GUEST AUTHOR BLOG: by Mark S. Walton, Author of "Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond" (McGraw-Hill).
What is the lifelong potential of the human mind? Might I have talents or brainpower that I'm unaware of? Can I make money and a difference doing something I love? Is there a science to this or is it just luck?
A half dozen years ago, in my mid-50s, with two successful careers under my belt, I set out on a journey to tackle such questions—for myself and for friends, colleagues and clients who were also in search of answers.
Some of us had already seen previously ‘invulnerable’ jobs, companies, even industries, derailed by technological or global change. Others had grown restless or burned out in their businesses or professions. A few had already ‘flunked retirement,’ finding the so-called ‘golden years’ mind-numbingly boring.
And soon, with the onset of the Great Recession, even the most fortunate of us would find that our financial nest eggs and long-term future plans were much shakier than we’d ever imagined.
Although we arrived at it in different ways, we began to realize that in life’s new second half—extended by medicine’s miracles, yet filled with unprecedented uncertainties—a bewildering new challenge was staring us in the face:
What Should I Do Next?
Crisscrossing America to solve this dilemma, and researching the latest breakthroughs in brain science, psychology, human performance, creativity and happiness, I made three life-altering discoveries on which I’ve based my new book "Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond."
In its pages, you will learn what few people know:
- State-of-the-art neuroscience has revealed that we are hard-wired for reinvention through the emergence of extraordinary new creative and intellectual powers in life’s second half.
- A growing number of men and women are learning how to leverage this inborn potential—inventing profitable new careers, businesses, and avenues for social impact that extend well into their 70’s, 80’s, even 90’s.
- Longevity experts are increasingly convinced that doing work that ‘pays it forward’ to future generations pays us back in personal long-term health and happiness.
In my travels, I uncovered the real-life experiences and pragmatic wisdom of uncommon men and women—people who had designed the second half of their lives in an extraordinary way. In the face of career loss, burnout or unfulfilling retirement, each decided to keep "going for the gold,” to design and play a different game.
Rather than lowering their aspirations in midlife and beyond, they set out to reinvent their earlier successes by creating a new kind of work they could love and profit from—financially, emotionally and physically—from their 50’s and 60s well into their 70s and beyond.
"We began to realize that in life’s new second half—extended by medicine’s miracles, yet filled with unprecedented uncertainties—a bewildering new challenge was staring us in the face."
As I encountered such people, I came to describe them as reinventive, and, by extension, to label the nature of their pursuits reinventive work. “Why live on just one cylinder, one reinventive woman asked me, “never experiencing the joy and power of the rest?”
Meeting such individuals and, in particular, conducting the in-depth interviews that are an integral part of "Boundless Potential" was a profoundly game-changing experience for me—as I know that reading this book will be for you.
Be assured, this is no volume of theory or chicken soup for midlife, it is a practical inquiry into the challenges of today and tomorrow, an intelligent person’s guide to a fundamentally new— a 21st Century redefinition—of the nature of success.
Mark S. Walton is a Fortune 100 leadership consultant and Chairman of the Center for Leadership Communication, a global executive development enterprise whose clients include General Electric, Duke Energy, GlaxoSmithKline, NASA and the Toyota Motor Corporation. Earlier in his career, he was Chief White House Correspondent and network news anchor at CNN, where he was a recipient of the coveted Peabody Award. More information on his book, "Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond" and Mark’s contact information can be found atwww.boundlesspotential.info.