The takeaways from Ken Blanchard’s soon-to-be released new book, Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life, apply to work and life, and they can supercharge your new year and the rest of your life.
Ken Blanchard and his coauthor Morton Shaevitz, a psychologist and expert on aging, worked to identify the factors that cause some people to become old before their time. They found four characteristics that distinguish people who feel innovative and vibrant from those who feel as if they are in a rut intellectually, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
Refiring Intellectually and Emotionally
For Ken Blanchard, refiring intellectually is a habit he developed early in his life through his process of coauthoring business books. Going all the way back to his first business bestseller The One Minute Manager, which he coauthored with Spencer Johnson, Blanchard has worked collaboratively with coauthors on more than 60 books that have sold in excess of 20 million copies. Blanchard’s philosophy is simple: “I already know what I know—what interests me is what I can learn from others.”
Are you doing the same things, with the same people, in the same way, over and over again? The key for refiring intellectually and emotionally is to build relationships with people who have different ideas and can suggest new ways of looking at and doing things.
People often get locked into patterns of behavior that keep them from exploring and having new experiences. You can start with small things, explains Blanchard. For example, creating what Blanchard and Shaevitz call a Last Minute Gang. The idea here is to default to saying yes to invitations and opportunities—even those presented at the last minute—unless you have a compelling reason to say no. They also write about the Nothing Ordinary rule, which sets a standard of seeking out unique activities and purchasing items that inspire you—rather than doing and buying the same old ordinary things—whenever possible.
Refiring Physically and Spiritually
A key element to refiring is to stay in good physical shape. Drawing from concepts learned from Tim Kearin, his personal coach and coauthor of the book Fit At Last, Blanchard recommends staying fit through strength, endurance, and flexibility training. In his own fitness regimen, Blanchard puts special emphasis on balance training and aerobic fitness together with diet, nutrition, and rest.
“It’s a process,” explains Blanchard. “When I first began looking at my own physical assessment, the only area in which I was highly advanced was rest. The other skills I had to develop!”
When Blanchard and Shaevitz use the word spiritually, they are not talking about religion per se; it’s more about getting out of your own way and considering that maybe there is a higher power—something bigger than you—at work in the world. For example, Blanchard’s personal spiritual focus is on inner peace.
As Blanchard speaks about refiring, he finds the message resonating not only with older audiences but also with people in their 30s and 40s who may be feeling bored with the status quo and looking to refire aspects of their own lives.
Are you in a rut? Have you lost the spark? If so, Blanchard and Shaevitz suggest you consider what you can do to break out intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And the beginning of a new year is a great time to get started.
“Take a look at these four areas,” suggests Blanchard, “and you’ll probably find one or two that stick out as the most important areas for you to refire. Then you can put together a plan.”
With a little bit of work and an open mind, it is possible to rekindle the spark that will make every day an exciting adventure instead of something to endure. “Life is a very special occasion,” Blanchard reminds us all. “Be sure to make the most of it!”
You can learn more about Blanchard and Shaevitz’s new book—and download a free chapter at the Refire! Don’t Retire book page. Also check out a free webinar that Blanchard is conducting on January 29 courtesy of Cisco WebEx and The Ken Blanchard Companies. Learn more about this free event at Refiring In All Areas of Your Life—Four Essential Strategies