“Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
I could ask you how long you spent preparing for adulthood but I think I already know the answer. Most of us spent a lot of the first third of our lives taking action for success in the second. We actively pursued an education, we found our interests and practiced them with a passion, we probably found the love of our life (or at least the first one) and we may have even started our families during the first third – all setting up how we were going to spend our “productive” years.
It is time to reset, reboot and retool. Practically speaking, for me that means getting excited about planning trips abroad to determine where I might want to live during the cold dark winters I now endure instead of enjoy. It also means that rather than being fearful and resentful of a life changes I will be more creative about how and where I spend my time, both alone and with my husband.
The actions for success in the next phase of my life are different than those actions I have taken historically. These actions are about engaging with my new goals and ensuring that I am ready for the future. These actions will prepare me for all the opportunities and freedoms that I can look forward to instead of tying me to the “productivity” I now have.
Boomers are expecting to liver much longer and much healthier than their parents did. Many of us will keep working because we need the income but many others will continue to work for the mental stimulation and socialization that a job can provide. That doesn’t mean we have to do the same things we have done for the last 30 or more years. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I am doing right now. I just want to expand and grow into someone with more diverse interests than I have right now.
As always, I see education as the key to rebooting and the first step in taking action for success. The opportunities for continuing education abound, both on- and offline. Online, we have access to the best and the brightest. The University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free accredited degree-granting, online university. World Education University (WEU) also provides students around the globe to better their lives through quality education. WEU is not yet accredited but is pursuing accreditation. In addition, lists of free online education courses from the world’s top universities can be found on “Open Culture”. Universities represented include Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. Currently, there are over 30,000 hours of free audio and video lectures listed. Availability of traditional free online educational classes is vast.
In addition, there are multiple targeted online opportunities to expand our education in our fields of endeavor. My personal education goal is to learn to monetize my interests so that I am supplementing my income while doing what I enjoy the most. My expectation is that what I enjoy doing the most will continue to change and evolve, but if I can truly grasp online marketing, I will be able to pursue my interest in a way that helps me and also helps the community around me.
Taking action in my educational pursuit, I have enrolled in Wealthy Affiliate University (WA). There are five certification levels in WA and you can complete the first certification level for free. In addition, you can develop and host two free websites on WA. However, the learning is never ending and with a premium membership (only $19 the first month) you become a part of an extensive community whose basic premise is to support and grow everyone in the community. The founders of WA are also very active in the community.
Each lesson in the formal training is very action-oriented. It is difficult to move forward with your training if no action is taken. In addition, the courses are designed so that if you take action as recommended, the learning is fun and is not overwhelming or stressful. No one is out to show you how much they know, they just want you to be successful. There is no question that I have made the right choice in reaching my goals of a delightful and stress-free third third of life.