I recently made my way through the arduous tenure process and received my "all good" letter from the provost.
It seems similar to the NFL, I have approached my own personal deflategate. There is six years of hard work and focus, the goal is achieved, then a feeling of emptiness on the other side.
I started my academic career late in life. MBA 2005 and PhD 2009, then on to Appalachian State University. It is a rewarding experience, with a great group of peers and students. But I don't rest well and there must be more, a new plan to follow.
What I have envisioned can work for most anyone who wants to make positive changes and reach new achievements. Picture a small circle around your body, mind and soul...this is the aura of what makes you unique. From this circle, move outward. Create another slightly larger circle and that will become your first adaptation to change.
The initial circles going out are things you can change now; the future concentric circles will be big play changes you will make into the future.
Here's an example of how it's working for me:
1) In the Thomas Pyncon novel (and movie) Inherent Vice he states “Can't say it often enough - change your hair, change your life.” That is true. I haven't had long(er) hair since 2008. Project underway.
2) Purify your body. I'm currently in Italy and went off the rails on cookies, bakery and gelato. Sugars and grains crashed my physical state and mental psyche. I'm sugar free for three days now and headed into ketosis.
3) Strengthen your body. I thought my running days were cooked. They weren't. I made a comeback, jog quite slow and ran the 10K here in Florence. Also doing six miles each morning. It's less than before, but it's happening nonetheless.
4) Write. A news editor early in my career harshly rejected my fiction work and I parked it for 40 years. I'm back at it. Kindle and CreateSpace book to come. Depending on your point of view and perspective, it's either a steamy romance or a horror story.
I'm not sure where the concentric circles of change will lead, but I do intend to make them continue outward. You can too. Don't settle into the paradigm that you can't "teach old dogs new tricks." We can all affect change and build the next chapter in our novel of life.