Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Sixty and Compounding

I'm Sixty and Compounding

by Dr John C. Maxwell

When I celebrated my sixtieth birthday, I found myself thinking about aging. It seems the older you get, the more life comes into focus. As leaders, aging allows us to separate the important from the unimportant, to appreciate more and reach for less, and to allow those who are younger to step up to the plate and learn their lessons. I look at my life and realize that I’m slowing down. I don’t have the energy I once had, and I simply can’t do as much as I once could. However, I also find that I’m entering a "compounding stage" in my life. I’m profiting from the investments I made when I was younger, and I’m reaping the benefits of decisions I made early in life and continue to manage to this day.

What Is Compounding in My Life?


Through the years, I’ve tried to see the best side of people. Looking closely, we can find flaws and defects in every person, but our relationships have a richer quality when we search for strength and beauty in the lives around us. I’ve sought to relate on a heart-to-heart level with those around me. The dreams and passions stored within hearts are powerful keys that can unlock a wealth of potential. To understand the mind of a person, look at what he has already achieved; but to understand the heart of a person, look at what he aspires yet to do. I’ve built bridges with those around me. I’ve stayed connected with others, linked my friends with helpful contacts from my network, and refused to allow conflicts to sabotage my friendships. Opening ourselves to others yields a satisfaction that’s missed when we surround our-selves with defenses. I’ve consistently strived to give more than I receive. Keeping score is for games, not friendships. Avoid feeling entitled when you give, and don’t be too proud to accept when another person acts generously toward you. I’ve tried to live for others. One is a little number, and when we live only for ourselves, we lead small and shallow lives. Selfishness is a destructive disease with unpleasant symptoms.


Leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less. My focus has been to influence those who are the influ-encers in religion, economics, government, family, media, education and sports. In my early years as a pastor, I had significant influence within church circles, but little else-where. As I’ve grown as a leader, I’ve learned to branch out and add value in additional areas.


At sixty, life begins to resemble a roll of toilet paper—the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. At fifty-one, a heart attack helped me to understand the precious value of time. Lying in the hospital, I remember thinking I had so much more to do, so much I wanted to give, but I didn’t know how much time I had remaining. Today matters more than we’ll ever know. Each second is a gift, and every day a treasured opportunity.


As you get older, time speeds up but life slows down. For example, in football, the decisions of the quarterback determine the effectiveness of the offense. When a quar-terback transitions from college to the pros, he will likely go through a rough stretch as he adjusts to the faster pace of play. However, after a few years of experience, the game "slows down" for him because he is able to speed up his decision making. Aging is similar. Even though everything around you appears to pick up speed, you can process experiences and prioritize what’s important more easily than ever before.


George Burns said it well: "When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, it’s time to turn out the lights." The worth of our lives comes by what we give. What we keep, we squander. Look for ways to impart value, be generous with encouragement, and hand out hope to those you lead.


And most importantly, when you hit sixty, you start to see your legacy being formed. People will summarize your life in one sentence—pick it now! Don’t make your friends and family guess your life’s purpose at your funeral. Start living today the legacy you want to leave. Life is short, history is long. It is up to you to spend your time on pursuits that will outlive you.


Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Jo, thank you so much for posting this Article. Yes, when we reach 60 we have to be prepared especially preparing ourselves spiritually and be good and share to others what blessing we are receiving from our Lord God. Of course we also have to take care of ourselves, to be healthy all the time eating the right kind of food and exercising everyday. Again thank you so much. Talk to you in September when you arrived from the Philippines. May you and Pete have a safety travel.

orionjri said...

From my perch: sixty something, and faculties rapidly diminishing.

Be that as it may:

The Beatles once sang: "Will you still love me when I'm sixty four?" and Rod Stewart droned, " D'ya think I'm sexy?"

To the Batchers 63 I say: Here's looking at you, Babes. You're all as terrific as ever, even more so in our vintage.

Keep on "compounding" and long may you all live! Your wonderful legacy is assured.

lucille said...

Hi Pilar, the post is from Ernesto, not from Jo,masyado ka na yatang excited sa trip mo...saan ba ang pasyal mo this time?

This is a nice post ,most of us can relate to it . Thank you Ernie !

ErnestoDR said...

You are most welcome, Luz!
Don't worry about Larps, she is already sixsy and compounding!
Batchmates, I hope you like the post. I just thought that it is not late to make a difference in the life of others.
I always like to think that life is more than just sharing one's knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of the nexr generation.

JoGJMac( said...

quite parallel to life's lessons from the book i'm reading now. (Great is Your Faithfulness - by Josefina S. Cornelio, Ph.D)

"A man can live in the world's memory only by what he has done for the world." -Joseph Joubert, Taken from Matthew Arnold, ESSAYS, 1914.

"Only onelife, so live it well,
And keep your candle trimmed and bright,
Eternity, not time, will tell
The radius of that candle's light."
-Miller, from OUR DAILY BREAD, 2003

"It's serving other people's needs that God considers great."
- OUR DAILY BREAD, March 16, 2004

"What you are is God's gift to you;
what you do with yourself is your gift to God."
- Danish proverb

Pilar Villegas Cuevas said...

Ay! Mali! Luz thanks for correcting me. Malabo na talaga ang mata ko kasi more than sixsy na as Ernie said. Anyway Ernie thank you so much for sharing this Article.