Regardless of your age, living life to the fullest is paramount. For me part of this means sharing. As a parent of adult children and grand kids, I truly believe I have an obligation to pass along wisdom born of experience, success, failures, mistakes, sorrow, and joy to those who will follow us.  In doing so I hope I will inspire others to never give up and take life one step at a time.  That's how progress is made.  Another tangible benefit of articulating our life's lessons is that we remind ourselves that no matter our age, we should also never stop striving to be all we can.

The following first appeared in myhealthyseniors.com (currently under renovation), but I believe it is worth repeating.  It was written by Pauline M. Hubig.  She is a remarkable woman who has lived an extraordinary life--nurse, mentor, mom, aunt, friend, sister, business woman, humanitarian.  From the time she spent working as a nurse for the Tom Dooley Foundation in the dangerous war torn lands of Laos on the Chinese boarder back in the 1960s to caring for elderly parents, her life is the stuff of books and films.  For example, she was born in Michigan, but actually grew up living on Toughnut Street in Tombstone, Arizona.  How many people do you know who can claim that distinction?  Oh, and by the way, she is also my sister.  Enjoy her musings on life.  I apologize that it is a bit long, but it might just keep you motivated while you are inspiring a member of a younger generation.  

Getting Back Up and Passing It On by P. Hubig

I am seven the first time I remember this feeling of wonder, fear and yet excitement at the thought of a new life.  Since that time, I would say I have become a professional "starter over," experiencing this feeling of new starts multiple times.  In the last 3 years alone I have changed my whole situation, location, and direction I am going.  In taking stock of all this, and at 66 plus years of new beginnings and trying to keep myself moving forward, I have definitely learned a few pointers.

First and foremost, I have learned that what truly matters can never be grasped and put into a box, nor can it be perfectly described.  What truly matters are the people in your life and all of the moments, good and bad, spent with your family and friends.  People must always remain first and we sometimes forget that in our rush or desire to go forward.  I have been to hundreds of seminars on motivation, self improvement, etc. etc., but it still boils down to not only the action we take each day and the belief in ourselves, but the lives we touch and those that touch us.

I have been trying for years to figure out what I can do more effectively and differently to better my life and the lives of others.  I have been somewhat successful in this area, but like all other areas it could stand some improvement!  Today, I finally know who I am and where I wish to go, but you can imagine at 66 how difficult it is to be able to verbalize this in a realistic manner.  

I am no different than thousands, indeed millions, of others, except that today I not only have goals and dreams but this feeling that all is possible.  In fact, it is stunning the goals I am now going after!  If you are like me you go to great seminars on fostering a wonderful attitude, you see inspirational movies, read great books with new ideas, or see programs that inspire you so much that when you get up in the morning you vow to do things differently.  In this new found excitement, you may even make a few positive changes.  Then after a couple of days or weeks you forget.  It all goes away and you go back to your familiar plan and do things the same way you always have.

Like you, I like instant results and changes that are beautifully packaged and easy to do!  This is what I have finally realized.  That is, I have to do something every day and it must be easy. I am not talking about taking the easy way out, but I have discovered that even without perfect feelings and situations I can and am changing my life by doing a series of small things.  It's the steady and sure method that is consistent with one of my favorite old Chinese adages that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Remember:  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.  Begin it now.  -Goethe-

Toward that end, I start each day, after doing some personal things, by reading my goals.  Then I think and say out loud that I can accomplish anything and that I am a worthwhile person.  I get going and make myself do some work.  Your life must be based on a belief that you are wonderful and unique and can achieve anything.  I am sure there are plenty of folks who know this, but I would venture a guess there are equally as many of us who must practice it to make it reality.  I realize this is not new stuff.  After all, thousands of people write about it and many others read it, but you must believe it.  If no one has told you lately, I will assure you that if you are breathing and if you want to make some changes in your life for the better you can achieve this.  I believe in you.

Today, I know the changes I wish for begin within me, the Italian girl who grew up in Tombstone, Arizona, on Toughnut Street.  But it goes beyond that.  We, the more mature folks, must instill this get up and go in our young people.  They need to know that dreams and goals with actions that are consistent and persistent will get them where they want to go.  

The world our children will inherit will be challenging.  Pensions are a thing of the past and it is doubtful they will have social security, so they will need to work longer and smarter than others before them to be successful.  I encourage you to help me make a difference in the world because our generation has so much encouragement and ideas that we need to give the next generation.  

I have just moved, made several personal changes, and I will be working on making significant changes in my corner of the world.  Please do the same in your corner and we will leave this place better than we found it.  We are alive for a reason and no matter what, life is incredible no matter our challenges.

Embrace challenges.  I love them.  They make us stronger and more appreciative. Welcome today, tomorrow will be even better because of our efforts and we will all be better people for having tried.  Along the way, strive to inspire a young person.  Let them know they must not only dream, but take action to make those dreams reality.  And remind them that they don't have to make spectacular leaps forward.  Indeed, small, sure steps will work just fine.  Remember the journey of a thousand miles...

 


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