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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Finding a Good Life

An article in the September 18, 2016 New York Times resulted in the following. The title was “Good Lives without Good Jobs.” This article was written from an economic point of view, an important view, but limited in scope. The author defined” a good job”- “solid wages, regular hours,,,,, and generous employer provided benefits.” Although a good life wasn’t defined clearly it was suggested that it pertained to access to basic goods and services in a modern society. This article pointed out that currently in the 21st century, many jobs and most employers no longer have a paternal attitude that provides good wages, good retirement packages, health insurance, etc. compared to the 20th century job market. In fact, a socialized government has taken over some of the responsibility formally held by the employers, by providing unemployment insurance, earned income tax credits, minimum wages, state-sponsored retirement systems, interest loan programs like student loans, tax credits, federal grants in aid, tax breaks for healthcare, retirement and housing, etc. An important question raised “Can the 21st century politicians restore or bring back something similar to the occupational –economic structure of the 20th century, when many Americans had good paying jobs and good benefits providing for their retirement phase?” I’m not going to answer that question. Instead, I’m going to widen the topic and include a missing psychological component to the current problem of lives and jobs. First of all, the notion of happiness is not necessarily correlated with one’s job or wages. We know it’s not correlated with making more than roughly $75,000 of income per year. I wrote about this in a post last week titled “Time or Money?” Happiness pertains to being inspired, having meaning, a rich emotional life, finding passion, and enjoying a great health span. Of course, a certain amount of wealth is necessary as well. Psychologically, Erikson postulated that one’s life is developmentally determined. This means that we go through different psychological stages based on chronological age. For instance, the newborn first deals with developing “basic trust”, the adolescent with developing” identity.” These stages do not pertain to lives and jobs. The stage in which employment, meaningful interpersonal relationships, perhaps starting a family, or as Erikson points out is the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation is called “Generativity.” This psycho-social stage also pertains to productivity and creativity. In other words, a good life or state of happiness is based on much more than a good job. In this sage there are concerns about developing educational and technical skills; interpersonal relationships, and beginning a family. These tasks take a massive amount of psychological energy. The individual may not know his best fit or career choice in the world of work, let alone a personal definition of personal happiness. Examples of job changes and divorce rate in this developmental stage support this fact. And according to Erikson, Freud, Marx and many others, ones happiness or psychological growth has been influenced by parental upbringing, socioeconomic class, educational attainment, and culture as well as government policies. Even if the government through its socialistic policies assist with wages, health insurance, and retirement, that will not necessarily translate into a good life. I’m not suggesting that the government stop or slow down the policies that have been put in place since the 1970s. But, when the politicians say they’re going to bring back good jobs that alone is not going to result in happiness. For me, the variables that resulted in happiness were educational attainment, athletic achievement, health status, writing books, circle of friends, meaningful marital relationship, passion, and finding meaning, while looking to the future. Yes, my profession provided me with an opportunity for status and wealth, but that did neither provide nor result alone in my happiness or well-being. Yes,


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