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Midlife Wisdom for Men Newsletter Issue #026, January 15, 2005
January 15, 2005

Helping Men Navigate Midlife Transitions.


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2004


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Issue #026, January 15, 2005

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

A Technique For Dealing With Limiting Thoughts

Niacin Can Help Prevent Alzheimer's

Sit On Your Hands... It'll Reduce Your Stress


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Around the time I turned 50, I found I had lost confidence in myself. Not good when you are self-employed and need to be marketing your skills all the time! I seemed to have quite a few limiting beliefs (e.g. I began to think nobody would want to hear me speak, which is not good when you are a professional speaker!). I wish I had known about Byron Katie's 'Four Questions and Turnaround' back then.

I know about them now, and you will find them in this issue in case you want to try them yourself. I don't believe I have ever met anyone who doesn't have some kind of limiting belief, and they often seem to become more limiting around middle age.

This being winter, it has been a little chilly here in Edmonton lately. Down to around -30C or so, with a wind chill that makes it feel more like -40C. As they say around here, its so cold the politicians have their hands in their own pockets! Not to mention the odd dog frozen to a fire hydrant.

There are 1140 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take about 4 minutes to read.


A Note From A Reader

Hi Noel: A book you may already be aware of, that I read about 12 years ago, is called "The Seasons of a Man's Life" by Daniel J. Levinson. It covers the mid-life transition (or age 40 transition) quite well. I think there is one additional transition phase during the 60s.

I don't remember all that much about it but just that it helped me realize what I needed to do at certain times such as make a transition sometime between age 38 and 46. Most men make such a transition into a new job, a move to a new location, or a new marriage during this time.

If improperly managed, the transition becomes a "crisis" thus the all popular "mid-life crises" that we hear about frequently where a 40-something man leaves his wife, buys a corvette to recapture his youth, and starts chasing younger women.

If the transition is not done, life stagnates. These men become depressed, ineffective and bored with life.
Happy New Year
Preston Sullivan

Thanks, Preston. And Happy New Year to you too! Noel


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A Technique For Dealing With Limiting Thoughts

One of the best free marketing newsletters I get is "More Clients" by Robert Middleton (

Last week, he mentioned he had attended a four-day workshop with Byron Katie (I mentioned her book "Loving What Is way back in the first issue of this newsletter, and have recommended it to many people), and said he had used the 'four questions and turnaround' with surprising (and almost immediate) results.

I have excerpted his discussion of this process here, as I could not have said it better myself, and what better time to look at our limiting beliefs than at the beginning of a new year?

Note: Robert Middleton uses limiting thoughts about marketing as examples, but you can of course substitute any kind of limiting thought you have.

Here is what Robert wrote:

First, write down a limiting thought. Then ask the following four questions, writing down your answers. Do it slowly, really pondering before you give an answer:

1. Is this thought true? (Or is it just a thought you've attached to?)

2. (If yes, or not sure) Can I absolutely know that it's true?

3. How do I react when I think that thought? Make a long list of your actions, behaviour, feelings and other thoughts that arise in the wake of the original thought.

4. Who would I be without that thought? If you were facing a marketing challenge, such as writing an article, and you simply could not have the thought, "I'm not a good marketing writer" how would things be different?

Finally, turn the thought around. That is, state the limiting thought in reverse: "I am a good marketing writer." And then ask yourself if that new statement is just as true or truer than the original. You may be surprised by your answer.

One of the keys to letting go of limiting thoughts is recognizing them in the first place. Here are some things to notice:

  • Limiting thoughts become like the water we swim in: "Limiting thoughts? What limiting thoughts?" The stronger the identification or attachment to particular thoughts or beliefs, the more likely that they become limiting. We do not become attached to expansive, unlimited thoughts. (And if we do, such as turning them into rules, they ultimately become limiting.)
  • Limiting thoughts are stressful in nature. That is, it doesn't feel great thinking them. You tend to feel constricted and diminished when you think them. The funny thing is, you hope they will make you feel better and they never do.
  • Limiting thoughts are angry and fearful in nature. They are often accusing, blaming and criticizing. "He did" and "She did" are limiting thoughts. They are putting the fault on something outside of yourself.
  • Limiting thoughts are often attached to the following words: can't, hard, difficult, impossible. They can also be attached to words such as want, need, should, shouldn't, always and never.
  • Limiting words equal limiting thoughts.
  • Limiting thoughts are often about your own identity of what you can and cannot be, do or have. "I think of myself as...." is almost always a limiting thought even if it sounds positive! Who you are is unlimited. There's no identity to that. Just freedom.
Thanks, Robert.

So why not try this: identify one limiting thought, and use the 'Four Questions and Turnaround' on it. If you like the result, find another limiting thought and process it.

I have used this process myself a number of times, sometimes more than once on the same limiting thought (some limiting thoughts are persistent!), and have been pleased with the results. And that reminds me... I just thought of another limiting thought I think I will work with :-)


DID YOU KNOW: A 176 pound (80 kg) man weighs the same as 2.5396825396825395 emperor penguins.


Niacin Can Help Prevent Alzheimer's

In a new study, people who consume less than 14 mg of the B-vitamin niacin per day were three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. The researchers believe niacin helps maintain normal neural function.

To get enough niacin, try to get the recommended daily dose of 16 mg (14 mg for women) from niacin-rich foods, which include fortified cereal (20 mg per cup), lean poultry (11.8 mg per half-breast) and canned tuna (11.3 mg per three ounces).

And here's a tip... you can usually get enough niacin just from eating a varied diet, but this handy B vitamin can help level out your mood as well, if you are under stress and having wild mood swings. But if you do that, take niacinamide, not niacin, as large doses of niacin will give you hot flashes and make you feel all prickly and uncomfortable. Niacinamide won't, and they both do the same job.

When my first wife died, my mood was all over the place, and my brother-in-law, who is a psychiatric nurse and bush pilot (interesting combination!) suggested I take niacinamide. It helped.


Man was predestined to have free will. Hal Lee Luyah


Sit On Your Hands... It'll Reduce Your Stress

A tactic for relieve stress is literally to sit on your hands. Place your hands palms down under your sitz bones (the ends of your pelvic bone that you can feel on your butt) and hold this position for a few minutes.

You'll find this helpful anytime, whether you are at your office or your dining room table. It takes just a few minutes to ease your stress, but the longer you can sit on your hands, the more grounded you'll feel.


Groaner for the day: This guy goes to a Halloween party with a girl on his back.

"What on earth are you?" asks the host.

"I'm a snail," says the guy.

"But... you have a girl on your back," replies the host.

"Yeah", he says, "that's Michelle!"


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

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



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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