The Joseph Group

What Do I Want to Give Myself To?

August 11, 2023

To Inspire:

Parker J. Palmer (no relation) is an author and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. He recently reflected on his life as he gets older and leaves his professional work behind. Regardless of age, what he shares below are some pearls of great wisdom for all of us:

In recent years I’ve been reflecting on aging and vocation – questions worth asking at any age. I love my work but with age comes some decrease in doing as much as quickly as in the past. I’ve found myself asking, “what do I want to let go of and what do I want to hang onto?”

I struggled with the answers I was coming up with so I took my question to a group of trusted friends who sat with me for two hours. Their role was not to advise or answer for me but to ask honest, open questions and simply listen to me respond, giving me a chance to hear my own inner wisdom. I came out of that experience with something much more important than a good answer; I emerged with a better question. I’m no longer asking “what do I want to let go of and what do I want to hang onto?” Instead I’m asking, “what do I want to let go of and what do I now want to give myself to?” “Hanging on” seems fearful and needy. But looking for what I want to give myself to transforms everything for me. It’s taking me to a place where I find energy, abundance and new life.

Regardless of age, begin asking yourself what you want to give yourself to? Ask yourself what makes you happy and fulfilled? Perhaps it’s more time reading or more time golfing with a friend or more special outings with your family members – spouse, children or grandchildren. Perhaps it’s volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about. Once you identify one or more of these activities, begin to implement them immediately. The key is to get them into your schedule and into your life. There are great online tools and resources to help you but the most important thing is to choose and act. Choosing and acting leads to joy.

I think Parker offers some great wisdom above and I encourage all of us to reflect more deeply on what we want to give ourselves to. At the end of our lives, we’ll be so thankful that we did.

A great life – it’s waiting for all of us; we just have to pursue it and live it!






Written by Matt Palmer, Partner & Co-Founder