We Were Meant To Thrive – Many of us are told at a young age that we can do anything. We can overcome any obstacle. We can defy the odds. It’s a simple matter of resilience and perseverance.
Over time, we have learned that the truth is different. Some barriers are too high to clear. Some possibilities are too steep. Resilience and perseverance are important, but so is knowing when to pivot and change course.
We Were Meant To Thrive
Not only do we have limitations, but we also cannot thrive in all circumstances. Certain places and events bring out the best in us. Others are not. You may find that you are most comfortable by the ocean; your friend may be most relaxed in the mountains. Or, more significantly, low-crime areas are good for your well-being. Extremely hot areas present health risks, such as heat stroke (see “When is Hot Hot?”).
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A key strategy to achieving a long, healthy, and financially secure life is recognizing that some areas are better for you – or your future self – than others. For example, a “forever house” may have strong appeal but may not be the best place as your needs and wants change (see “The Flaw with the ‘Forever’ House” and “Look Out for Your Future Self” ).
Life truly offers endless possibilities. It’s part of the chaos of life. It’s like a game show
, but instead of choosing from three doors the options are endless. Each decision shapes your next set of options.
Get college. The college you attend influences your friend network, the range and quality of academic majors available to you, and the type and location of jobs available to you. Ultimately, your college decision sets you on a path.
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College is one of countless decisions about place in your life. T’s are obvious (ie w to get your first job, w to live when settled, w to retire, etc.) and less obvious (ie which block to live in, how to configure your kitchen for the way you want to cook, how your bathroom is designed to reduce fall hazards, etc.). Every decision – the small and the big – influences your life. It puts you on a slightly different path.
Big location decisions, such as which country, state, and metro area to live in, can have a bigger influence on your life than you realize. This is because places shape us more than we shape them. For example, researchers have found that habits are contagious. We are influenced by friends of friends of our friends. If our social network tends to be obese, we face an increased risk of obesity. If our social network consists of happy people, we are more likely to be happy. Our decision about w to live is a decision about who we want to be (See “Place as a Life Hack”).
The make-up of our neighborhoods, including access to third places like parks, can shape our lives more than we realize (Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash)
A decision about home is not only about your physical dwelling (ie, your four walls), it is also a decision about the neighborhood that can have a profound effect. An important question is whether a neighborhood is made up of people like you. There is robust research showing how similarities facilitate friendships (See “Friends”). People are more likely to make friends with others of the same gender, age, ethnicity, and so on. If you go too far, however, a community of people made up of people just like you can be boring and boring. Perhaps a better question is whether a neighborhood consists of
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Neighbors and the wider community also provide an important element in starting and nurturing friendships: proximity. Researchers indicate that it takes about 50 hours to move from an acquaintance to a casual friendship, about 100 hours to call someone a friend, and more than 200 hours of companionship to become a best friend. . The challenge in our current age of busyness is that it is often difficult to take the time to get to know people. As we get older, we probably don’t spend enough time nurturing friendships. In fact, in middle age, we devote about 4% of our time to friends outside of the family, and this number rises to only 8% for retirees.
The Villages, one of the most successful master planned communities, offers several lessons. As an age-restricted community of nearly 100,000 residents, it’s mostly a homogenous set of retirees. For some, the culture of The Villages is ideal and conducive to making friends and building community through a variety of activities and shared interests. For others, the environment may seem too contrived and devoid of diversity of age and background. For one, it is a place to thrive; for another, it’s a place to avoid at all costs.
While it may seem nice to assume that you can thrive in any environment, it’s a lie that can lead to poor decision-making, especially if you’re looking for your future self. Assess the fit of your current environment. Think about how your area might change and how your needs and wants might change. If you are in the wrong place now or soon, do something about it. You are not meant to grow everyw.
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In Falling Upward, Fr Richard Rohr offers a new understanding of one of life’s deepest mysteries: how our failure can be the foundation for our continued spiritual growth. Drawing on wisdom from time-honored legends, heroic poems, great thinkers and sacred religious texts, the author explores two areas of life to show that those who fall, fail, or ‘decline’ ‘ is the only one that understands ‘ up’. The heartbreaks, disappointments and loves of the first half of life are really stepping stones to the spiritual joy that the second half has in store for us.
‘I thank God for Richard Rohr’s wise presence in our culture: I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it.’
FR RICHARD ROHR is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province. He founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986, where he currently serves as Founding Director. An internationally renowned speaker, he teaches on themes such as adult Christian spirituality, men’s spirituality, and politics and spirituality, and has published numerous books, including Falling Upward and Immortal Diamond (SPCK, 2012 and 2013 respectively).
Understanding the spiritual aspects of aging is just as important as appreciating the systems and biological processes that make us age. Richard Rohr gives us the perfect guide to what he calls the “further journey,” a journey into the mystery and beauty of healthy spiritual maturity.- Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of ‘Dr. The Oz Show’ offers a refreshing critique of culture – and sometimes church-based values that are often confined to a ‘first life’ feel . . . Rohr sees the arc of aging as surprisingly complex, changing, immeasurable and tragic in the truest sense of the word: the art of dying becomes the crowning glory of human life itself, the only route, it seems, to our eternal home .- Manna Magazine’s Franciscan priest Rohr is a big-picture type of thinker when it comes to discerning the human journey. This small and provocative book would make a particularly good gift for a thoughtful, spiritually open person.- Publishers Weekly The value of this book lies in the way Richard Rohr shares his own aging process. us in ways that help us reduce fear. We begin to see that, as we grow older, we are awakened to deep, simple, and mysterious things that we could not see when we were young.- Jim Finley, Merton scholar and author of The Contemplative Heart [On THE DIVINE DANCE ]: Finding the sweet spot where contemporary science meets ancient mysticism, and theology meets poetry, The Divine Dance sketches a beautiful choreography for a life lived well. In our joy or pain, real life is always related, a flow, a dance. (And was always meant to be.)- Bono, U2 Rohr and Morrell gave us a liberating but completely orthodox invitation to God’s life. This book is a celebration of the Trinity, not as bad math (1+1+1=3), and not as a confusing mystery to be avoided, but as the divine movement of love. The Divine Dance is an example of why Rohr has had such a profound influence on so many Christians who seek to balance reason and mystery, action and contemplation, not to mention faith and real life.- Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor, House for All Sinners and Saints, Author, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People Richard Rohr is one of the great spiritual teachers of our time, indeed
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