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Refire! Don't Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Refire, Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz is simply the right book with the right tone at the right time in the right place … “To refire is to approach life with gusto. It's to see each day as an opportunity for adventure and learning? It's to infuse passion and zest into every area of your life – emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual. Heart, head, body, and soul.” (pg. 9) The authors understand clearly that “retirement age” does not mean what it has in the past for most of us. We want to continue to live significantly as conditions change around us and Blanchard and Shaevitz share four essential keys to help us do so: FIRST KEY: REFIRING EMOTIONALLY: “You can’t enrich your current relationships or forge new ones if you keep on doing the same things in the same ways.” (pg. 31) “Unless there’s a legitimate reasons to say no, you say yes! “ (pg. 41). This idea is the single most empowering concept in the book and challenging for many of us who have built comfortable and predictable lives. Blanchard and Shaevitz encourage us to break out and risk by doing things we might usually pass on. This is especially effective when combined with the Nothing Ordinary rule: …a commitment to uniqueness … not to choose anything ordinary.” (pg.50) SECOND KEY: REFIRING INTELLECTUALLY: “Growing intellectually is like oxygen to a deep-sea diver: without it, you die. If you’re not continuing to learn, you might as well lie down and let them throw the dirt on you, because you’re already brain dead.” (pg. 59) THIRD KEY: REFIRING PHYSICALLY: “… the minimally effective dose of exercise is walking five to six days a week, thirty to forty-give minutes a day.” (pg. 81) … at which point I put my computer in Sleep mode, changed clothes, and was out the door for almost 50 minutes of brisk walking. “I suggest that you first stop eating and drinking mindlessly and begin eating and drinking mindfully.” (pg. 82) Of course, right before walking, I had just mindlessly swallowed several handfuls of left-over Christmas M&M’s … have to work on that mindfulness thing. FOURTH KEY: REFIRING SPIRITUALLY: “My epiphany was that I’m not totally responsible for things going well, nor am I totally at fault when things go wrong. Something’s going on that’s far great than what I can control.” (pg. 110) Three distinct values in this narrative format book: HOLISTIC APPROACH: The book addresses remaining significant as we age and talks realistically about we deal with ALL aspects of our lives: “Heart, Head, Body, and Soul”. OUR ABILITY TO CHOOSE: The point is repeatedly stressed that we are responsible for our choices and our responses to what life brings us. DEALING WITH SETBACKS: Rather than mindlessly cheerleading, the authors also devote attention to the reality that setbacks and challenges will still come our way, even as we build our strengths. A QUIBBLE: The scenarios focused mostly on traditional married couples, but many enter the later stages of life without a long-time partner or in non-traditional relationships. I would have liked to have seen more relationship diversity here. Bottom Line: Refire, Don’t Retire is readable, relatable, and relevant … a must read for anyone already in this stage of life or who may someday reach it. John
In the year 2000, long before my own retirement age, I was introduced to a book by Bob Buford titled Half Time. Through that book I became hopeful of never having to retire to a rocking chair. I set my sights on the retirement adventure of retiring to, not retiring from. Fifteen years later, as I come closer to the golden age, I was totally enchanted by the story told by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz in their book Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Through skilled storytelling, the authors define keys to Refiring everyone can relate to. We are allowed to peer into the lives of individuals at this pivotal point through the pages of a book that reads like a novel, but the situations are anything but fiction. This book is the perfect weekend read, combining the education of a seminar in an easy to read parable style. Their story opens with a wake-up call for Larry Sparks when his twin brother, Kevin, unexpectedly dies of a heart attack at the time of their 45th class reunion. Larry acknowledges how distant his brother was from relationships due to his over-achiever lifestyle. Kevin was a success and became rich in finances but was decrepitly poor in relationships. Kevin’s death had a huge impact on Larry and his wife, Janice. They were suddenly eager to find new purpose and vowed to Refire and add zest in every aspect of their life together. Through the book they are mentored by a former, respected teacher, Dr. Jeffery, and new friends they meet along the way who are already living the principles Larry and Janice are just learning. Throughout the book we meet people who are in the same season of life with a desire to continue to live full lives and not become dinosaurs. Key One: Refiring Emotionally Key Two: Refiring Intellectually Key Three: Refiring Physically Key Four: Refiring Spiritually In the first part of the book Larry and Janice form the Last Minute Gang. Their premise was to avoid the unimaginative life by being spontaneous. The rules were simple – don’t say no to new experiences, say yes to opportunities unless there was a good reason to say no, and adopt the nothing ordinary rule which is a commitment to uniqueness. One way Larry and Janice played this out was to take advantage of events and attractions in their own community like they were tourists instead of residents. They were surprised at the excitement they had doing things for the first time that had been right in front of them for years. As you will learn, being spontaneous was just the beginning of a lifestyle that never retires, because you have learned to Refire! Don’t just read and forget. Each chapter has a documented Code of Conduct for living the principles, and then is followed by a summary Pause, Reflect, Take Action. This book takes readers on a journey where they are engaged in deeper understanding through practical applications and ideas to try on their own.
I struggled with whether to rate this a 3 or 4 so take my rating in that context. The content of this books is average to slightly above average. I was expecting an "ah hah" moment while reading it, but it never came. I guess the issue for me is that the information contained in the book is really no different than what you see on-line and in magazines and hear on TV; when you retire you need to keep mentally and physically active and engage socially. I'm sure it will be very helpful for many to see it all in one location and it is clearly communicated in the "story telling" writing style that Ken Blanchard has used in so many of his leadership books. I guess the one important thing that I think most people miss and is covered in this book is retirement can be a time to do something you have always wanted to do (and find personally fulfilling), but couldn't afford to make the change when you were dependent on your job for your income. Don't miss the opportunity!!