Tag Archives: empowerment

What Conversation Are You?

By Jim Selman | Bio

As many of you know, I view aging, and the rest of life for that matter, as a series of conversations. In my work, I try to show people that if we can observe ourselves and our world through the lens of language, we can see that everything we think and experience occurs in the context of some interpretation or another. For most people most of the time, our interpretation is that there is a ‘real world’ out there, and if we could only understand it and control it (and ourselves),

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Redefining Success

By Shae Hadden | Bio

I’ve been thinking about how we define success, and observing how serene people become when they feel ‘successful’. For most of my life, I’ve focused my thinking on achieving the traditional symbols of success: significant recognition, meaningful associations with particular people, my own home, specific possessions. Something shifted in me a few years ago when I realized none of these ‘mean’ anything when we reach the end of our journey. They hold only peripheral interest for me now.

Life gets fired at us point blank. And I notice that my actions continue to be predicated on my old definition of success. So I need a new definition to provide a more empowering context for my future, one more in line with my current thinking. Here’s my first stab at a new ‘take’ on success. If I can live the following, I may be successful:

  • Sincerity – listening generously and speaking authentically
  • Understanding – learning about my self and others and our world
  • Commitment – being clear about what I’m committed to and acting on my commitments
  • Courage –acknowledging my fears…and being in action anyway
  • Empowerment – developing others to be who they choose to be (and myself as who I choose to be)
  • Standing – for others and the future I’m committed to
  • Serenity – surrendering to ‘what is’ and trusting intention

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So to be successful, I’m committing to these habits:

  • Smiling for no reason
  • Loving compassionately and unconditionally
  • Listening with my whole being
  • Speaking powerfully
  • Singing spontaneously
  • Playing with work
  • Sharing my joy and passion
  • Doing what’s necessary to be energized, healthy and serene
  • Expressing gratitude for the arrival of each new day, every new person, and all the ‘breakdowns’ in life.

So how do you define

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I am on the road again. I’ve just spent two weeks in Mexico: one week with my son Clarke, and the other working at what must be one of the most fantastic meeting sites I have ever encountered. It is called the Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas. Built in 1529, it is easy to imagine Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors riding up the roadway. There are lots of ruins on the grounds and the meeting room was in what appears to be an old barn or storehouse with curved ceilings and antiques all around.

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Empowerment Revisited

By Shae Hadden

Further musings on empowerment today…

When I worked for a public service agency, I used to think that I was responsible for certain results, but I never felt ‘empowered’. I equated being empowered with having the boundaries removed that seemed to stand between me and getting the job done. I remember one instance in which there was an immediate and urgent need to provide a client with resources (which would impact a budget over which I had no authority). Without the ‘power’ to commit to this expenditure, I

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I was speaking with a friend today about how we sometimes feel
‘disempowered’ in certain situations where people repeat their patterns
of the past and where we have no ‘accountability’ for the outcome. I
realized as we were talking that we generally look at ‘being empowered’
as a solution in our careers and personal lives—as the pathway to the
promised land that will deliver us from whatever circumstances are
challenging us in the moment. When

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Intergenerational Dialogue

By Shae Hadden

On Conversation Street, there are no age limits, and traffic can flow in both directions simultaneously.

Musing on intergenerational
conversations today. I’ve always been drawn to talk with people older
than myself. Perhaps this is because I’ve never felt comfortable with
my peers. I could blame it on the educational system (I was thrust
ahead of my age group in school to keep me interested in learning and

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Old Folks’ Day

Happy IDOP everyone! Oh, you didn’t know that the United Nations
implemented October 1st as the International Day of Older Persons 16
years ago? Well, it’s true. Lots of information available online about
the UN Program on Ageing. The opening remark by the Secretary General pretty well sums up what it is all about.

"I am only one of 600 million persons in the world over the age of
60. As people across the globe come to live increasingly

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