Unlike most of my posts, thus one is more personal but hopefully relevant to all of us. As a college freshman sixty years ago I took my first course in psychology. Fifty years ago I got a PhD and started my teaching, speaking and writing career. Much later, in June 2002, I sent out the first of these newsletters and they have come out regularly ever since. Thanks to the grace of God my health is good. I still write, teach graduate students, and speak at conferences. I am grateful for a supportive, loving family and group of friends. So as long as I continue to interact with interesting people (including you who read these posts), think creatively, and keep learning about new publications and new trends there are no plans to stop any of this or to retire. Often there are valid reasons for slowing down, but it seems that too many people stop learning and growing, lose their relevance and fizzle out as they approach the end of life. This process can start at any age. Clearly I don’t want this to happen to me—or to you.
About this time every year I take stock of where I am and where God may be leading. This is of special importance now that I’m approaching 80 and am in the concluding, but potentially the most productive years of my life. Perhaps like you, at times I’ve sought to find my calling or niche. But I have discovered that more often than finding a niche, the niche finds us. And sometimes this changes as we grow older. Lord willing, I will continue to teach, write this newsletter and produce some new books. Even so, as I step back to look at where I am, it is becoming clear that my greater focus should be on investing in smaller numbers of emerging leaders.
It seems that I work best with developing young professionals, with experienced counselors or ministry leaders, and with others who are taking stock of their lives and wanting to finish strong whatever their age now. I love speaking at conferences, teaching, and writing that could have a broad impact. But even more I want to increase my work with individuals and more focused groups. I’ll tell you more in the next newsletter.
In the meantime, during this special end-of-the-year season, please consider taking time to reflect on your life, your calling, your potential direction. Most of us will stay on the same course because it’s neither possible nor wise to make changes at this point. What about you? Please comment and tell us what you think of these ideas. What are you doing to take stock of your life as a New Year approaches?
I send my warmest best wishes to all of you for a fulfilling and Christ-honoring holiday season.