CHAPTER 1 of MY FIRST BOOK: Sharing MY Life-Altering, Midlife (a.k.a. HALFTIME) Journey of TRANSITION with YOU! 

 In Book
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CHAPTER 1: Sharing MY Story of Life-Altering, Midlife (a.k.a. Halftime) Transition with YOU

DRAFT

My HALFTIME Transition!
A bit of a roller coaster ride actually.
So, I thought this picture appropriate.
In my case, the ride (a.k.a. journey) was much more pleasant
on the way up to my SECOND half! 😊
Then on the way down from my FIRST half!

“Life is a giant roller coaster ride. The thrills and screams, twists and turns, the ups and downs and it’s all over way too soon. Enjoy the ride” – Unknown

Before I introduce you to “NEW” Dave and “OLD” Dave, I thought that I would take a few minutes to explain to you why I wrote this book and, more importantly, WHAT is in it for YOU!

At first glance, it might look as if this story is all about me. I could see how one might get that impression. I do use the words “Me, Myself, MY, and I” a lot. There are also a lot of pictures and statistics of me. Well, that is not my ego writing, that is because I thought that by sharing my story of change with you, it would make it EASYer for YOU to take away some key learnings to help you on your journey of change. Unlike all the theory that we read in books and scholarly journals and in blogs etc. about what we SHOULD be doing to enable positive change in our lives, I am trying to make the theory real by trying it out on ME and sharing my lessons learned with YOU.

And by change, in this case, I am referring to Midlife change. In my case, brought on by my midlife crisis. At least I think it was a midlife crisis that brought about my desire to change? I googled the definition of midlife crisis and this is what I came up with:

A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45–64 years old. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life.

I invite you to keep that definition in mind as you read through my story of transition. It certainly seems to fit me. I was certainly in that age bracket, in my case, my late forties and early fifties, a time when I had thought that I was going to be winding down my career and gearing up for my retirement from the workforce, although it had gotten so bad at one point, that I almost felt like I was retiring from LIFE. My inevitable “mortality” certainly came into play, or in my case, my fears of a premature death, leaving my two beautiful children without a father, a fear that, eventually became one of my key catalysts for making a lot of my change. And don’t get me started on how my definition of my “accomplishments in life” changed, in both meaning and importance, during that period. As far as the transition portion of the definition above is concerned, besides my newly adopted Modus Operandi of making change EASYer on ONEself, there were no more powerful enablers of MY transition, than my new-found levels of Self-Awareness (a.k.a. “Identity”) and “Self-Confidence”, both of which, for some reason, were not front and center during what I am now referring to as, my First Half of my life. They are now!

And, when I say, share my story, I mean sharing the GOOD, the BAD, the UGLY and the GREAT. I don’t want to hold anything back. Some of us learn best from success stories. Some of us learn best from horror stories. I have included a bit of both in my stories. I personally find horror stories more impactful and unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, I have more than a few of them to share. But don’t shed any tears for me. Those horror stories are in the past for me now. Most of my stories these days are of the good and great variety, which is pretty cool considering where I was, not that long ago.

Oh, and by the way. I am not just sharing one story with you. I am sharing two. Two stories for the price of one! One is a story of loneliness, darkness, pain and despair. That story, and part of the first half of my book, is about how I built up my comfort zone and ended up getting stuck in it, a pretty nasty place as it turned out (Chapters 7-13). The second story is about growth and joy and fulfillment, not to mention, a lot of fun. It is about how I was able to get myself out of that nasty zone and start moving toward a good place that eventually turned out to be a really great place (Chapters 14-25).

Although the outcomes of both stories are very different, they did have a couple of things in common. They both took place over an extended period of time, multiple years in both cases. And they both took place without me really realizing what was actually taking place. The changes were so gradual at times that they went by unnoticed, until momentum and the ripple effects of all those small incremental changes started to take effect. And by gradual changes and ripple effects, I am alluding to them working their magic on ME on both my way DOWN the roller coaster and on my way back UP. Hence the desire to tell you two stories. I built up a lot of momentum on the way down and I built up a lot of momentum on the way up. And after experiencing the results of both negative and positive momentum, I have decided to try and stick to the positive kind moving forward, thank you very much.

That positive momentum, and those ripple effects, not only carried me out of that place of darkness that I had found myself in, but they continue to carry me to places that I have never been before, some pretty cool places, surrounded by some pretty cool, caring and loving, people. It took time and effort to have gotten to where I am today. It takes time and effort to stay where I am today. Lots! If there is one thing that I learned during my journey of self-transformation, it is that there is no cookie cutter approach. There is no quick fix. It takes time and effort (a.k.a. momentum) and most of all, a strong sense of knowing, or in my case, really finding out, who I was. Finding MY WHO. My authentic self. It was a story of Finding ME, of Finding Dave.

Humm. Maybe there is a third story in here somewhere? Finding oneself! If so, I hope that my story helps YOU get to know YOURSELF a little bit better. After all, YOU are the one WHO is in charge of your life journey. The ultimate decision on the path(s) you choose are up to YOU!

Although this is my story of how I was able to escape the confines of my comfort zone, it is my understanding that there are also many other people out there who are stuck in their comfort zones. Some estimates put it at 98% of people. Wow! That is a lot of people! A lot of people who are missing out on discovering what I discovered and learned during my journey of change. So, I would like to share some of those learnings in order to help inspire others, i.e. YOU, to embark on a similar journey of change, or, if you have already embarked upon one, to maintain it or, better yet, pick up YOUR pace of change.

Although this is my story, there is nothing that I did, and there is nothing that I learned, that could not be used by others, i.e. YOU, to leverage in YOUR journey of change. All of the approaches and tools that I explored and leveraged, and I explored and tried out a lot of them, were ones that others have used before me to enable and maintain change. I did not come up with anything new. I did not reinvent the wheel. It was a matter of choosing the ones that were a fit for me. And in order to do so, that meant exploring a lot of them. Trying them. Failing at them. Learning from them.

So, to that end, I would like to share my learnings with you.  You see, I now realize, in hindsight, that I set off on my journey of change pretty much all by myself, and with little structure nor guidance. I fumbled my way forward and it took me longer to get to where I am today. I am hoping that by sharing my story and lessons learned with YOU, it will allow YOU to go FARTHER and FASTER than I did. Farther and faster than YOU believe is possible.  So, to that end, in Chapter 26, I share My Top 3 LESSONS LEARNED. What can I say, I am a big fan in the Power of THREE. In Chapter 27, I share a list of the Top 10 CHANGE ENABLERS that both helped me make and maintain my changes. Apparently, like David Letterman, this Dave also likes Top 10 lists.

And what about the last chapter? Chapter 28. Well, that chapter, is all about YOU! And the type of changes that you would like to make to your story. The story of your life. What are they? And more importantly, what is stopping YOU from making them?

But, before we begin, if there is one thing that I learned very early on in my journey and that I hope that you take away after reading this book, it is the importance of making change EASYer on YOURself. As mentioned previously, it became my Modus Operandi and enabling strategy during my transition It was the question that I always tried to ask myself i.e. “How can I make this NEXT change EASYer on myself? If there is only one thing that YOU take away from this book, I hope that you take away that one concept. What can YOU do to make change EASYer on YOURself?

So, to that end, before I share MY Top 3 lessons learned and MY Top 10 list of change enablers with YOU later in the book, I am going to provide YOU with a quick summary of what I learned at the end of each and every chapter. What I learned from making that change and how I made that change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ).  And, since this book is not only about me, I will also be asking YOU what you are doing to make your journey of change of EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹).

Enjoy the story!
Enjoy the stories!

Enjoy YOUR journey of change!
Enjoy the Second Half of YOUR Life!

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