Thursday, January 20, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Healing Hands: Liquid Mind (12:01) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hdwGhA4l50

This will be an interesting post…

Yesterday, I had my 59th birthday. It’s hard to imagine that in another year, I’ll be 60, wondering what the 60’s will look like. I remember when I turned 50, I really started to focus less on achievement and more on legacy. Nine years ago, I was 5 years into my job at UNCG (2012), enjoying my job, but wondering if I was really making a difference. I remember saying to myself that I wanted to use my 50’s to be remembered about doing something good, not that I got this award or some type of recognition. I wanted my work – whatever that was going to be – to make an impact on the lives of others. I also remember telling myself that I don’t need to compromise any more. There’s something about being 50 where you no longer have others tell you what you need to like and dislike; I was ready to draw my line in the sand and tell the world that this is what I stand for, take it or leave it. For example, I like certain foods, I like to go to certain restaurants, and I love my routine. And in my 50’s, I was going to focus on those things, make my life simple, so I focus on the things to build my legacy. And now, as I enter my LAST year in my 50’s, I’ve been reflecting on whether I’ve been able to enhance my legacy – or am I still in the same place I was 9 years ago. And interestingly enough, my wife shared this in my birthday card:

“I hope you have a wonderful day and that your last year as a ’50-something” is all you would like it to be.”

It hit home even more this morning, when I got on our elliptical machine this morning and I punched in my age: 59. And it made me think, this REALLY is my last year in my 50’s, so make it count!

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’ve decided to retire this year from UNCG (instead of quit my job at UNCG). I was in a meeting with a friend and was asked why I decided to leave now instead of a few years – and it was a VERY easy answer: I was being asked to do transactional advising (registration and scheduling) for about 200 students in the Spring Semester. People who know me know that I have ZERO interest in transactional advising. ZERO!!! I was hired at UNCG to support transactional advising, but my main role was to create something different that empowered students in a different way. I didn’t know what that would look like when I was hired in 2007, but I can tell you that we (my colleague Megan Cayton and I) came up with something pretty special – the Life Design Catalyst Program, which is transformational advising at its best. I was fortunate to have such a wonderful colleague and friend help me create and expand this Program, so much so that we were able to serve and impact several thousand students since 2014. Not only did we help most of them find their right major earlier in their college career AND helped them graduate from college in less time, but they were able to create educational, career, and life plans that resonated with their souls. And THAT’S a legacy that I can be proud of!

So, now my plan is to use my year 59 to prepare for my 60’s. There’s still SOOOOO much more work to be done! I know I have a lot left in the tank; of course, when you’re in constant growth mode, it’s hard NOT to feel like there’s more I could do. I know there’s a potential opportunity to work part-time at a local community college (Davidson-Davie Community College), but I also know that I want to do more for those of us who serve students – both at the high school and college level. I also know that I NEED to serve those at a crossroads in life – not at the surface-level crap that most people are doing right now, but at a much deeper, soul-driven level. There are so, so many different populations that deserve to understand who they are, what they are here to do, and how they can do it – and I, as well as many of the Life Design Catalyst Tribe – will be the ones to do LDC work with others. And that’s how I will spend my 59th year, building the bridge from this tiny little program at UNCG to a country-wide movement that helps people get clear about their lives. Just writing this gets me pretty fired up!

There’s a lot more coming soon, so I hope a few of you are ready to join me on this ride. My friend Megan was right – I needed to clear out the UNCG block in order to open my life to many more new opportunities. And it’s happening, right in front of my eyes! It’s time for get back to living with joy again, not anger and resentment. Goodbye UNCG, hello world!

By the way, unlike many other people, I can’t wait for 60 – that means I get a senior discount at most golf courses in this country, as well as a lot of discounts on food and play. Yeah!


4 thoughts on “50-59…

  1. Congratulations Bill! I am super excited that you have taken the LEAP in what is destined to be a great impact on so many people struggling to find their true North. Thank Megan for supporting you in reaching this major decision and of course your lovely wife for keeping you inspired.

    • Thank you Kevin for sharing such wonderful words! Yes, I am fortunate to have Megan and Rebecca by my side on this journey, as well as wonderful friends like yourself that keep me inspired to continue doing this great work! I must say that it’s been freeing to set a date to end my UNCG chapter and start the next chapter of my life. As long as I move forward in making an impact and leaving a legacy, I’ll know I’m moving in the right direction! Thanks again for taking the time to share!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Bill! 🎉

    You are already doing amazing work and I’m looking forward to hearing about your next chapter. : )


    • Hi Cathy! Thank you for the Birthday wishes and the encouraging words. You will be hearing about my next chapter VERY soon! It’s wonderful friends like yourself that keep me going, that’s for sure!

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