Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – The Benefits of Having a Purpose in Life (2017) by Jim Borden


This is the third post from the archives of Jim Borden who blogs on ‘Borden’s Blather’ across a variety of topics. I have spoken to a number of people over the years who have reached their late 60s and early 70s and when asked what their defining purpose in life was, have said that there did not seem much point in having one at their time of life. Well I disagree as I think without a purpose in life, however many or few years there may be before you, would be very empty.  And this post from Jim reminds us all of what there is to life we might be missing out on.

The Benefits of Having a Purpose in Life (2017) by Jim Borden

(copyright World Economic Forum),

The Japanese have a great word Ikigai – which is thought to combine the Japanese words ikiru, meaning “to live”, and kai, meaning “the realization of what one hopes for”. Together these definitions create the concept of “a reason to live” or the idea of having a purpose in life.

While many people struggle to find what their purpose is in life (myself included), experts suggest reflecting on four simple questions:

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need from you?
  4. What can you get paid for?

As you can see from the diagram at the top of the page (copyright World Economic Forum), when the answers to all of these questions intersect with each other) in the middle, that is where you will achieve ikigai.

There are four combinations of the four questions that only include three of the four circles. For example, looking at the diagram above, when you combine What are you good at? with What does the world need?, with What can you be paid for?” you are “comfortable but have feelings of emptiness.

According to Dan Buettner, an expert on Blue Zones, the areas of the world where people live longest, the concept of ikigai pervades the life of these islanders. Combined with a particular diet and support network of friends or “moai”, ikigai is helping people live longer on Okinawa as it gives them purpose.

But just knowing your ikigai is not enough — you must put your purpose into action, says Buettner. Researchers stress that ikigai can change with age.

And if trying to answer four questions seems like too much, Neil Pasricha, a Canadian entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author (his newest book is The Happiness Equation suggests finding your purpose through his Saturday Morning Test. This entails contemplating your response to one question “What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do?”

If I answer that with “sitting around reading”, it looks like I would satisfy the What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need from you?. However, I likely won’t make any money from such a passive activity.

According to the diagram, such a choice would lead to delight and fullness, but with no wealth. Since I need to make a living, perhaps I should wait to ask myself that Saturday question again, in six years.

Here’s to all of you finding ikigai.

©Jim Borden 2017

About Jim Borden

Husband, dad, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, teacher, ex-swimmer, blogger, vegan, juggler, learner, introvert.

Now that I’ve reduced myself to a cultural stereotype (with a hat tip to Woody Allen), who am I when I take away all the labels?

This blog has given me a chance to think more deeply about many things, and to share those thoughts with the world (well at least a really tiny part of the world). And in sharing those thoughts, I’ve started to understand a little bit of who I am.

A 60-something guy trying to figure out the world, and his place in it.

Emerson’s words capture perfectly the kind of life I hope to live:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Connect to Jim

Blog: https://jborden.com/about-me/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimborden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jborden119
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimborden119/

My thanks to Jim for allowing me access to his archives and it would be great if you could head over and explore them further for yourself. Thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #Community First Night of CERT Training (2016) by Jim Borden


This is the second post from the archives of Jim Borden who blogs on ‘Borden’s Blather’ across a variety of topics. One of the areas I think we do not do well here is with a Community Alert System should there be a potential disaster.. along the lines of this post. Something that all townships should put in place for all ages.

#Community First Night of CERT Training (2016) by Jim Borden

No, this post is not about how to properly take a breath mint, although I know many of us who could benefit from such training.

This post is about CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team. I’ve written before about how I believe I have no useful skills should a disaster strike. Well tonight was my first night at trying to remedy such a situation.

My son and I attended what is know as CERT training; from the FEMA web site, here is a description of CERT: (access may be denied from a non US Site)

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

The CERT course is taught in the community by a trained team of first responders who have completed a CERT Train-the-Trainer course conducted by their state training office for emergency management, or FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI). CERT training includes disaster preparedness, disaster fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations and light search and rescue operations.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.

The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all hazards.

The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. Additionally, if a community wants to supplement its response capability after a disaster, civilians can be recruited and trained as neighborhood, business and government teams that, in essence, will be auxiliary responders. These groups can provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources following a disaster. Since 1993 when this training was made available nationally by FEMA, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have conducted CERT training.

When I discovered that my township was sponsoring a CERT program, my youngest son and I signed up with great anticipation.

Tonight was the first of seven weekly meetings where we will learn the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective part of helping our community should an emergency arrive.

Next week we meet at the local firehouse, where we will learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher, among other fire-related skills.

The skills and the knowledge we acquire will not only be helpful in case of a community emergency, but will be useful in knowing how to respond when emergencies happen on a smaller scale, such as just in our own home.

You can read more about Radnor’s Township CERT program here, and you can learn more about CERT in general by visiting the CERT website.

Thank you Radnor for sponsoring such a useful program; we look forward to the remaining parts of the program!

©Jim Borden 2016

About Jim Borden

Husband, dad, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, teacher, ex-swimmer, blogger, vegan, juggler, learner, introvert.

Now that I’ve reduced myself to a cultural stereotype (with a hat tip to Woody Allen), who am I when I take away all the labels?

This blog has given me a chance to think more deeply about many things, and to share those thoughts with the world (well at least a really tiny part of the world). And in sharing those thoughts, I’ve started to understand a little bit of who I am.

A 60-something guy trying to figure out the world, and his place in it.

Emerson’s words capture perfectly the kind of life I hope to live:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Connect to Jim

Blog: https://jborden.com/about-me/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimborden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jborden119
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimborden119/

My thanks to Jim for allowing me access to his archives and it would be great if you could head over and explore them further for yourself. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Wellness Wednesday: Take a Two-Minute Walk Before You Read This (2015) by Jim Borden


This is the first post from the archives of Jim Borden who blogs on ‘Borden’s Blather’ across a variety of topics.  I only need to walk passed a mirror to see that emotional contentment and mental stimulation resulting from nearly 7 years of blogging are not reflected in the spreading of my derriere.. I do get up at regular intervals during the day to get some exercise but it is not nearly enough… so this post struck a chord.. and I am sure it will with you too.

Wellness Wednesday: Take a Two-Minute Walk Before You Read This (2015) by Jim Borden

standupdesk2

The New York Times had a story today, “Sitting is Bad for Children Too”  by Gretchen Reynolds.

The story reports on a new study of healthy young girls that found that after a single session of prolonged inactivity, the children developed changes in their blood flow and arteries that, in grown-ups, would signal the start of serious cardiovascular problems.

There is already a good deal of research that documents the dangers associated with prolonged sitting among adults. These dangers include increased risks for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, liver disease, metabolic syndrome and other conditions, including premature death. These risks remain elevated even if someone regularly exercises but then settles into his or her chair for the rest of the day (uh-oh, that sounds like me…)

But the good news is that it doesn’t take much to offset the potential negative consequences associated with prolonged sitting. A recent study found that participants who replaced as little as two minutes of sitting each hour with gentle walking lowered their risk of premature death by about 33 percent, compared with people who sat almost nonstop.

The study also compared the effect of just standing up as a way to break up prolonged periods of sitting, but unfortunately that seemed to have little effect on the health outcomes of the participants.

So that standing desk (shown above) that I’ve been thinking of getting because of all the warnings I’ve heard about sitting for too long may not really do much to counteract the problem.

I guess the easy solution is to just get up once every hour and walk for a couple of minutes.

But if you’re looking for a higher-tech, and more expensive solution, there’s always a treadmill desk.

treadmilldesk

Such devices seem to be growing in popularity, with celebrities such as Jimmy Kimmel and Al Roker being avid users.

While I have never seen, let alone tried, such a device, I think I would prefer to just get up every hour and walk for a few minutes.t

But I’m certainly open to trying one; maybe I can convince my boss to buy me one for my office…

©Jim Borden 2015

About Jim Borden

Husband, dad, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, teacher, ex-swimmer, blogger, vegan, juggler, learner, introvert.

Now that I’ve reduced myself to a cultural stereotype (with a hat tip to Woody Allen), who am I when I take away all the labels?

This blog has given me a chance to think more deeply about many things, and to share those thoughts with the world (well at least a really tiny part of the world). And in sharing those thoughts, I’ve started to understand a little bit of who I am.

A 60-something guy trying to figure out the world, and his place in it.

Emerson’s words capture perfectly the kind of life I hope to live:

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Connect to Jim

Blog: https://jborden.com/about-me/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jimborden
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jborden119
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimborden119/

My thanks to Jim for allowing me access to his archives and it would be great if you could head over and explore them further for yourself. Thanks Sally.