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Midlife Wisdom for Men Newsletter Issue #011, May 31, 2004
June 01, 2004
Midlife Wisdom for Men - Helping Men Navigate Midlife Transitions.


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2004


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

May 31, 2004 Issue #011

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

Risk For Heart Disease Now May Increase Risk for Erec*tile Dysfunction Later
(Note: I have put an asterisk in the word erec*tile, because that is a trigger word for most anti-spam programs, so without the * this newsletter would get sent to the spam bin.)

Are You Generative, or Self-Absorbed?



Risk For Heart Disease Now May Increase Risk for Erec*tile Dysfunction Later

A new study reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that obesity, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride measurements in midlife, which are known to be predictors of heart disease, also predict the likelihood of erec*tile dysfunction decades later.

Back in the early seventies, 1810 men from Rancho Bernardo, California participated in a survey of coronary heart disease risk factors. The participants, aged 30 to 69 at the time, had a brief medical, had their medication history taken, and were measured for height, weight, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Twenty five years later, in 1998, a survey was sent to the 944 men who were still living. Of those, 570 surveys were returned with complete answers to questions about erec*tile function.

Mean age, body mass index, cholesterol, and triglycerides were each significantly associated with an increased risk of erec*tile dysfunction.

Cigarette smoking was marginally more common in those with severe or complete erec*tile dysfunction, as compared with those without. Blood pressure and fasting blood glucose were not significantly associated with erec*tile dysfunction. The authors wrote that the lack of association was probably due to higher death rates among men with higher blood pressure or blood sugar levels. (Almost all of the surviving men either had never smoked, or had quit smoking.)

So... if you are middle-aged and overweight, have high cholesterol and/or high triglyceride measurements (you can find those out from blood tests), you not only risk a heart attack any day, but when you get older, you may also have problems 'getting it up'.

Two approaches I have found useful in controlling my weight (which goes a long way to controlling the other symptoms) are:

- Eating 'In the Zone' , following Dr. Barry Sears advice for balanced eating. (I lost 20 pounds and dropped my cholesterol by 50% in five months several years ago, without experiencing any excessive hunger or cravings.)

- The Isagenix Cleansing and Fat burning program. I lost 13 pounds in nine days several months ago, and have kept ten of those pounds off without extra effort.

I don't know about you, but I am interested in living a long HEALTHY life, and I see no reason to give up nooky just because I reach my 80s!


Are You 'Generative', or 'Self-Absorbed'?

Adult developmentalist Erik Erikson said that in mid-life we need to give birth to a new way of being in the world. This creative process he called 'generativity'.

Generativity means that we begin to be concerned with others beyond ourselves and our immediate families.

We begin to care more fully for future generations, and the world we pass on to them. Erikson noted that when people fail to develop caring qualities of personality in their middle years, they fall into self-absorption, stagnation, and eventual despair. I've met a number of older men like that... they are bitter that the world doesn't 'treat them right', but they are making no significant contribution themselves.

Sixty years ago Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung decried the absence of preparation for and by people as they embark 'wholly unprepared upon the second half of life'. Jung asked "How many of us older persons have been prepared for the second half of life, for old age, death, eternity? Are there colleges for 40-year-olds that prepare them for their coming life and its demands?"

Chicago-based Dr. Paula Hardin did her doctoral research on the choices of middle adulthood that impact the second half of life. In her research she too discovered two kinds of people, which, like Erikson, she called "Generative" and "Self-absorbed". The names pretty well describe them. Some people seem to only focus on themselves, and others focus more on their contribution to the world as they get older.

Qualities of Generative People

Here are some characteristics of Generativity, based on Paula Hardin's research. She found that generative people usually:

  • have evolved a generous view of others and of the world. This includes maintaining a forgiving stance toward human faults and inadequacies.
  • Give noticeably more away financially.
  • Form a positive and caring relationship to nature.
  • Are in a process of personal integration and self-understanding.
  • Have had a pivotal event or events which led to transition experiences. Everyone has such events, but generative people use them to grow and expand while others protectively withdraw and blame.
  • Simplify their lives. Generative people take time to be reflective and gain the insights needed to clear away clutter and confusion. They learn to set limits.
  • Have the courage to change. This means both inner and outer conditions.
  • Describe themselves as very spiritual. They trust God and they trust the life process.
  • Are committed to continued learning. Generative people often return to school as adults, spend considerable time learning on their own, and/or go to workshops and classes regularly.

The Road that Makes the Difference

Hardin says Generativity is a process. And travelers on this road develop the caring that paves the way to a rewarding future. Caring helps avoid the pitfalls of the other road which calls us seductively into an ever increasing concern with ourselves, what we eat, wear, how we feel, how offended we are by perceived slights from others how much we blame our problems on others, how much we demand attention and/ or feel sorry for ourselves, and on and on. The person choosing this road feels more and more irrelevant. Eventually despair, meaninglessness and hopelessness are dominating every day of life.

The good news is we are given many opportunities to choose the road called Generativity. The fictional character Scrooge won our hearts as he chose to change his life from a curse to a blessing.

The road of Generativity does not necessarily look peaceful or calm because all change and growth is disruptive. Generativity beckons us to be newly open to places, people, ideas, growth, beauty, dreams, hopes, giving and rewards.

I believe becoming more Generative is one of the keys to a fulfilling life, and we start become more generative by DECIDING TO. Once the decision is made, we just follow the simple rules for a good life:

  • exercise
  • eat healthy food
  • pay attention to our spiritual life
  • make a contribution in our community, including spending time with and mentoring younger people (Hardin's research showed that 86% of Generative people had a role model or mentor who showed caring for others, while only 31% of self-absorbed people had such a role model).
  • figure out what we want to BE, DO, HAVE, CONTRIBUTE before we die, and start working toward those things
  • learn to feel all our feelings, and express them, especially telling people we care about that we love them (I have met many men who's fathers have died without either telling the other they loved them).

May we all become more Generative in our old age!


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

All of us hope to retire sometime, and most of us have some kind of retirement plan, even if it consists of buying a lottery ticket every week ;-)

George Slater, intrepid subscriber to this newsletter, has written a 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' that he is offering to you for free. He says with proper planning, we can have a LOT more money when we retire than we would if we just follow the crowd and do the usual things. And he has grown his retirement fund VERY FAST using the principles he talks about.

For your free issue of this report, go to my hidden web page at: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.



There is a New 'Extra Income' Section on the Midlife-Men site

Statistics say many baby boomers already know they will not have enough money to retire on. There are two solutions to that problem:
- keep working
- make some more money

I have added an extra section to the midlife-men site to address the second approach. Take a look at *****************************************************


Announcement: The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Male Depression and Aggression, by Jed Diamond will be available October 1, 2004.

Jed is the author of the international bestseller Male Menopause (now translated into 17 foreign languages). To get a copy of Jed's Free e-newsletter and get pre-release information on the new book, write to him at and come visit his website at

Editor's note: Jed is one of the foremost experts in the field of mens' midlife struggles, and I have no doubt his book will be well worth reading.

Here is a pre-publication quote:
"Male aggression and depression are underestimated conditions with enormous medical and societal implications. Jed Diamond once more succeeds in bringing an important men's health issue to public awareness and at the same time offers a valuable resource for all health professionals. CONGRATULATIONS!"
--Siegfried Meryn, M.D. Professor of Medicine President INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR MEN`S HEALTH Editor-in-Chief Journal of Men's Health and Gender Vice President European Men's Health Forum

If you have something you want to advertise, just send me a note at



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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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