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Lessons learned from a 101 year gentleman

Last month I was visiting family at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountain foothills on the east side in Colorado.  On Sunday we drove 25 miles to attend the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Fellowship Church. The congregation consisted of about 50 ranch families and locals.  As the service started and the pastor asked about announcements, a lady stood up and said that she had an announcement.

“Many of you know that I just turned 74 years old.  Next year will be my 75th.  That will be a pretty good celebration.  But before then, I want to share with you that the first Sunday in June we will be celebrating my father’s 101st birthday!”

She then pointed to an elderly gentleman sitting next to her.  He smiled and waved at the congregation. I actually saw him walk in prior to the service beginning.


After the service, he was standing out in the reception area and I walked over to talk to him. He was standing unassisted and was so coherent and pleasant to have an enjoyable conversation.

I asked him, “I know you get this question a lot but what’s your secret to good health?”

He said, “20 years ago I turned 80 yrs. old and figured I better start taking better care of myself so I started walking 5-7 miles a day and still do to this day.  I’m not on any medications of any kind. I do take vitamins and eat well.  I eat a lot fish with omega-3 oils.  I also learned that there are a few key pillars to live by. Do you want to hear about them?”

I said, “You bet, I’ve love to hear your perspective.”


“Ok” he said, “Here we go:

Pillar #1 – Our body is a temple but so many times we treat it like a bowling alley instead.  Exercise and eat healthy.


Pillar #2 –Enjoy the gift of relationships.  Relationships are like a garden, you have to cultivate them. Once you get them growing the maintenance is pretty easy.


Pillar #3 – Be a Life-long learner.  Be curious about your world, your role in it  and reflect back on your lessons learned and share them.


Pillar #4 – Give back to others.  I go work at the senior center and help other seniors.  Most are in their 60’s and 70’s.  Sometimes I work in the kitchen, other times setting up for special occasions and other times I lead conversations on specific topics.


Pillar #5 – Be Grateful.  Life has a lot to offer and provide for us.  Be thankful for family, friends and relationships.  Keep in mind, we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.  And son remember this key takeaway: Silent gratitude is useless!”


I was floored.  I had just been given a very solid education on some key pillars in life.  I had almost walked away with talking with the gentleman and then said to myself, “What do I have to lose? I’ll walk over and say hi and wish him all the best for his 101st birthday.

I was so glad I did.

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Evaluating New Year’s Resolutions

Well it’s the end of January, time to evaluate your New Year’s Resolutions. How well did you do with your new year’s resolutions? Studies have shown that 80% of new year’s resolutions are discontinued or dropped by January 15th. You have to ask the questions, “Why are these resolutions so difficult to keep? Aren’t they important enough to us to see them through to fruition?”

Typically, if we approach an aspect of our life that is important enough to come up with a resolution it is important to us. However, we can get overwhelmed with the size and scope of the project. As we get overwhelmed, we get frustrated and when we get frustrated we get disillusioned and then we finally give up and quit. I have been a fan of breaking things down into simple steps or aspects.

In my senior year of high school, I literally taught myself to pole vault. It seemed so complicated. Students would line up after school to watch me jump. They weren’t interested how high I jumped but rather if I would hit the landing area. It was total concentration for me starting out just to get the end of the pole into the built-in box at the bottom of the pit. This box in front of the pit was key. If you didn’t hit the box at full speed, who knows where you would wind up. Thus, the kids watching in anticipation. Once I practiced that skill set enough and muscle memory took place then, I forgot all about planting the pole in the box. It became second nature. I then started focusing on my form to get up and over the bar.


After a while instead of a terrifying ordeal it became fun and challenging.

When I talk with people who are retired or getting ready to retire most times they seem overwhelmed by figuring out what they want to do in retirement. Oh sure, they focus on the financial side of things but what about the other aspects of your life. You know like: family and home, fitness and health, knowledge and education, religion and culture, social and friends, 2nd careers and finance. It seems like a lot but over the next several months we are going to break it all down into workable units. Come on along for a fun adventure as we figure it out.

Also check out the Adventure store and see what tools are available to help.

Thanks for coming along.

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New Year’s resolutions – Why do most people give up on them before the end of January?

Research shows that most people give up on New Year’s Resolutions before the end of January?
How do we make sure we are living the life we want to be living instead of just living a shell of what we could be experiencing? What does it take to be enjoying more out of life?

First, we have to be able to separate our dreams from our goals. There are many definitions that separate dreams from goals but I like this one: A dream is what you would like for life to be and hold all the items and thoughts special to you. A goal is what you intend to make happen.

Many people dream of an ideal life that they would like to have someday. They even go so far as to dream the perfect future life with great many concrete details. They do not; however, move forward to set specific goals for one main reason. They never really intend to pursue their dream and turn it into reality. Goals are intentional. They are rooted in commitment and a desire to do whatever it takes to make a dream come true. A goal is not a whim. It is a true lasting, worthwhile dream taken one step farther to the point that you are willing to put numbers, places, facts and details to it. The key point is to always keep a focus towards reaching the goal you have set. Ask yourself a simple question, “How will I know when I am living my life dream?” Your answer will dictate the specific goals connected with your dream.

At this point people get frustrated with New Year’s Resolutions and goals. It can get to be overwhelming. We start out with the best of intentions and then 80% or more of New Year’s Resolutions are dropped by the end of January. Over the next couple of months, we are going to look at how we can break down and balance our goals. We want to feel like we have a chance at accomplishing those goals most important to us.

We are going to focus on the wheel of life and how this wheel makes us feel as we go down the road of life. Are we having a smooth ride because our goals are balanced? Or do we feel major bumps and bangs because our wheel is out of alignment? You will be able to work on your own spokes and how you can balance out your own wheel of life. This is a valuable tool for goal planning.

The wheel consists of six spokes that support your wheel of life. The six spokes focus on the following topics in no particular order: Fitness and Health, Knowledge and Education, Spiritual and Ethical, Social and Friends, Family and Home, Career and Financial.

Here is what it looks like when you attach the topics to the spokes.

During the next few months we will explore each spoke and its relevance and balance for you. You will be able to personalize your wheel and see how balanced your wheel is currently. Then the focus shifts to where you would like to work on balancing some goals. The wheel represents a snapshot for where you are today. It helps you plan on where you would like to go. This will be a fun adventure while providing a helpful tool.
Thanks for coming along.

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Creating Your Next Adventure in Retirement


Creating your next adventure in retirement will involve a lot corrections to stay on course.
Baby Boomers will encounter many obstacles on their journey in retirement. Each adventure will have difficulties and issues to overcome. Managing relationships will key to a successful journey. Think about what it takes to keep a kayak on course. To keep relationships on course requires the same skills as paddling a kayak.

When kayaking, you have to make adjustments to the wind, current, tides, boats and obstacles. With relationships, you have to make adjustments to time, communication, resources, goals and obstacles to keep them operational. Let’s look at a couple of key items with relationships.

Couples in retirement now potentially have completely different perspectives on what it means to spend time together. Being together 24/7 is very different than when one or two people in a relationship have a full or part time job. The potential for getting on each other’s nerves becomes a very real variable to manage. You have to make adjustments.

One of the key items to identify is each other’s expectations. At this stage of life and with this amount of time what is expected? Just sitting down and writing out goals and expectations can make a huge difference. The same as with kayaking. “Oh, instead of kayaking across the ocean, you just want to cross the pond?” We then make adjustments. It’s not easy but it is doable.

Remember one of the keys to communicating is the willingness to listen. We are physically built such that we should be listening twice as much as we speak. How do I know that? It’s really pretty easy. We are born with two ears and one mouth. However, even when try and focus on listening we fall into a trap. Instead of listening to understand, we wait until there is a break in the conversation so that we can jump in with our point of view. Try to listen to understand and then use this key phrase to ensure that understanding takes place. “Help me understand, what do you mean by that?”

You will be amazed at the difference in your conversations and the depth you can take them. All of sudden those big looming obstacles can be avoided just like Kayak paddling around a big rock. You will be able to use these same skills with siblings, children, grandchildren, friends and many more.

Learning how to use some simple tools can help make the process of building good relationships in retirement a little bit easier.

Check out the Adventure Jerky Store for some great retirement resources.
Thanks for coming along!

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Stumped About Retirement?

Are you stumped with what to do in retirement? 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning age 65 every single day. This will continue for the next ten years. For some, the thought of retirement is a long welcome relief from a hectic career. For others, well they are just stumped about what they want to do in the next chapter of their life.

Focus first on your dreams and goals and truly take time to dream big. Dreams don’t cost you anything so its ok to dream big and dream often.

Then think about your goals and begin to write down your goals in various areas of your life. You will be amazed at the magic that happens when you start to write things down. As you look over your goal list, put check marks by those goals that are based on your value system. Look at the goals without check marks and if they don’t make sense you can let them go. No need to focus on other people’s goals at this stage in your life.

As you start to look at the various goals you have selected, start to imagine a lifestyle based around those goals. What type of an impact will you have on others? What reward will you receive from following through on those goals. It’s interesting to see how a new life starts to take shape at you look at retirement.

So don’t stay stumped thinking about retirement. With a little thought, a little imagination and the magic of writing things down, you will be amazed at what starts to unfurl. Most of all have fun as you begin this next adventure.

Check out for some great resources dealing with non-financial issues in retirement.
Thanks for coming along!

Thanks for coming along.

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Adventures for Your Next Journey

What adventures are you ready to embark on for your next journey? Sometimes it’s tough to get through all the clutter and figure out which adventure is going to be a worthwhile adventure to help you along on your journey. Otherwise we get caught up in day to day details, we get derailed and then activity replaces accomplishment of those goals most important to us.

Writing down your dreams and goals are so important to helping you choose your adventures. The passion you discover delivers the energy and boldness you will need with your adventures.

So many times, we assume that big changes require big efforts. That is not always the case. Sometimes big changes come in small incremental effort. It’s the small items that are done consistently that make the big changes happen. Getting your thoughts down on paper is one of those small things you do that will have a huge impact on your life.
Remember that old poster, “Make Each Day Count!?” Ultimately, what you accomplish in your life is a result of what you accomplish in a normal day.

Check out the podcast on Choose Your Adventure, “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” Show #5 at Anchor.FM/216-THE-NET. is a great place for some terrific resources dealing with non-financial issues in retirement.
Thanks for coming along!

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Finding Your Passion for Your Next Journey

There comes a time in our lives when we want to make a change. We realize we want to do something different, but we don’t always know why we want to make the change.

Embarking on our great adventure conjures up an image of being able to take control and move in the direction we would like to go. We hope to achieve the goals that are important to us.  Also to create a sense of purpose in our lives by going on a journey that has major significance for us.

In order to address the issues that confront us, we need to make wise decisions so we can focus on what we want to accomplish. Otherwise, we wind up getting swept along in the great big tide of activities that consumes time and energy. When this happens, we end up doing what we feel we have to do to survive in our business and personal life.

When we are truly passionate about something we can’t wait to get started. We also know when we are kidding ourselves and just trying to be passionate. It’s difficult to fool ourselves. It’s one or the other but never both. The key is to take the time to find the goals that you are truly passionate about.

Motivational speaker Brian Tracy stated it so well when he said, “You know you’re getting close to your passion when you can throw your alarm clock away!”

Take time to write down your dreams and goals and carefully go through them and find out what you are truly passionate about based on your values. It takes a lot of work but it is worth the effort.

Check out the podcast on Finding Your Passion “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” Show #4 at Anchor.FM/216-THE-NET.

Check out for some great resources dealing with non-financial issues in retirement.
Thanks for coming along!

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Tree House Adventures

Tree House adventures highlights “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” which is a new radio program/podcast for Baby Boomers who have either retired or getting ready to retire, which focuses on the non-financial issues of retirement. We all have adventures left within us. Which adventures will be best for your next journey? Join us as we discuss the differences between success vs significance, finding your passion, choosing your adventure and igniting your activity. The hosts are author/speaker Chuck Inman (guy in the tree house) and Ron Hoesterey author/radio host/rancher.

So be sure to tune into this new program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00 AM-12:00PM CT on Monday mornings and a recorded re-broadcast of the program on Wednesdays 3:00PM – 4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00 PM – 7:00PM and Fridays 11:00AM – 12:00PM, again at 21.6 THE NET.

Podcasts after the shows air can be heard on Anchor. FM/216-THE-NET.

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Adventure Jerky Blog Contest

Welcome to the first Adventure Jerky – Fuel for the Journey blog. In this first blog, we are going to lay out some items about the Adventure blog contest. We would like to hear how you are doing with your new adventures. It could be starting a new career, discovering a sense of purpose, studying abroad, going back to school, volunteering, taking a vacation or unique trip. Write up a brief scenario of your adventure and provide a photo. It’s that easy to enter.

Here are a couple of guidelines for entering the blog contest:

  1. Original, current example about your adventure (try to keep it to 500 words or less)
  2. Photo attached is allowed, by doing so gives Adventure Jerky the rights to use on this site. Person submitting image assumes any/all copyright challenges that may arise.
  3. No Purchase necessary and does not enhance chance of winning
  4. No advertising (but you can share how your business is doing)
  5. No Foul language
  6. You won’t see your blog immediately – it will be reviewed by a panel of judges
  7. Void where prohibited

Monthly winners will be selected by a panel of judges. Winners will get some really cool prizes like leather writing journals, books, jerky samples and more.

If your adventure is in stages you can share your stages but only one entry per month will be allowed to be judged.

To enter all you have to do is click here to get started on your next adventure and upload your entry.

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A Day of Adventure at Gunflint Lake

 Tom Broughton

The very word, adventure; evokes feelings of excitement, happiness, road trips, exploring new country, hiking, fishing, wild animals, and a basic love for the outdoors. Adventure was instilled in me at an early age. My father would take one month off from his bank job every year and we would load the 56’ Buick Roadmaster, with our 16’ foot Shasta travel trailer in tow, and head West. Exploring all of the major National Parks, and stopping in all the Western states.  We would stop to set up camp for a week or just a few short days, exploring, hiking, climbing mountains, horseback riding, observing nature, and having the time of my life. That’s when I came to the realization; that there is so much more out there than our daily lives in the city. My parents also had a small cabin on Deer lake, in Wisconsin. It was close to where my Grandfathers’ farms were located and that gave me weekends and summers to create my own adventures. I think at times, I really miss my childhood and how fortunate a life I was born into.

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) always had a calling for me when I lived in Minnesota. It has over 3 million acres of pristine woodland forest and chains of lakes, one connecting to another by small creeks, rivers and portages along the Canadian border.

On one particular week, in the early summer, my daughter and I headed up the Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais, along the big lake they call Gitche Gummie. The trail leads into the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). It is maybe 50 miles long and ends at a beautiful camp grounds at the mouth of Saginaw Lake. A beautiful cascading river cuts down the edge of each campsite, delivering a soothing song, to rest the mind, body and soul.

We decided to rent a small boat on Gunflint lake at Hestons Lodge, to go fishing, exploring, and observing nature. The lake is several miles long and the last lake that allows motorized boats. At the very eastern end of Gunflint lake, there is a small channel that takes you down a meandering creek to the head of this rapids that lead up into Northern Light Lake.

As we were headed slowly towards the rapids, a large female moose ran across in front of our boat with two little calves in tow. They were magnificent to say the least, and gone as quickly as they appeared. When you reach the rapids that lead up to Northern Light lake, you must pull the boat up the rapids from the shore using the bow line. It can be a bit challenging, but the outcome at the mouth of Northern Light lake is nothing but spectacular.

There are a few islands on the lake, as in most shield lakes, and that’s where I headed to fish. As we approached the first island, a Bald Eagle took flight from her nest, maybe 100 feet up in a large pine overlooking the lake. We continued past and as the boat quickly approached the second island, a Loon jumped off her shore nest and flew away, keeping a close eye on her one egg. Their eggs are gold in color and quite large, she was swimming nearby. I finally found a spot to set up for fishing, between the main shore and the last little island. I had two poles for myself, one for large Northern Pike and Walleye, yet another light weight with 4 lb. test to cast for small mouth.  I took out an old antique Heddon silver lure, that was from my deceased father-in-law’s collection from the 20’s and attached to my ultralight. The lure was in a polished silver with 4 small arms, each little arm had a treble hook attached.  I said as I threw it a mere ten feet, “this one’s for you, Harry boy”. As I retrieved this lure on the one and only cast, and enormous fish came up from the bottom and ripped the lure off the line. My daughter who was watching screamed and said, “dad did you see the size of that fish? All I saw, was this large copper colored back as it was headed back to the bottom of the lake. What a fitting end and testimonial to this wonderful piece of American handcrafted art. Yes, a fishing lure. Oh well!  I will never see one of those again, I mean lures. Ok, fish too.

As we began fishing and having fun, I could hear this loud pounding or drumming sound coming from the mainland forest. It echoed across the water and I was saying out loud; “what is that noise?” Suddenly, the mother moose we had seen earlier appeared, running up and down the small bit of beach rattling and grunting. Then it occurred to me, this is where she was taking her young calves to eat breakfast and she wanted us gone. Moose eat off the bottom of lakes and she was going to show her young how it’s done. Amazing!

We spent the next few hours floating, fishing, talking, and enjoying the nature abound around us. Catching and releasing all the fish we caught mostly Northern Pike and a few Smallmouth.  As we left the lake to call it a day, we floated down the rapids to the meandering creek below. I thought, what a great day with my daughter.

As we approached the eastern shore of Gunflint Lake and enormous wind hit us square in the face. The wind was blowing directly out of the West down the entire length of the lake. I had to think, is it worth the risk of heading back in such choppy cold water. The temperature was dropping and it was getting late in the day. We had only brought our fishing poles and tackle box. Oh boy! I asked my daughter, “Are you up for this?”, after all the boat is only 14 feet long with a 15 Merc on the stern. “Ok, let’s give it a go!” I didn’t want to spend the night without shelter or a fire.

As we headed the boat across this large bay, I knew when we turned around the far point to head West, we would lose the shelter of the land. We had our life jackets on and I told my daughter, hold on tight, are only chance in this small boat is to hug the shoreline until we reach the end of the lake. I said, if we capsize swim to shore and don’t worry about the fishing gear. As we turned to the West around the point, the waves slammed the small boat and almost blowing us completely over, bow to stern. My daughter was holding on tight to the gunnels of the boat and at times seeming almost straight above me. I hugged the land without grounding the engine and fought for every foot, mile after mile. Every cold wave that hit the boat, blew completely over me in the stern and I was getting hypothermic, but I knew I couldn’t quit. My daughters’ future depended on it.

Once we cleared that first point on the lake, I was committed. No turning back for this stubborn fool, and probably in hind sight, a risk not worth taking, but; I was young and naïve.

As we approached the end of the lake finally, after fighting huge waves and wind, I was exhausted. At that point, the sun was rapidly going down and I had limited time to head around the west end of the lake and go with the wind back down the southern shore line to the resort.

It was almost dark when we reached the dock at Hestons’ resort, Mrs. Heston was standing out on the dock and expressing her relief at the site of our shivering bodies. She told us that the weather service had issued a wind advisory and storm warnings for the arrow head region. She said, “I would not have let you on the lake had I known this storm was coming.” The relief was written on her face and I am sure, on mine as well.

Later that evening as we drank hot cocoa and sat by the fire, I knew we truly had an adventure filled day. My daughter still to this day, tells her friends about our adventure on Gunflint Lake and the Gunflint Trail.