I had the pleasure of recently interviewing Michael Clinton, author of a new book entitled “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).” Michael is the Former President and Publishing Director of Hearst.
In my interview with him, we discuss about roaring into the second half of life, being happy, strengthening capabilities and achieving harmony and success through a dynamic process called ROAR: Reimagine yourself, Own who you are, Act on what’s next and Reassess your relationships
If you want to learn more about Michael Clinton and his new book, “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).” please click here to be redirected to his website.
I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with author Michael Clinton. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from New York today is Michael Clinton. And Michael has a new book coming out called roar into the second half of life before it's too late. Michael Good day, how are you doing?
Great to be with you? Thank you so much for inviting me.
Oh, you're quite welcome. And it's a pleasure having you on, and this is a topic that considering COVID, I was listening to chairman Powell today. Talk about all the people that have taken early retirement because of COVID. And they're looking at the actual impact it's going to have financially on the government. So, you know, your topic is very timely. It's for a lot of people because they're rethinking their lives. And I want to let our listeners know a little bit about you. Michael is the former president and publishing director of Hearst magazines, and now serves as special media advisor to Hearst corporation CEO. He's also an author and photographer who believes that everyone should strive to live their fullest life possible, particularly in life's second half. And I guess it just depends. Michael, when that second half is, he's an avid traveler, he had experiences in 124 countries run marathons on seven continents. He's a private pilot part owner of a vineyard in Argentina has started non-profit foundation holds two masters degree and still has a long list of life experiences he plans to tackle. So can you briefly speak about the other two? You talk about O w N own your wins and strengths and opportunities and successes, as well as own your losses, weaknesses, failures, and threats. These were also part of the own section of the book.
Yeah, yeah. You know, there's a, there's a great and this is one tool and there are others in the books as well. It's called the SWOT analysis. S W O T for your listeners, who've been in business, it's a business rule, right. But it can be applied to your personal life as well. And, you know, it is a great way to sort through, I'll go back to the magazine industry. You know, one of the threats in the magazine industry is print, was being very challenged and disrupted by digital threat. That's a total threat, but what's the opportunity if you were in that industry or any industry that's been disrupted, the people who are who were in that industry learned how to become digital experts and they retooled themselves. So the opportunity that I had was to stay in our industry to learn something new, as opposed to being you know, in a stuck situation. So that's, you can do that, you know, analysis and cross crossover too, from the threat to the opportunity in any, any part of your life. You know, one of the things I I acknowledged early on is, you know, I'm a wiz at P and L and financial statements, but I have a fundamental weakness in what was, you know, mathematics in school.
I was not a stem guy. I was a you know, social, social science guy. So I knew that mathematics as a discipline was a weakness of mine. And I always had to make sure I had people around me who were better than they were better at math than I was in, in my in my business career as an example, to do an analysis and stuff like that. But, you know, you and failure, you know, you're, you're the weakness. Failure is a great learning tool. I've always said they should be a course. It should be a course on colleges about because we all know great stories of people who failed and came back in a new way that we're just, you know, allow them to be successful. So the SWOT analysis is a great personal tool for people
And the failure part. I like to refer to it as learning lessons. You know, if you, if a failure is only a failure, if you look at a failure, I've had plenty. And the way I look at them now is what did I learn from that, that I don't want to do again, I don't want to repeat that again. And I think if on the learning line, right, if you say, Hey, life's a learning lesson. What are those things along the learning lines that you're able to bring forward and know didn't work, and what are the things that you've done that have been successful that you want to keep doing? And I think that's really a very important thing for people now you state in the chapter act courageous, and don't look back that we need to rid ourselves of the ideas that now that we're at a certain age, that we need to act like something we need to move slower.
We need to walk with the cane. We going to have the, you know, whatever and become old in the way we dress and act. And you see this way, you know, you talked about this kind of earlier, but what advice would you give to a person that's fallen into these, the mindset I'm going to say? And then the mindset created a habit of acting old and it's, and it's hard to break it. You know, the other day I was, I was going down the street and nothing against it. I see this guy, old kind of gray hair, nothing against him driving kind of a, an older car, you know, the top down the radio, going whatever. And I'm thinking to myself, you know, he's, he's kind of playing the whole, the whole scene. Right. And not in judgment. That's okay. But really embracing that. And I think there is a time when you do embrace your age, what would you tell people if they're trying to embrace this old stuff too soon?
It's a great topic. I mean, we could do a whole hour on, you know, w we live especially in Western cultures, but especially in the U S we live in an ageist culture. And, you know, there needs to be a reckoning because, you know, let's start with the images that are all around us in advertising and images, in marketing and, and movies. You know, I like to say, if you watch the network news, the advertising is more depressing than the news because the advertising pharmaceutical companies and the old people that are, have failed banks, and they're showing people, you know, over 50 or 60 who are struggling, that is such, those are such negative images. If you think about the average 50, 60, 70 year old today, they're tech savvy, you know, they're active and athletic by, you know, doing something. They are not brand loyal.
You know, they're buying new things. They've gotten a lot of money as you referenced, you know, the five to 0 20, 30 to 60% of the economy in the us is going to be driven by people 50 plus. And that'll include, that'll include the millennials who are going to be hitting 50 plus. And so we have this old fashioned construct. And so what happens is we create self-imposed, age-ism on ourselves. We start saying, well, I have to start behaving this way, because I'm now 60. Or I have to start dressing this way. And I like to say, we need to blow that up because it's no longer a to quilt it's person appropriately. And those are the things. Yeah. So, you know, we, we take on these behaviors that we self impose on ourselves and we have to stop and say, well, wait a minute. Why? You know, when I, when I turned 60, I ran a marathon on Antarctica and wow, wow, you did that at 16. And I said, yeah, but hold on a minute, I was in Toronto running the Toronto marathon, and I watched the first 100 year old person cross the finish line of the Toronto marathon, the first a hundred year-old whoever ran a marathon in the world gesture.
Yeah. And I know that, you know, it's I'm an avid cyclist in a friend invited me to go on this thousand mile bike ride down in New Mexico, and it's all planned and everything, and I'm going to do it. And the reality is, is that, you know, at, at any age, if you've maintained your health, you said it earlier all of these things are possible. You know, we're seeing octogenarians running marathons and running ultra marathons. And, you know, it's, it's just there for you. But, and then the flip side of the coin is, like you said, the nightly news is focused on and is feeding a story that you're old and you need this pill because you have restless leg syndrome, or you have something. And then the side effects are so worse that you know, that you're doing it, but they're trying to sell you something to say, Hey, we can make you better.
And for some of those people, and I think better is a mindset and it's not buying into what society has done break the status quo. You know, that that's, what's going on here in the conclusion to your book, you state that it doesn't matter how old we are. Just like you said a second ago, because we can begin at any age. I think you can begin this in your sixties, seventies, eighties, wherever, what are three takeaways that you'd want to leave the audience with in embracing who they are what they would like to become and what contribution they can still make in the world, no matter what their age.
No. Good. It's a good question. You know, I think that I'm going to go to the construct of taking the first step and, you know, one of those things taking the first step is going back to your younger self. And what is it in your younger self that you gave up that you abandoned? And, you know, there's a great story in the book of a guy named Rob Smith, who was a very successful executive. And it's in his fifties, just sort of said this, you know, this is not working for me anymore. And he went off and took a trip. Then he was in south American, Peru, and he went through that aisle washer. I'm going to mispronounce it ceremony, which is kind of like a, almost like a whole listen to Janet. I watched a thank you. And he said he was sitting on a rock and he looked across the water and he saw his 13 year old self. And he said, I'm so sorry that I left you.
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