Why say yes even though it’s not in your comfort zone or “your thing”? I did just this very thing…
Before I tell you what I said yes to even though it was supposedly not my thing, my passion, or my focus in my designing, blogging, writing, and speaking, is to tell you that the 50+ or the O50’s is my thing.
So when Katherine Ambrose asked me to be the featured speaker for her Empowering Seniors Series, I hesitated to say yes. Why? In this large group that Katherine has professionally organized, many but not all of course, are in their late 70’s in to their 80’s and beyond. Since my focus is the 50+, I questioned saying yes. Could I be effective or could I give any value to these lovely senior attendees?
There is confusion however with the label of seniors. At the age of 55 years old, there are often numerous discounts to individuals who are now being categorized as a senior. I often buy my 99 cent senior coffee at McDonalds or receive discounts at restaurants and etc. Demographically however, the 55+ are actually in the baby boomer age group (the 50+) These are my people or my tribe since I have researched the 50+ thoroughly over the last decade or so.
But wait, hold on Mitzi Beach, didn’t you just write a blog post referring to ageism? Didn’t you also describe experiencing the frustrations of the condescending and or patronizing attitudes often in dealing with millennials or the Gen X?
It then became crystal clear that I was wrong, very wrong in my assumptions to not be able to deliver relative content to these lovely senior attendees.
Meet Rosie the Riviter who is 90 years young!
So after accepting to speak these seniors, I realized beyond preparing the mechanics of my talk, I needed to work on my heart i.e., my ATTITUDE and my MINDSET. In my book, Design SMARTS, these are two of the most important sections of the acronym of SMARTS.
There it was! My answer to what to cover that could make a positive difference to impact their life. I spoke on the 3 topics of ATTITUDES and MINDSETS regarding aging and the extremely important essentials of preparing their SPACES.
So as developed my outline and practiced my talk, I kept thinking of my late mom and dad. What would I say if they were attending my talk? All of a sudden I realized how very foolish I had been to even doubt agreeing to this precious opportunity.
As I close out this post, I must tell you that I cannot remember feeling more appreciated than I did after this talk to these precious seniors. I experienced an unprecedented and unexpected joy that stayed with me for a very long time.
My personal lesson learned is rather obvious or perhaps to you it may not be that obvious. But I learned to seek first an understanding of how I could be a benefit before I say yes or no to any opportunity. I was beyond blessed by saying yes even though I almost foolishly declined. And you know what? I had more unexpected joy than maybe anyone else in the room that day.
May you all ponder your yes’s and your no’s very carefully so you too can experience such unexpected joy in your future endeavors or opportunities.
Living and Loving Life Together,
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