Sun, May 26, 2024

Embrace the Boom

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Steve Swanson is the former station manager of 88.3 WAFJ radio station in North Augusta.

Bill Jordan is a radio guy. He has entertained and informed thousands of people and has some important thoughts about making the most of our one and only life, especially life after our day-to-day working careers end. Before Bill tells us how to “Embrace the Boom,” I want to help you get to know him a bit better.

Born and raised in Newport News, Va., Bill attended college for one year at the University of Richmond. His older brother told him he “might” like to get involved in the campus radio station. His brother’s perception was spot on. Bill plugged into the station and soon realized this was a passion for him and something for which he was wired. Bill quickly got his first job in radio in Petersburg, Va.

He said, “I think I was divinely designed to do radio and did exactly what I was supposed to do.”

Bill related a story about Jerry Lewis teaching a class at UCLA about comedy. He would pose one question to get into the class, “Why do you want to be a comedian?” The only answer he would accept was because “I’ve got to be.”  Bill felt the same way about being on the radio.

Bill says the biggest thing he participated in professionally was helping raise money for the Duke Children’s Hospital through their annual radiothon fundraiser. He knew these efforts were making a real difference. One of the people who impacted Bill’s direction after radio was a man he got to know during these radio events. His name? Mike Krzyzewski. The head basketball coach at Duke University. More about that connection in a moment.

Getting up at 3:15 a.m. took a toll. Bill woke up one morning in October of 2012 stared at the clock (which now said 3:17 a.m.) and asked himself “What are you doing?” He had been getting up at that early hour for decades. His broadcast career spanned nearly 40 years until his retirement (including 27 years hosting the morning show in Raleigh, NC at Mix 101.5)

Over the years, Bill had paid close attention to quotes and made note of messages that were meaningful to him. He says, “Embrace the Boom came to me, playing off of Baby Boomers. We should embrace the boom of living our life, forget our age, and embrace the boom. Be thankful for where we are, and live your life as positively and as well as you can.” The ancient philosopher Seneca said, “As long as you live life, keep learning how to live life.”

While he was mulling over many of these thoughts, Bill made an appointment to see his friend, Mike Krzyzewski. Mike generously carved out 90 minutes and helped Bill sort through some of his thoughts. It was a conversation that helped further clarify the “Embrace the Boom” theme.

Bill said these are reminders of things we’ve heard all our lives, but had never really thought about in an in-depth fashion.

He said, “When you step away from the workforce and you’ve got a little extra time, I notice more stuff, in a good way!”

The target audience for these thoughts is the Baby Boomers – those born from 1946 – 1964 – all though Bill says he wishes he had them to apply to his life when he was 16. People of any age can benefit from these practices.

Bill has made this observation, “The thing that I guess does frustrate me is the number of people, and it’s the vast majority of people, who are in a set mindset that this is as good as it’s gonna get, I’m going to eat the cake, I’m going to enjoy my life. I kind of get that, but at the same time, if you’re going to overeat, and you eat sugar all the time, you’re developing diabetes, I just lost a friend of mine earlier this year, a lifelong friend lost to diabetes and his quality of life was horrible. So, I want to enjoy the cake and ice cream, and believe me I do, but I can’t just run off the rails with it.”

During our conversation, Bill recommended the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, He says he’s read it twice and thinks it is genius for trying to develop a habit or lose a habit.

Here are the 15 practices Bill uses to challenge boomers with (with a bonus).

PRACTICE 1: ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

PRACTICE 2:  THE SERENITY PRAYERS

PRACTICE 3: THE GOLDEN RULE

PRACTICE 4: STAY IN THE PRESENT

PRACTICE 5: TAKE NOTHING PERSONALLY

PRACTICE 6: TWO EARS, ONE MOUTH

PRACTICE 7: PRIORITIZE AND EXECUTE

PRACTICE 8: TRY NOT TO COMPROMISE WHAT YOU WANT MOST FOR WHAT YOU WANT NOW

PRACTICE 9: DISCIPLINE = FREEDOM

PRACTICE 10:  CALM IS CONTAGIOUS

PRACTICE 11: THE 80/20 RULE: PARETO PRINCIPLE

PRACTICE 12: IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT

PRACTICE 13: KEEP IT SIMPLE

PRACTICE 14: TODAY IS A PERFECT DAY FOR ME TO MIND MY OWN BUSINESS

PRACTICE 15: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED, AND WHEN POSSIBLE, BE THE UNEXPECTED

BONUS: EARN THIS

Bill has a short video that spells out each of these practices on his website: www.billjordanembracetheboom.com He also has put these thoughts into book form (available at amazon.com and soon to be available for Kindle). As the photo indicates, he also created a coffee mug to spell out the Embrace the Boom message in big bold letters

In closing Bill had this to say: “What I truly hope people will do…well don’t go well, I’m 60 you know, things are falling apart now. I semi-kiddingly say, you’re not getting old ’cause’ we’ve all heard people turning 25 talking about getting old, they’re turning 30 and they’re getting old. You’re not getting old until you hurt yourself in your sleep! Live your life, forget your age, and embrace the boom, embrace where you are. If not even for yourself, be very aware that you are probably a mentor or role model for your own kids or your neighbors.”

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