Book Excerpt & Giveaway: It’s Never Too Late

It’s Friday Giveaway time!

Today we are featuring an excerpt from the book: It’s Never Too Late: Getting Older, Wiser, and Worry-Free in Our Golden Years, by Scott Page

Enjoy this sample of Scott’s book and comment below for a chance to win a FREE copy of your own! Don’t forget to include your email address in your comment.

It’s never too late and no matter what your age, there’s some serious wisdom in this book!

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One of the most common ways we sabotage ourselves and limit or even destroy our potential is by giving negativity permission to live rent free in our lives. Negativity is so debilitating that it can feel like a genuine affliction, as if our imbalanced brain chemistry feeds on being in a perpetual downer state.

I have struggled with this myself. For example, I often wonder how a very dear lifelong friend and I can manage to go from zero to hate in a flash. When I replay various scenes in my head, I realize that the only thing I can change is how I choose to react when I perceive something to be negative. I know that changing my knee-jerk ways means taking real responsibility for what I think, say, and do. Otherwise, it’s too easy to sit back and point the finger at how so-and-so it the cause of why I’m so miserable and why such-and-so has taken place.

Once we recognize the triggers, the things that spur our negativity, whether they involve people or situations, we have to find ways to replace them with positive thoughts that make us feel good and empowered. For example, if it’s a dark and rainy day, I can choose to think about all the flowers that will soon bloom instead of complaining about how gloomy it is.

Of course you may have to take some tiny baby steps to change attitudes or beliefs you’ve held over a lifetime. One such baby step is to ask yourself a basic question: “What can I visualize that could achieve a positive outcome?”

This should be kept simple and the goal should be realistic. It can even be confined to a single interaction with another person, such as calling someone close to you out of the blue to tell them you love them and are thinking about them. Maybe this someone is your sister, and every time you call her, you end up disagreeing about something and the interaction quickly degenerates into a screaming battle.

Trick her. Call her and say, “I was thinking about you and I love you.” Then change the pattern by hanging up. When everyone else is zigging, choose to zag. Where there was negativity, try a completely opposite behavior. See what happens, and pay close attention to how it makes you feel. Does it make you giggle, smile, feel better about life?

I think that people by and large discount the small acts of kindness, caring and compassion that can magically change the energy around them. For example, I’m a firm believer that we cannot say “Thank you” too much. Likewise, I try to always be kind to those who work in restaurants and make them feel good versus always looking for something to be irritated about. Just the simple act of giving a compliment to a woman about her shoes makes her smile and I smile in return.

Gratitude also goes a long way. I woke up this morning, climbed out of bed, got dressed and drove myself to my office. After work I had the luxury of being able to go out to eat. I have so many choices about the things I want, and I’m not going to let my day be ruined because some minute detail doesn’t go my way. Everyone experiences an upward spiral and a downward spiral, and we each get to choose how we respond. We can be grateful, or we can complain. Step away from the negativity for an hour, a day, or a week and see how different it makes you feel.

Choose to surround yourself with non-toxic people. Misery loves company, and people who are miserable love you to be just like them. Realize that you are making a choice to hang out with the SOB who does nothing but complain about everything. It can be easy as a few clicks on the computer to find a community of people whose interests can spark something positive and uplifting in you. Our ability to give, share, and receive help and support makes us feel connected and empowered and can replace the fear, dread and isolation that dominate so much of our spirit.

Exercising generosity of spirit and giving to others is one of the biggest highs we can experience. When asked what they’re most proud of, famous and wealthy people overwhelmingly cite deeds of philanthropy, but you don’t have to be wealthy to be philanthropic. Even the smallest gesture of kindness can be a tonic to your spirit.

In my own case, nothing can hold a candle to the joy I experienced several years ago when I took my parents to look at a new house under construction down the street. It was their fiftieth wedding anniversary and I had to make a special trip home to see them

“Show me that house they’re building,” I suggested to my parents as we drove down the street. “There’s an open house sign outside. Let’s stop and take a look.”

My father was game, but my mother was reluctant.

“There’s no sense in doing that. We can’t afford it,” She said

“Let’s walk around inside,” I suggested after coaxing them out of the car.

“What’s the point?” my mother continued. “I’m never going to live in this house.”

We walked inside. A fire was crackling in the fireplace. My mother touched the draperies, admiring the quality. I finally got them to sit on the couch in the living room.

“Do you think you could live in a house like this?” I asked.

“Hell, yeah, “my father blurted out.

“Well you’re going to,” I told them, “because it’s yours,”

When it finally sank in, my parents burst out crying. (They had missed a clue on our tour of the house-the towels in the bathroom were monogrammed with their initials.)

Many months before I had purchased the empty lot and started construction. For a year, my father had been telling me, “They’re building a house down the street and you know, it has a detached garage!” This was his dream.

It was another three months before they moved in, but all they needed to take with them were their toothbrushes. My father was overjoyed that he finally had a place with a garage after living in the row houses his whole life.

This was a big relief to me, because my parents, like most people of their generation in the lower middle class, never want anything given to them. They want to take care of themselves. My parents still feel a little funny about the house, but now I couldn’t pry them out of there with a crowbar. As for me, the act of giving it to them remains the happiest experience of my life.

Just like the power of prayer I mentioned in the last chapter, I also believe firmly in the power of positive affirmations. My fitness trainer nailed it when he told me, “Change your focus, change your future.” He may have been talking about achieving my goal of being healthy and fit, but this applies to everything else I do, too.

Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I can make a change. I can be happy. I can work towards a solution.”

If everything in your life is “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” then nothing is going to change. You have to change. Even if you are only able to move the needle one degree to a more positive reading, you will begin to see results.

Scott Page is President and CEO of The Lifeline Program, one of the most innovative, forward-thinking and highly respected life settlement providers in the market today. He is also the author of It's Never Too Late (January 2016, Morgan James) and a respected expert on retirement and financial issues facing seniors and baby boomers, appearing in many national media outlets such as 20/20, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Fox Business Network's Varney & Co, and as a blogger on The Huffington Post. Scott lives in Atlanta, GA with his husband their crazy french bulldog, Shirley.

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