“The best is yet to come.” That’s the tagline my friend Suzanne Leonard uses with every email and Facebook post. In fact, she usually precedes this tagline with “take a deep breath.” The other day I read an article published by Fortune magazine, “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” At the #1 spot was Pope Francis. As a spiritual leader myself, that made me smile. But something else grabbed my attention even more.
What I noticed most as I read down through the list of these top 50 world leaders was their age. Most were over 50. Many were in their 60’s and 70’s. Only a handful were below 50 with a sprinkling in their 40’s and 30’s. And then there was the one standout, Malala Yousafzai, a 16 year old in Swat, Pakistan. She is a courageous advocate for educational rights for women—standing up to the Taliban.
Reading through this list of top world leaders made me think about what my cousin from Montana sent me on my birthday last December when I turned 60. Dean is three months older than I and this is what he wrote: “We had a fellow at church give a 2 day seminar on jobs (learning to love your work). It is a statistical fact that a man’s most productive decade is his 60’s, followed by the 50’s and lastly the 70’s. So we still have 20 good years ahead of us.”
I meet so many men and women in their 60’s who assume they are “over the hill,” “rounding the curve,” or “winding down.” What if our go to phrase became “the best is yet to come?” So much of life is about our attitude and outlook. Attitude determines altitude. If you believe everything in the past was “the good old days,” then you are staring in your rearview mirror. What are you anticipating? You usually find what you are looking for.
One of my mentors, Tony Hostetler, shared with me the week before he died that the last 25 years of his career as a pastor had been the most fruitful time of his life. He wasn’t discounting the impact he had made during the first 35 years of his ministry. He was just gratefully reflecting on the exponential fruit he saw from age 63 to age 88. Serving along side of Tony over the final 25 years of his life has given me confidence that the best is yet to come.
So, I have a few suggestions of possible next steps toward increasing the possibility that the best is yet to come:
- Make sure you understand your purpose and calling.
- Live in the sweet spot where your 3 critical C’s (core, capacity and context) intersect.
- Have a clear mission statement.
- Assemble a personal board of directors to give you feedback and hold you accountable.
- Spend time engaging with the many resources that are readily available to assist you discovering how to leverage your first half successes for second half significance.
And, above everything else, make sure your attitude is adjusted to actually anticipate that the best is yet to come.
QUESTION: What helps you stay focused on future positive possibilities? Please share it in the comment section below.