We’re delighted to share excerpts from “Living and Leading in the Second Half of Life” by our friend Doug Smith. Former CEO of Kraft Foods Canada, Chairman/CEO of Borden Foods, and Chairman/CEO of Best Brands, Doug now writes and speaks extensively on the subject of abundant living. He is the author of Happiness and on his website shares that “Abundance is a lifelong pursuit. Sharing its secrets is my passion.” In this issue of WealthNotes, we will introduce the objective and concept of Doug’s message. In our next issue, we will explore the principles of living and leading in the second half of life – thought-provoking messages applicable to all.
To have a profoundly successful life, there is a transition that we must navigate between what Carl Jung coined as the “two halves of life.” How we make this transition, or fail to make, has a significant effect on our lives, our leadership and on those with whom we interact. This transition is usually not without pain. Often the first half has to fall apart or its achievements revealed as lacking in some significant way for us to move on to the fullness of the second half of life. In legends and literature the pattern is almost always that we must sacrifice something to achieve something of great value. The transition to the second half of life can be full of distress and discomfort, but it can also be full of discovery. Without making this transition, we often continue on a path that may stunt our growth and fulfillment.
Two Halves of Life
For much of the first half of life we are seeking to answer and fulfill the question of “What does the world expect of me?” The ego and its desires dominate in terms of us creating and establishing an identity. We seek security through building an identity regarding work, status, family and friends. Such efforts are essential to our well-being as most of us need to fulfill the needs of the ego if we are to grow beyond it.
At some point in life, however, we come to realize the needs of the ego can never be fully satisfied and we seek gratification or fulfillment elsewhere. We begin to gravitate toward answering a very different question:“What does my soul expect of me?” We give up the notion that something out there (a job, a house, a car) will fix our lives and make us happy. As we do, we begin to turn inward for answers to discover what makes our life joyful, meaningful, worthwhile. We think about our legacy, not from the perspective of “How will I be remembered?” but from the perspective of “What do I wish to leave for those who follow?” As the soul becomes our primary focus, our lives and our leadership take on a very different character.
Smith, Doug. “The Leap of Faith, Living and Leading in the 2nd Half of Life.”