience!

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Ask someone how old they are and they’ll surely give you the number of years they’ve been alive. Ask them how old they ‘feel’ and they’ll give a different answer, either much younger or older possibly depending on how their day’s going. We could also look at our age as expected years remaining. By this measure, a 65-year-old woman ≈ 60-year-old man. Then there’s our biological age (sometimes called functional age), which can only be determined in the lab, despite what your smartwatch tells you. …


Creative Enlightenment competition wrap-up

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As a person just striking out in real-world ways towards my dream of being a writer finding and winning this contest is like a burst of blessed wind beneath my wings. I am so honored to be chosen to take the Creative Champion Course and excited to learn the core strengths that could make me a creative champion too. Jackie Dragon (competition winner)

In June, July, and August we ran a writing competition with the theme “creativity and resilience.” By way of wrapping up, we first owe a big thanks to Wade Kingsley, creativity coach extraordinaire, for his generosity in…


Life, I have a problem!

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Could I? The moan of self-doubt.

Should I? The chant of the undeserving.

Will I? The tune of fear.

Oh, for goodness sake, just take a risk for once!

“The state of wise innocence is entered by shedding cynicism and protectionism and by reentering the state of wonder — the kind of wonder one sees in the very young and many who are very old” (Clarissa Pinkola Estés).

And so it was that I re-entered the workforce after a 27-year absence. Swaddled in a warm blanket of naivety, full of wonder and trust, I set out to learn the ways…


Emotion is the skilled writers business

Readers need an emotional connection. shutterstock.com

As a writer, you are dealing with human emotions.

Since humans are wired for empathy, it’s the emotional connection between you and the reader, which is arguably the most important element in your short story article. How to hone this skill is the question most novice writers want to be answered? But there’s no easy answer because like any skill you might try to master, creating an emotional connection with your audience is multidimensional and complex.

Nevertheless, you must! When you’re in the business of creating compelling stories in as few as 1500 words, it’s necessary to know how stories…


It’s easier to ‘get lucky’ than you think!

Pay attention and have more life-changing chance encounters. shutterstock.com

Do you pay homage to the ‘goddess of chance?’ In Greek mythology, Tyche was the goddess of fortune, chance, and fate (good and bad). Anything that couldn’t be readily explained from floods to seemingly effortless wealth accumulation, was attributed to her. Even today it’s common for those starting a business venture to say “it will take hard work and a few lucky breaks”. But how often can what we call ‘luck’ be completely attributed to accident or fate?

Most of us, I included, will happily regale stories of lucky chance encounters that changed our lives. There’s something uplifting about the…


Part 1: Women with courage and strength who inspire wellness and living

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Beauty and grace shine through the power of purpose and pride.

Strong older women who strive to live life to their potential, abound and they have something in common. As their lives advanced past 60 they did not retire to reminisce about the good ol’ days. Instead, they forged on confident with the possibility that their most glorious achievements were yet to come. Their strength and power do not come from wealth, position, or brute strength. Rather it is an innate, quiet, humble power that comes from a…

Jen Gippel PhD

The Aging Futurist. Ph.D. Finance, MSc Creativity Studies | Combining science and personal experience I write about Aging, Creativity, and Life.

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