Sharon's conversation is rolling on
and seems to have no end. She is completely overwhelming and taxing her
listener. Every time the listener wants to get a word in, Sharon shuts off her ears and finds a way
to just roll on and on, not seeming to care what the other person is
thinking or feeling. Is this a pleasant conversation, a meaningful
exchange, a fulfilling mutual experience? I doubt it. Sharon might be
exhibiting and displaying a problem endemic to some senior citizens. Why is
her conversation so self-centered and monopolistic?
Sharon seems to
have an enormous need to be heard, noticed, paid
attention to, as if to affirm her existence. Does she have an underlying
fear of nonexistence, death or existential meaninglessness?
The preceding questions are only a few of the concerns when coaching senior
citizens on how to live meaningful and even ecstatic lives.
So, how do you explain Sharon's
excessive need to be heard, acknowledged and unconsciously brag about her
accomplishments and her value as a person?
Here comes Tom! He predates the baby boomers and occupies a position
amongst the beat generation. He finds himself complaining (kvetching) just
about everything and everybody. Who is this man? He was once tremendously
successful and considered a very pleasant person. Now, he is concerned
about his memory and his place in society. He feels pressured to make more
money and be able to support his working wife, who now brings in most of
the money. He frantically searches out new projects to bring meaning to his
life and finds that the world he once shined in,
no longer seeks out and cherishes his talents and skills.
Brenda doesn't want anybody to see pictures of herself.
She can no longer bask in the beauty of her former svelte self. She is now
amongst the many single and unattached seniors group who still seek love and
companionship. She has a very negative self-image of herself as an older
person. She hates old-age.
Question: So, where are we going with this?
Dr. Paul: Everybody, sooner or later, will accomplish old-age and
senior status. Guess what? A whole new set of challenges and possibilities
emerge and only a knowledge of the process can
equip someone to elevate to peak ecstatic golden years Paradise.
Question: Are you nuts!? What do you mean peak ecstatic golden years Paradise?
Dr. Paul: Through the coaching phenomena, I can set up a mental
framework for older people to reconstruct their later lives. This
transformation occurs from the inside out and includes helping individuals
to develop a clear and powerful sense of meaning and purpose in the face of
physical, financial and relationship decline.
Question: What do you consider the first aspect of that mental
Dr. Paul: Right now! I want you to focus on the idea of creating and
possessing a very powerful positive attitude. If you fix this into your
brain, it will serve to deflect negativity from your thinking and help you
awaken every morning determined to have an ecstatic day.
Question: Can you give me an example of this?
Dr. Paul: Yes! Sit on the edge of the bed in the morning and through
will and intention declare that you are going to have a positively ecstatic
day. Then, if you're so inclined, reinforce it with a powerful transcendent
prayer, mantra or affirmation.
Question: Why should I survive?
Dr. Paul: You are still capable of discovering and creating
existential high-powered meaning through inner and spiritual resources in
your life. This is a way of transcending personal loss and devastation in
your old-age. Your life and your existence has
meaning and purpose. Will yourself to get on with it. Our society devalues
frailty and sickness and rewards vitality and productivity. Stop grumbling
and climb out of your spiritual malaise. Clear your mind of the confusion
concerning the meaning and purpose of your life. Don't engage in meaningless
activities, even though you may be experiencing diminishment physically,
mentally and financially.
Question: Can you give me an example of how a successful ager reports positive meanings in life and death?
Dr. Paul: "I want to live a life of total value, commitment,
dedication and contribution to the well-being of everything and everyone
around me and beyond." "I am still very ambitious and excited
about facing new challenges and developing new projects for the betterment
These people have a strong zest for life and a definitive sense of purpose
and meaning. They only engage in happy activities that have purpose and
serve altruistic needs. They also understand and pursue the intrinsic
capability of transcendence to higher levels of consciousness. They
entertain a positive view of the afterlife, spirituality and eternal life.
Some seniors relish in the experience of living fully one day at a time and
being grateful for what they have. It is their attitude that is healthy.
Question: What are some other aspects of aging that I should know about?
Dr. Paul: Your experiences must be meaningful, satisfying and
pleasant. Engaging in boring one-sided undemocratic conversation is a waste
of time. Great conversations are a blend of self-expression and equal
listening. I know people who are great listeners and when they have to
listen to someone rolling on and on, they feel they're being used and that
the other person has no interest in what they have to say. To be a good and
meaningful conversationalist requires equal expressing and listening
skills. Secondly, seek out and engage in satisfying and pleasant
experiences. Don't let the bummers get you down! Recognize what events,
experiences and people that you feel has the most meaningful, pleasant and satisfying
effect on you. People are more afraid of the incompleteness of their lives.
Make good use of your time and accomplish something that is significant and
worthwhile. Find a cause that's worth dying for. If you are creative, seek
new challenges. There are so many exciting projects available, that you
will find life to be too short to complete all of them.
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