Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
While I was preparing todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s presentation I came across some interesting facts here that I will just share with you before we start here. By 2015 some 77 million Americans will be 50 to 69 years old and that represents the first and largest generation in history to be so long lived and have to deal with the promises and problems of such an extended lifespan. In the book today After 50 ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Up to Us, Dr. George Schofield presents the results of his own researches on the subject, which include numerous in- depth interviews with Americans in the 50 to 97 year old age bracket. The result is an articulate presentation offering invaluable insights and an accessible wisdom to the mind opening possibilities of what an extended lifespan can offer senior citizens today. Dr Schofield is an expert and a life long student of human organizational development. He is married and a grandfather and resides with his wife in San Francisco and he is here with us today. I want you to please welcome Dr George Schofield. Good afternoon. I would like to start in a usual way. For those of you who arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t my friends of long standing, an author's major fear is no one will come and that does happen. What brought to this particular presentation? A good topic appropriate for a lot of us all ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ yeah ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ all right ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ great, great ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ thank you. So first of all thanks to all of you for coming. My thanks to Book Passage ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my request is that you buy a book from Book Passage to tell you the truth, because this is an institution that is so important for all of us in Northern California. And I would also like to thank FORA.tv. This is my first experience with FORA.tv and they have got a great reputation. So I would like to talk about the history of the book for a minute. I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t start out to write the book, there is my admission right now. Several years ago my marriage was fine, my business was fine, my children were fine, my friends were fine; I wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t fine. I have two Masters degree and a PhD. I have a banking career. I am an organizational psychologist by day, you think I could test out of this and simply move on, the answer was no, you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t test out of this. So my wife, who was terrifyingly smart on many occasions, and I agree that I would go to the desert. And so in fact we rented a condo for me for two weeks, and I was alone for the first 10 days and then she flew down in the middle of the second weeks so we would have a few days together. I needed to go away and just simply get off the treadmill for little while and take a look at what was going on. So I am going to be honest with you. The first two days in that condo I was looking out through the levolors going; what am I doing here? I need to go home and go back to work because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how I know who I am. Instead I went to an office supply store and bought those sticky back flip chart pages and hung them up around the wall of the living room and bought some washable pens and sat down; I have been meditating for years ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sat down and stared at the blank pages until it began to come to me. And what came to me was the realization that a lot of how I known ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ who I am as a parent, as a business person, as a spouse, as a member of a community ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my relationship to those were changing and in some cases those things were going away. I had had the experience of raising my two sons by myself and that was in my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in my history. The boys are now in their late 20ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s and very well self established. At some point I would need to stop hanging and so much of my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ such a high percentage of my identity ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ on having been single parent in a pioneering way, because it was very important to me and is very important to me. But lets face it, they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have ask me for money, they pay their own bills, they have their own children and some how I need to move ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I need to move on. So by the time my wife arrived in Southern California I could take her to whirl walk. It was very clear ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ not only ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ some of the ways I know who I was, I was going to have to let go off. But some of the things that I have been particularly good at were not going to serve me well anymore. So I am going to tell you a story about paradox of doing if you will. One of the things that I discovered for myself was that a major way I had of being in the world was by doing. So I will get up in the morning and I would race from one thing to the next and I have got ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I have a full time practice as an organizational psychologist, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve raised my children by myself, I am on some boards, I have a great marriage and I volunteer for my wifeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s organization, and doing with a huge part of who I was. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not that I want to stop doing. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s that I realized that if doing is the only way I really have of being alive then as I get older thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not going to work for me. And I began to realize again that some other things that had served me well earlier in my life were not necessarily going to serve me well later in my life. Example; when I did the research for the book I interviewed a man who had been a trial lawyer for a very long time. And he was used to a small number of things. Taking charge, drama, pretty much ordering people around including the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I think the judge sometimes has made him particularly successful. And he elected to retire. So he went from having that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the dominant style in his profession to not having anybody to order around and people didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to listen to it. You know itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very different to listen to him on a volunteer basis than if you are on the staff and you are being ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and you are being paid. So I began to work with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ with a real paradox. And what happened was after my wife flew down and we talked our way through this, I said, you know I think I need to do research in this because I need answers for myself. There is lots of planning out there; retirement planning, financial planning, social planning ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ but I am not getting that people are asking the question what I am going to have to be good at. We know what a 10 year old has to be good at ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ at 20, and we can help that boy or girl get there. We know what a 30 year old pretty much has to be good at ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ at 40, and we can help them do that. But for those of us over 50 we really donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know what we are going to have to be good at ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ at 75. So as soon as that light went off in my head I began to get interested in doing interviews and I did a whole series of two hour taped in depth interviews with a wide variety of Americans with a wide variety of stories. And out of that came the realization that I would actually like to write a book because their stories and what they had to say were so compelling that I could no longer not write a book. It stopped to being about me and it started being about us if you will. So I am going to read briefly and simply say that there are three truths I just describe in the book. The first is we have the first real opportunity in years to focus on ourselves and there is no one to hold accountable if we are not doing it successfully or at all. So one of the great shocks to me was that I had to be willing to give up doing all the time in order to have the space to pay attention to me, where I came from paying attention to me was usually labeled selfish or something else and that I really had to blow that up. So part of it was being ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ going to get off the treadmill long enough to be quiet. The second truth is solid planning is imperative, and life is often what happens while we are making other plans. Planning is imperative. Just because we have a plan doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t mean that thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how our lives are going to go. So for a variety of people I interviewed planned to retire, planned to move, planned to stay where they are ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ their plans went according to plans sort of, in my case I really wanted to be near my granddaughters. And so even though I love the California desert we didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t do the sort of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ live there a part of the time, here a part of the time; that I wanted ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and we made a clear decision we are going to stay in the Bay Area. I want to be able to go to Laura's Third Grade Angel Pageant. I don't want to be that far away from her. Within weeks of the time we made that decision, my son, their father, announced they were moving to Singapore. And so my three granddaughters now live in Singapore, another lesson in the difference between influence and control for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ for me. The third major truth is we have developed abilities and approaches to life that have made us reasonably successful by age 50. But those might not be what make success ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ those might not be what makes us successful for beyond 50. In fact the abilities and approaches we have relied on most before 50 could work against us later. One of the women that I interviewed was a CEO. She had done a magnificent job of having children, of being a CEO, of being a major civic volunteer; in some ways she got lost in the shuffle and her ability to disperse herself across so many different arenas of life in fact wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to provide her ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ she decided ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or the kind of nutrition that she wanted in the future. But she didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really know how to take a deep breath and say, what am I ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ what am I going to pick from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ how am I going to pick from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ how am I going to work for that. So there are number of things that the book talks about. First thing is we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the vocabulary we need. Retirement is a word that no longer works, because many of us are not going to come up to a red line and simply step over and say now I am not going to work any more. I have one architect that I that I interviewed for the book who in fact is busier now although he isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t in a job for money. He is trying to figure out how to slow down in his volunteer activities because its eating him alive and he is beginning to dream of going back to work part time, because the work ends in a certain hour frequently and his volunteer work doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t, nor do the financial demands. So the vocabulary doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t work because we have no word for people between 50 and elderly. We have a highly developed vocabulary for much later in life. We have almost no vocabulary for people between 50 and elderly. So we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have a way to work with it. There are a lot of people ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ whether you believe if itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s right or not, who are living together rather than marrying between the ages of 50 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ age of 50 and being elderly. What do you call that relationship? We donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ companionship; this is my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this came up time and time again in the interviews. So one of the things that was most fascinating to me is the degree to which we are going to pioneer this and are engaged in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in pioneering what we are doing. We are going to have to invent the vocabulary that we need thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s right for us, because the structures that would have existed for our parents with the notion of you got to work for a large company and you work there for life and you retire one day and you buy a little house in Florida and you golf and you slowly decline until you fall over. You know I would like a show of hands. How many ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ for how many people is that the dream today? For the record, FORA.tv ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ no hands. So having said that, after 50 itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s up to us, we are going to have to create our own imagination, we are going to have to do the research to find out what our options are. We are going to need to build plans and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ most alarming; no one is going to be able to tell us if this is the right decision, because after 50 itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s up to us. So I was on television not very long ago and with a lady, we were being interviewed together and she took one look at the title of my book and said, oh I hope not, because she wanted to take a test and get the answers and she wanted a formula or better yet if she just have a pill that would take care of it then she would have been happy. Now the fact is that she was only beginning to ask the questions and she was pretty aghast at how ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ at how the big the questions were for her, because in this case she was recently divorced, she had grown children but they had their own lives. Their friends have been sort of divided up between the two people as they often are in divorce and she had left to work several years before. So it was going to be hard for her ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ difficult for her to bridge back. So we had ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we had a lot of work to do on that. So one, we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the vocabulary. Two, we really are pioneering it ourselves. For most of us there isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to be an institution, a church, where our employers are going to give us retirement or any of the other institutions that previously provided us with structures. We are certainly going to need help as we age. And we may need help with housing or transportation or nutrition or a whole variety of things. But there isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to be this sort of one size fits all, if I simply step into this preexisting pattern it will be taking care for me; which then brings me back to planning again. My children are very tired of hearing me say that. The most important lesson my children ever taught me as they were growing up, when I was a single parent, was the difference between influence and control. Now I do control great. Now when the boys were little I knew where they were, whose mother was picking them up, what time they were going to be done with baseball, how much homework had to be done, when their doctorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s appointment was; the whole thing. They reached a certain stage ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and I was limited to influence. And I think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the most painful lesson they ever taught me, especially when they are to be taller than I was and to say things like, right dad, and whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s your point, because I had to find a way to do influence intelligently. The parallel for us is that we are all going to need to do planning. The pitfall will be if we assume life is going to go according to plan then we are going to get beaten up a bit because its not going to go according to plan; just like my children ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my grandchildren moving to Singapore. You know because I have this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ great, I love children. I am the first one sitting at the card table with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ with the kids at a party and with a puppy too if I can work it out. I am caught in this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my grandchildren have this incredible life in Singapore but I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get to see them as much as I did. So all I can do is influence here. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have control. The same thing for us with plans. You may plan to retire or you may plan not to retire. You may plan to stay in the same house or you may plan to stay in the same house for five years and then move to a condominium. Have your plans; make sure that that you have the financing to do it. DonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t assume that life is going to go exclusively according to plan. So there is a story about money. One of the people I interviewed was a very famous physicist. He assumed that because he had enough money life would be great. One of the most painful lessons for him was that if he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have enough money he would have a problem. But if he did have enough money chances are unless he did the work it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to work because in fact he was going to be ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ buying his way into things that were not nutritious for him or as satisfying for him. So what I want you to know is that itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important to have plans, but nobody has been down this road before. There is going to be lots of support among us, because we will have lots of peers. The problem is they probably wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the answers either. They will have information we need. So I did all these interviews. What happened was that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I began to just interview my friends. And then my phone started to ring. There was somebody saying, you know I heard you interviewed so and so, and that just being interviewed and being asked those questions was a life altering experience. Would you interview me? Well you know my research design didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have that many people. My research design talk about having a plan and it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t go according to plan. My research plan imploded and I had to go back and take a deep breath and say, I thought people wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to be talking about this. One of the really wonderful things that happened for me was when I was thinking about writing a book I came here to Book Passage, in the building right behind here, and I took classes. And one of the very first pieces of feedback I got from the other people in the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ taught by Amy Rennert who is a very well known agent here in Northern California. One of the very first things that happened for me was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I talked about our book projects, was I got feedback which was, if I put the words age or ageing in my title no one in Marin would buy the book. So I am not interested in is elderly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I mean I am not disinterested in elderly, I am not focused on elderly, I am focused on this period between 50 and elderly. Thank you Marcia ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I took hand waving lessons for Marcia for years. I can do with both hands now. I began to really look at this and say, okay if I am interested in this age group and we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the vocabulary and we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know what we are going to be good at, I actually need to interview more people. And so as my phone began to ring and people began to engaged with me from all around the United States and I travel a lot, so I had a chance to get people to peopleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s stories and I would stay an extra day somewhere and do ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and do some interviews and then ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and by the way, if you have ever tried to a listen to a whole lot of two hour interviews thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a fair amount of work. So I am very confident in what I learned. There were four key skills, I will call them, because the title of the book; After 50 It's Up To Us: Developing The Skills And Agility We'll Need, that was really my question, is what am I going to have be good at later in my life, that I can start working on now, given that we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have a vocabulary. The first one was identity. I wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t go through all of them in depth. You could read it in the book. But we all have identity anchors and my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ back to my trip to the desert, my identity anchors were my capacity for working hard, my history as a single parent ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of which I was very proud and I am proud to this day, my relationship to my work ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ one of the things that shifted in my 50 is that I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t see coming was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I still loved my work but I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t look to it for the kind of validation I did in my 30s. I wanted a certain kind of validation and it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to come from my work anymore, and I really had a hard time with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ with that, that my work is important to me but I am not looking for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ for daily validation, I am already at a certain level, then where is the validation going to come from, what is that I am going to need. So I had to do the work of identifying, what I wanted my identity to be, and I will have to do that multiple times as I get ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ as I get older the based on work o I lived based on my wifeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, whatever she does around her interests or the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the different things that we do. So thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one thing is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I literally have the opportunity to reconstruct my sense of my identity, but it does mean letting go of some of the things that have been precious to me without not necessarily knowing what I am going to choose to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to replace ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know some cases, not replace it all. My metaphor was I had to be wiling to move into a large empty room with no furniture for a little while with it and just simply allow myself in the space to get ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to get clear about it. This is covered in detail on the book. But I want you have ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you have a sense of, and actually just take a minute and ask yourself, if you are going to pick one word or two words at the most, around which your identity is anchored now ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to answer it, this is a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this is a personal question; what would that be? In my case it was frequently busy, if I am going to be perfectly honest about it, okay. Then the question is how well does that serve me? Is that something I want to keep or is that something that I want to let go over, the appreciation, and replace it with something else down the road. The second primary significant skill is community building. We often think of community as contiguous ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know the people that we are physically adjacent to or close to us. I talk about the difference in the book, between the people that we are close to and the people that we know that we are not very close to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and having enough of both of those. The people we are close to we need, because they are very efficient, I can walk in the room with a certain frown and my wife ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ without a single word my wife will know exactly whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on in my head and I assure you that works two ways. There are a number of people in my life that I need that not I am not close to, because while the strong relationships, the people to I am strongly connected are efficient, those usually arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t the relationships that provide me new information and new ideas and new possibilities. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the people to who I am weakly, w-eÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“a-kÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“l-y connected that are going to revive me with the new opportunities. Now what happens much later in our lives, the people to whom we are strongly connected move away, become ill, die ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we move away from those systems because we are retired over ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we are not engaged in anyway, and if we havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t taken the time to make sure we are building the other community, the community to whom we are weakly connected, one we are cutting ourselves off from the new possibilities and two we have accidentally cut ourselves off from the inventory of people that are going to be there for us that could come strong relationships. So I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t underline enough not only how important the identity skill is, but the community skill is. Again this is much in greater detail in the book, but I want you to have a sense of how ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ imagine you had to go to a lot of interviews and you will mind them and you come up with what sound like these very simple things but they are actually very rich for each of us, who do I want to be, now what do I want to do, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an important question too, how am I going to build a community, sorry, how much community am I going to need of people to whom I am strongly connected, how much am I going to need the people that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the community of people that I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know very well. And by the way itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not necessarily that it will be the same number that it was when I was in my 30s. There was a time in the Cub Scout in soccer days ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ some of you may remember the Cub Scout and soccer days when 30 kids could come for a spaghetti dinner on five minutes notice. I have got to tell you, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think I can do the spaghetti dinner on five minutes, those for 30 kids and their parents anymore, not without ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ not without fainting. Meaning making; thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the third one. What happens to us or what happens that we observe is important. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s equally important for us to be aware of the story we tell ourselves about it. So I had the experience I never would have thought I had ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ would have, of terminating my fatherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s life. Now he was in his 80s, he was ill; he had already been very clear with me about what he wanted and what he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want. And my reaction afterwards was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ personal loss but not a tragedy. The story I could have told was a loss story, the story I could have told was a tragedy story. In fact from my fatherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s perspective it was not a tragedy, and we take on an increasing number of responsibilities over connected to these stories after 50 in a way that we arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t earlier. Nobody died around me for a really long time. And then poof ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ all of a sudden there was a period in which it seemed like there was a ticket number system, because they simply have reached the age, where my networks were going to start ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ start changing for whole variety of reasons. The story I would tell myself about it. The story you tell yourself about any small things, falling in love, falling out of love, buying multiple Mercedes, what ever the story is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that was an inside joke, we could all ask John about that, you can all ask John about his Mercedes later. The story is crucial. Now if you are not aware of the power of the story in our lives then we are going to remain embedded in the story. So we have identity anchors, we have the importance of community building as a skill, the importance of conscious meaning making a skill and finally, selection. Earlier in our lives we make a lot of bifurcated yes-no-go-no-go decisions. Am I going to marry this man or not? Am I going buy this house or am I not? Am I going to take this job, am I not? ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s much more nuanced later in our lives. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not as simple as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“do I retireÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“am I going to remarryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“am I going to move awayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“am I going to allow myself to help my children be a smaller part of my identityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, why I chose the word selection is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and I talk about it a lot in the book; there are variety of small choices and influence that go together in my making these very smart selections which may not be forever. So if I go back to the four core skills that the book talks about and their requirements for daily agility, so no doubt about it, they are built around identity making for ourselves, community building, meaning making, conscious able skill for meaning making, and selection. So I would like to end ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we also have time for Q&A ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ am I okay, Steve? Okay. Out of the interviews and the analysis of the interviews came 10 key realities. First is planning is essential. The second is the pace of change is accelerating. You may have noticed that. Just in terms of technology people are using vocabulary ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I am going ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ wow, wow ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ but wait a minute; FORA.tv, I have to take a minute and go figure out how to get to FORA.tv on my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ on my lap top where our 18 year olds could just do it in a heart beat. No oneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s life happens according to plan. I would actually like the show of hands. How many made a plan and life went exactly according to plan with no deviation? For the benefit of FORA.tv again there were no hands raised. Thriving beyond 50 and remember, I am talking about 50 to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to before elderly, pre elderly, thriving beyond 50 requires special abilities. The path we expect will change as it unfolds before us. What we are good at in the past may not be what we will need to be good at in the future; in fact what we are good at in the past may become an obstacle. Ageing canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be solved or move beyond like a problem. And thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s something that I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t say but I should have. One of the particular strengths I have had in my life is solving problems and in fact I am so good at it, there are times I can ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ if I find some thing I will turn it into a problem so that I can solve it and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and feel as though I have succeeded. For the very first time in my own ageing I am faced with some thing where that problem solution model isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to work, because I am not aware of anyone who can solve their ageing today at 63, and they will have to deal with it again. So the problem solution model per se isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t going to work. Our situations and our companions will change as we age often without written notice. Ageing canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be solved or moved beyond like a problem; acquiring and practicing the right abilities early will make a difference in the quality of life every day after 50. There is no ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“one size fits allÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ answer for thriving after 50. Success requires awareness and resilience in taking daily responsibility for ourselves. So again I would like to thank dear beloved Book Passage, which gives so much to all of us intellectually and in books and in ideas and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like to thank FORA.tv and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like to thank all of you for in this pre Christmas season, showing up and being here. Thank you very much.