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Look on the Bright Side - You'll Live Longer
October 02, 2007
Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #091, October 2, 2007
=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========
· Self Confidence
· Look on the Bright Side - You'll Live Longer
Written by Noel McNaughton
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Midlife Wisdom for Men.
Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.
When we are babies, we are full of self-confidence. As far as we know, the world revolves around us! Somewhere along the line, through parents, teachers, classmates and playmates, our self-confidence gets battered. In an effort to be loved and accepted (both of which are literally critical for our survival), we adopt the beliefs and behaviours that help us stay in 'the good books' with those we depend on.
The trouble is, as we become adults and move into the world on our own, we bring those beliefs and behaviours with us. And they don't work the way they are supposed to. But by then we have them buried so deep we don't know they are there. Midlife is a time to dig down and find those delusional beliefs.
Is your glass half full? Or half empty? Recent research finds that if it is half full, you will live longer, and more happily.
There are about 950 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about three minutes to read.
To a shy disciple who wanted to become self-confident the Master said, "You look for certainty in the eyes of others and you think that is self-confidence".
I was on the staff for a New Warrior Training Adventure near Edmonton last weekend. It was fulfilling, inspiring, and tiring! The training is, to quote the ManKind Project which administers it:
"...a process of initiation and self-examination that is crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self. It is the "hero's journey" of classical literature and myth - the process of moving away from the comforting embrace of the mother's feminine energy and safely into the masculine kingdom. It is a journey of the soul during which men confront their dependence on women, their mistrust of other men and their need to be special."
Many men during this training confront old stories they have told themselves about how others have power over them, and how they have to 'always look good'. In a nutshell, in spite of being grown men, they lack self-confidence.
Perhaps most men lack self-confidence. Maybe we all tell ourselves old stories about how we have to be, and what we have to do, in order to be loved and accepted. And although we may have gained skills in many areas over the years, and are confident in our jobs, we still lack confidence as men, or simply as human beings.
As we reach midlife, self-confidence can drop even lower as we struggle to figure out who we are now, and what the meaning of our life is. At least that was my experience.
In my early adulthood I covered my lack of self-confidence with booze. After I got sober during my late thirties, I had a reasonable degree of self-confidence, but during my early fifties I lost it. I was doing quite a bit of public speaking at the time, and suddenly I couldn't think of anything I wanted to speak about any more, and even if I did come up with something, couldn't imagine anyone wanting to hear it!
Five years passed before I began to get my self-confidence back, and now it feels as though my old confidence has been 'deepened' somehow. I look less to the outer world for validation than I ever have. Perhaps that is one of the great gifts of going through the midlife transition.
It is also a gift of going on a Hero's journey, as the men at the New Warrior Training did last weekend.
How about you? Are you confident in yourself? Or do you "look for certainty in the eyes of others and you think that is self-confidence"? What old lies do you tell yourself about how you have to be in order to be ok?
"He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."
Look on the Bright Side - You'll Live Longer
This article is adapted from Bottom Line's Daily Health News
Learning to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty may add years to your life -- and happier ones at that. In a study that followed adults for forty years - from their college days to the present - researchers found that optimists were far less likely to die young than their more pessimistic peers.
ABOUT THE STUDY
In the mid-1960s, more than 7,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a personality test that included questions that measured whether they were optimistic or pessimistic. While most of the participants fell somewhere in the middle, 1,630 were considered to be pessimists and 923 to be optimists. Tracking them over the next four decades, researchers discovered that the most pessimistic study participants had a 42% greater likelihood of dying from any cause than the most optimistic participants. These results were published in the December 2006 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings medical journal.
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
Charles S. Carver, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Miami, has found that optimism plays an important role in how successfully people cope with stressful experiences. Dr. Carver speculates that the reasons behind this startling difference in life expectancy likely include...
a.. Optimists tend to take better care of themselves than pessimists (e.g., paying greater attention to maximizing health through lifestyle considerations such as diet and exercise).
b.. Pessimists often worry too much, and numerous research studies have shown that stress and anxiety are themselves health risks for many conditions, especially cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Carver says pessimists can learn to put a more positive spin on their lives. He says cognitive therapy which focuses specifically on changing outlook, is effective for many people. Practices such as meditation, yoga or Pilates, and keeping a "gratitude journal" can be useful as well.
I agree. I have exercised regularly - I do pilates three times a week these days, prayed and meditated for many years. My cup always looks half full to me. If yours looks half empty, maybe some therapy, and some of the practices mentioned here can help. You'll live longer, and have more fun while you are alive :-)
I never met a man good at excuses who was good at anything else. - Dr. Ed Josephs.
You know I think building a theme-based website is ideal for people at midlife and beyond. You can have fun, and make some pretty serious money: How to build a successful site
Wouldn't it be great to work less and play more golf? I do not of a better way to earn a part-time income, than a simple information Web site. I encourage you to check out Live My Passion. You'll be amazed at how you can turn YOUR hobby into online income.
The Mankind Project The ManKind Project® offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. Our trainings challenge men to develop their abilities as leaders, fathers, and elders as ways of offering their deepest gifts in service to the world.
The ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure® is an intense, transformative men's initiation which invites men to forge a deep conscious connection between head and heart. The NWTA offers men a powerful, challenging opportunity to look at all aspects of their lives in a richly supportive environment.
Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.
Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men , and follow the instructions.
I Need Your Questions and Feedback!
Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
Just email your suggestions and/or questions to
. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.
Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.
All the best, Noel
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