Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Afternoon Rules and Questions

It’s past noon. 

The rules have changed. 

“We can’t live the afternoon of our life based upon the rules of the morning”

I read this somewhere this week. It was someone quoting someone who was quoting someone else. It ended up in my commonplace book and I didn’t source it. So I don’t know who said it. 

But this is where my brain has been in recent days. 

While I’m only at the beginning of my particular afternoon, at 51 the sun is high overhead. The shadows will soon be getting longer once again.  

And the rules change in the afternoon. 

I don’t think this list is complete. More changes to come. The discovery process isn’t over yet. But the rules are changing. Here are the few of the new rules I’ve already discovered. 

Naps are good. 

I believe it’s only a young man who boasts “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” This is foolishness. Sleep is beautiful and restorative. If you don’t sleep you will be dead. ( And apparently, a lot of people are figuring this out at a younger age  .)

Say ‘no’ more. 

There was a day when I had the physical stamina and mental energy to do an astounding amount of work in a day. Weeks were filled with activities and it would have been a mortal sin to “say no” to anything.  

That’s not the case anymore. “No” needs to be an abundant word in my vocabulary. 

And the converse is also true. 

Say ‘yes’ with less frequency, but more enthusiasm.  

When I do say ‘yes’ I am all in and and will devote all energy and strength because I am only going to say “yes” to the projects that matter most to me.  

My greatest assets are mental strength and experience, not physical prowess and crass enthusiasm. 

That’s not to say staying physically spry isn’t a good thing. It is. It’s just that I don’t expect to keep up with my younger get peers. I don’t try. That’s not the kind of strength I bring to the table anymore. 

Don’t try to lead from the front. Lead from the back. 

The game is no longer, “how do I get to the front of this room?” Fun fact: there actually is no game. Leadership has way more to do with giving others the tools they need to change the world around them than the posturing that goes on in a room full of 30-year-olds. “What do I give?” is a more vital question than “What do I gain?”. 

Think legacy over leverage. 

Public history will remember very few of us. But we are all going to die someday. What do I want to leave behind? How do I want to be remembered ? How do I make decisions, act, think, write, make conversations and friends in such a way to make a difference for future generations? 

These are questions for my Sunday afternoon. 

And my life afternoon. 

Because it is indeed the afternoon.