Two stories from the New York Times caught our attention this week. Both speak to opportunities for people looking at the quality of their next stage.
Tara Parker-Pope reported on the results of associating yourself with positive people. While taking a cruise with a group that had faced adversity in many forms she found that her cruisemates often found a silver lining to their lives. She began to see the impact of spending time with positive people and returned from the trip with a new outlook on her own life.
In the article Parker-Pope details the Japanese idea of “moai”:
In Okinawa, Japan, a place where the average life expectancy for women is around 90, the oldest in the world, people form a kind of social network called a moai — a group of five friends who offer social, logistic, emotional and even financial support for a lifetime.
and Dan Buettner, a National Geographic fellow and author, has studied the health habits of people who live in so-called blue zones — regions of the world where people live far longer than the average. He noted that positive friendships are a common theme in the blue zones.
Buettner has begun experiments in US cities to form ‘moais” with promising results. “The Blue Zone team” has created a quiz to help people assess the positive impact of their own social network.
One traveler on the cruise noted:
“Life is too short to be around negative people,” she said. “I need people around me who care about me and are appreciative, and see the world as a glass half full, not half empty.”
Read the full article: The Power of Positive People: Are your friendships giving you a boost or bringing you down?
Laura M. Holson chronicles a trend towards undertaking creative activities when people are looking for a mid-life changeup.
Searching for a more meaningful life, creativity is seen as a path to shake mid-lifers out of their doldrums.
“People see creativity as the solution to the midlife crisis,” said Julia Cameron, the high priestess of the creative movement whose book “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity” has sold more than four million copies since it was published in 1992.
Classes and workshops selling the benefits of creativity are springing up in record numbers. Many revisit a passion they had before raising children and having a career became priorities. Even acknowledging the interest is a step towards finding their creative side again.
Ms. Holson formed a group that met weekly to create a welcoming environment to exploring their creative side.She created tasks meant to take the members out of their comfort zone. They committed to posting the results of the activity on Instagram each week.
Instead of traditional notions of reacting to mid-life (buying a sports car) we’ll continue to find creative output as a path to a more robust next phase.
Photo by: Mazda Hewitt on Flickr