Wanna' Navigate? You Gotta' Design!
“Design is the soul of a man-made creation”. –Steve Jobs.
“Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones”.–Herbert Simon, Social Scientist and Nobel Laureate.
As I look out over the landscape of what I call the “Final 1/3 of Life” (age 60-90) in America today I see an uncharted territory. Never before have all the forces attendant with the present chaos in the economy, the questions surrounding health care, longer life spans, eroding assets and shifting family structures come together to make the way forward feel so slippery, so treacherous.
The old ways of “navigating” are out, OK? As I’ve said before… I think that even the very concept of “retirement” is being retired right before our eyes. Which means that for you and your house (“house” coming from the Greek word “oikos”, from which we derive the word “economy”), you’re going to have to devise new ways that get beyond the traditional approaches to “Life 3.0″… you’re going to have to be ‘innovative’, like a Steve Jobs was innovative. And if you hope to innovate, then you simply gotta’ design.
In fact, let me say this… For Boomers and Beyonders in America today we face a DESIGN issue, not an AGING issue. Because, to me, “design” is not about making something “prettier”… its about making something better, more useful, for someone specific. Its about making connections that others have yet to make. (In this case “connecting the 5 dots” between healthcare, housing, financial, legal and family.) And just as in the business world where design thinking is resulting in companies like Apple “doing better”, why not apply the same to Life 3.0?
As Jay Greene writes in his article, “Steve Jobs and the business of design“, “A focus on great design turned Apple into the most profitable, the most valuable technology company in the world. Jobs, more than any other executive, proved design is a business strategy worth pursuing“.
Let’s face it.YOU are the executive, the CEO, of your Life 3.0 (ooops, I almost said “retirement”). Its time to pursue a strategy that’s proven worthy, right? When do you want to start designing your navigational pathway through uncharted territory?
Drop me note if you’re ready to step into the “Studio”…
You are onto something! We are in entirely uncharted territory and therefore need a different way of thinking about where we are and where we are going, from the old way of thinking. What used to be predictable choices and options for many aspects of life after 60 are no longer predictable, or even wanted by the emerging Baby Boomers on the scene of “elderhood”. How we define “elder” is changing and so is the perspective of “retirement.” Most of the people I know (including myself) who have passed the age of 65 have zero interest in retirement, and in fact, see “Retirement” as a dirty word! That so-called 1/3 of later life is also being re-defined in terms of WHEN that will occur. Baby Boomers (including myself) do not see “mid life” as 45 or 50… Or…if we see 50 as “midlife” we also want to extend that midlife stage indefinitely, and refuse to be put in the category of “Old”.
We are indeed living in exciting times! Stay tuned…
Sheila Pearl, Life Coach and author
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