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How To Live A Fuller Life
November 15, 2008

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #116, November 15, 2008

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The Advantages Of Creating Your Own Website

If you have been reading this newsletter for very long, you will know that I think creating your own website is a great idea. And you do not have to be a techie in order to do it. It can be fun, challenging, and rewarding in more ways than one.

How To Live A Fuller Life

I was in my early forties when I finally got a clear sense of my life mission. What a difference it made in my life! I felt (and still feel) far more fulfilled than I in my 'pre-mission' days. Finding your calling, or Life Purpose, isn't always easy, but it is always rewarding.

There are about 1100 words in the articles in this issue, which should take you about four minutes to read.

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Written by Noel McNaughton
Midlife-Men.com
(c) copyright 2008 midlife-men.com

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If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.

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The Advantages Of Creating Your Own Website

If you are "retired" or maybe have been "retrenched" from the work world, chances are you could use some stimulation, challenge and a bit more income.

Here is a FUN way to be challenged and creative while not "working" at it, and you get "paid to learn" a new skill as you go.....

  • Share your knowledge and special interest skills (it feels good to give back).
  • Share your family/grand/kids story or family tree, (make scrapbook style "brag" site).
  • Share your hobby interests & skills (make a brag book site for your collections?)
  • Start a website and be the "webmaster" for your Club, Church or Community organization....
on and on and on.

I created the midlife-men.com website as a way of giving back. And I never needed a webmaster to help me. All the help I needed came with the web package, including how to be listed high in the search engines. Build Your Own Website That Works

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The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. - - - - Oscar Wilde

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How To Live A Fuller Life

Years ago, Henry David Thoreau said "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them".

I believe he was right. I know I spent a good many years trying to figure out 'what I should do when I grew up'. When I did figure it out (My mission was simple: help people learn how to take better care of the earth), my life became far more fulfilling and meaningful.

My new mission led me to quit my job, go back to university to earn a Masters degree, and start a new business, all in line with my mission. I was on fire with passion, and in spite of the hardships and road blocks (I almost went bankrupt before I got the new business off the ground), it was the most exciting and rewarding time I had ever experienced.

At article in the latest issue of AARP magazine (www.aarpmagazine.org) has some good information about the beneficial effects of finding your own sense of life purpose.

A sense of purpose will help you live longer

Having a sense of meaning, or purpose, not only gives you 'a reason to get up in the morning', but will help you live longer. A Hungarian study published in 2005 found that of the 12,460 middle-aged men and women studied, those who felt their lives had meaning had much lower rates of cancer and heart disease than those who didn't feel that way.

The 'Blue Zone Project' which studies some of the longest-lived people in the world, discovered that having a sense of purpose was common among centenarians. The Blue Zones Website has lots of interesting information, including a free test where you can get an idea of how long YOU will live. It takes about two minutes.

Finding a sense of purpose can be difficult, so Richard Leider, author of Something to Live For: Finding Your Way in the Second Half of Life came up with a formula: G+V+P=C. In other words, make a list of what you consider to be your Gifts, Values and Passions, then identify your top quality in each category. Use these to reveal your Calling.

You might check my "Finding Your Life Mission" page for useful exercises as well.

One thing several people who have studied longevity and happiness say, is your work can really help you feel your life has purpose. We have all seen men who have retired, and died a few short years later, largely because they had so much of their identity and meaning tied up in their jobs, that when they left them, it was as though they left themselves behind.

Even if your job isn't all that great, having a sense of accomplishment, and just as important, having an income, can give a sense of purpose.

A recent European study that tracked 16,827 people for 12 years found that those who retired early had a 51 percent higher mortality rate than those who kept working. And a study of 3500 Shell Oil employees published in 2005 showed that those who retired at 55 were twice as likely to die during the following ten years as people the same age who continued to work.

Your faith can keep you well

Harold G. Koenig, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Duke University says: "People who feel their life is part of a larger plan and are guided by their spiritual values have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart attack and cancer, and heal faster and live longer".

More than 2000 studies in recent years have analyzed the correlation between health and religious faith. These studies found, among other things, that people who attend a religious service at least four times a month are less likely to be depressed, or feel chronic stress. They are less likely to engage in risky behaviour too.

My own experience with spiritual growth bears that out. I had a 'spiritual awakening' in 1983 that profoundly changed my life. One of the benefits was that I no longer got as uptight about things as I had in the past. It had felt as though I was in a tiny boat being tossed around on a stormy ocean, and now I felt as though I was sitting calmly in the deep, where I barely felt the storm waves on the surface.

Religious faith can even help you live longer. a study published in the journal Demography in 1999 tracked 20,000 Americans and found that white people who regularly attended church lived an average of seven years longer than their secular counterparts, and black people lived fourteen years longer!

I would argue that you don't have to be a regular church goer to have these benefits, but you do have to have a faith in something greater than you, and you must have regular spiritual practices, such as prayer and meditation. The advantage of going to church is that it gives you a social outing, which can also increase your sense of fulfilment and well-being.

Duke University's professor Koenig says people who believe in God often feel that in itself is the reward that gives life meaning.

So there you have it: a sense of purpose, or mission; a feeling of connection to something greater; and doing work that feels meaningful, including volunteering, can make you feel more happy and fulfilled, and give you a longer life.

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Shameless pun: A thief fell in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to noel@midlife-men.com . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.

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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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