Are you one of the 84 million baby boomers approaching retirement and suddenly find you need to jump-start your life in a new direction?
“This is the time to turn it all around, to please yourself, to make your own choices and to create what you want,” says Dr. Nancy Irwin. “All you need is a ‘you-turn.’ ”
Irwin is a Los Angeles-based psychologist who pushes that envelope in her book “You-Turn, Changing Direction at Midlife,” which combines the stories of more than 40 people who have wanted to change their lives, and did.
Irwin begins by setting out a series of questions the “You-Turners” need to ask, including “What are your strengths and limitations?” and “What is the worst possible outcome you can imagine?” She encourages “changers” to list their most important values, the moments in their lives that make them proud, even “what three adjectives would those closest to you use to describe you?”
Change does not require fearlessness, but it does require courage, she says. “Late bloomers smell just as sweet as early or on-time bloomers.”
In today’s changing economy, career paths need to twist and turn. “Most skills are transferable,” Irwin says. And she notes, “Many people do know what they’d rather be doing but are simply afraid to make the change. Start by making a list of all the steps of action that would be required if you had the courage to proceed.”
Irwin suggests creating your own mission statement.
“Great people keep expanding,” she says.