When was the last time you took a moment to evaluate what is truly important to you? If you could change anything, what would it be? Perhaps you want to investigate something completely different; a project or a type of work that you never got the chance to try. Although nearly all of us have some dream of this sort, embracing change in later life can feel quite intimidating. This is why AARP recently launched an initiative called Life Reimagined to help you navigate these changes. A major feature of this initiative is an exciting, interactive website. At www.lifereimagined.org you’ll have a chance to explore ways to capitalize on your existing talents, and take a good look at the changes you want to make. Life Reimagined is just one way AARP can empower you to pursue your goals and dreams.
Life Reimagined is designed to take some of the mystery out of change and help you to discover your path to new possibilities. You have the opportunity to consult an expert team of life coaches, counselors, entrepreneurs and social marketers who understand how to help experienced adults navigate life transitions. You’ll also have a chance to hear personal stories from real people who reimagined their lives and triumphed.
Paul Giannone is one of the website’s story examples of a successful life reimagined. Paul spent 30 years doing IT work for some of the largest companies in America, but, as he says in his poignant video, “I always wanted more out of life.” During his working years, Paul’s favorite hobby was sampling different pizzas on the weekends in New York City with his sons. Sometimes they went to four or five pizza shops in a single day! As Paul’s passion for excellent pizza grew, he decided to try making his own and purchased a wood burning brick oven for his home. It soon became apparent that he had a great talent for making fantastic pizza! Friends and family encouraged him to open his own pizza shop. Finally, two years, ago, Paul took their advice and opened “Paulie Gee’s” which has quickly become a popular Brooklyn establishment. Paul’s journey offers proof that you can reshape your destiny if you have the drive and the right tools to get started.
Life Reimagined can give you those tools. This initiative is a real world approach that involves six practices designed to guide you through the process. The six practices are: Reflecting, Connecting, Exploring, Choosing, Repacking and Acting.
- Reflecting is the practice of recognizing where you are in life and assessing how you feel about it.
- Connecting with others helps you by creating a unique support system. It lets you share your ideas and consider new perspectives with a core group of trusted people.
- Exploring is about freeing yourself to think broadly and honestly about where your life could go.
- Choosing is the moment that charts your direction and shapes your life.
- Repacking is the process of identifying what you need to succeed. This is the time to add or adjust priorities in your life.
- Acting gets you ready to put it all together and make things happen.
In short, Life Reimagined can help you identify your goals, analyze the challenges you may encounter, and develop a plan to propel yourself toward these goals.
The most important thing to remember throughout the entire process is that this is all about you! Many of us often feel the urge to take a closer look at dreams and goals that were put aside when “life got in the way.” Perhaps it’s time to dust those ideas off and give them another try. All you need is a little push to get started and Life Reimagined can help you with every step.
Photo: AARP Bulletin