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Become Your Own Sherpa

You remember reading about the mountain climbers who scale Mount Everest?search

They will all tell you it can’t be done without the assistance of their elite mountain guides, the Sherpas. The Sherpas are an ethnic group of former nomadic people who settled in the mountainous region of Nepal in the Himalayan mountain range.

I was reading a review of Jane Pauley’s recent book Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life  in which she described herself as a “Sherpa.” She wrote her book to give guidance and assistance to those of us over the age of 50 who, for one reason or another, had given up their corporate careers and are now wondering, “What do I do with the rest of my life?”

Her comments caught my attention because I was one of those thrown out of an industry after 31 years and they wouldn’t let me or my friends back in (frankly, I didn’t want to re-enter the industry so I didn’t push back).

I’m right in the middle of the boomer generation having been born in 1955

The boomer generation is characterized by hard working individuals, doing whatever is necessary to get the job done, and a very high loyalty factor to their employers. The employee/employer relationship broke down. But the sense of loyalty never went away because it’s ingrained in us. For someone like myself, I had to learn to channel the loyalty to a different and new entity—me.

Ms. Pauley calls this transition the “midlife reinvention”

Now don’t get this confused with the midlife crisis (that’s identified by the red sports car, Harley motorcycle, or trophy spouse). She points out that the reinvention is not a singular moment in time. Rather, it is a transitional period. The article states that research shows the average transitional period to be three years. My transitional period began four years ago and it continues to evolve.

  • I didn’t get it right the first time.
  • It’s not a total makeover and it is constantly evolving.
  • I don’t make as much money but I’m a lot happier.
  • I work many more hours but it doesn’t seem like work.
  • I was fortunate because the two paths I fell into satisfy my passions—not everyone is so lucky.
  • I built on the strengths of the experiences over the past 50 years.
  • The journey has, and continues, to be fun and exhilarating.

I advise young parents to support their children in activities that they can build on over their entire lives and even into retirement years. I always put an emphasis on playing a musical instrument, learning a foreign language, and playing tennis or golf.

So what does this have to do with writing my books?

It has everything to do with it. You see this is one of two new careers I’ve chosen and the one that will take me into the winter of my life. I never learned to play an instrument or learn a foreign language. (Although I did try both). No one wants me in doubles on the tennis court or golf course.

I had to became my own Sherpa four years ago

Do we have a lot of stories? Of course we do. I’m looking forward to sharing these with you. Please continue to visit our blog and perhaps subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the most recent blog posts. Thanks so much for following my blog and my little journey through this incredibly interesting process of writing a series of niche historical travel books and then getting the bloody things published.

Please note that I do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies I mention or promote in my blog.


Please note that I do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies I mention or promote in my blog.

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Copyright © 2014 Stew Ross







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