What does the next level look like for you?

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Pope Francis has reached the next level in his life. At age 76, he’s a ‘young Pope’ who still has high aspirations for his leadership.

We’re all living in the same movie, whether we know it or not. It’s because we’re all addicted to progress – striving to get to the ‘next level’ in both our personal and professional lives.

Last week Jorge Mario Bergoglio (of Argentina) became the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. History considers him to be a ‘young pope’ because he’s only 76 years old.  Retirement?…not for Jorge (now Francis).

I’m turning 50 years old this month…this guy makes me feel young!

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

My mother, Nancy Jean Batz, is the same age as Pope Francis. At 76, she just moved to this fancy new apartment in St. Paul. It’s not The Vatican, but it’s the next level for her.

Last week we moved my mother, Nancy Jean Batz (of Iowa) into a swanky new apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Just like Pope Francis, she’s 76 years old. Her two bedroom apartment isn’t The Vatican, but she’s still full of excitement for living in “the Cities” near her grandchildren.  She knows what the next level can look like: her mother, Arlene Hunter (also of Iowa) lived to be 103. At age 90, after recovering from triple bypass heart surgery, she set her mind to learn and memorize all 27 Chopin Etudes on the piano.  It helped that she studied and taught piano for more than 70 years. Reaching the ‘next level’ as a musician kept her alive and feisty. I wonder how many Popes could play Chopin in their 90s?

If nothing else, my grandmother proved what Pope Francis and psychologists know: no matter how old you are, if you have high aspirations and a good outlook for the next level, you are only as old as you feel. (That helps me prepare for 50).

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Baby Payton Knutson (grand daughter of my neighbors Jim and Suzanne Knutson) was born 5 months premature – a plot twist no one saw coming. She was born smaller than a Diet Coke can. Today she weighs 6 pounds!

I think the quest for the next level is a good thing. I’ve dedicated my career to helping leaders get to the next level, in both their personal and professional lives. But remember, we’re all living in the same movie.  There are plot twists – ugly facts of life that get in the way.  My colleague’s mother-in-law had a heart attack. A client just lost her mother after a brutal concert of surgeries.  My neighbor’s grand daughter was born 5 months premature, smaller than a Diet Coke can. It’s hard to stay positive when the movie turns ugly.

That’s why we need to live by the Seven Fs: blending our faith with family, finances, fitness, friends, fun and future. At age 76, Pope Francis represents persistence, hope and the power of staying positive. The path to becoming the Pope is certainly full of plot twists.  Who in their right mind would actually think they could one day be THE POPE? Now that’s quite a movie.

Good leaders make a habit of sharpening their aspirations and striving for the next level. And we cultivate relationships with wise role models to help us see what’s possible in our leadership.

Please share your thoughts about role models in your life who radiate goodness after the magical age of 76![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

4 Comments

  1. Timothy Hanson on March 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    My dear friend Darby McDonald died this past November at the age of 84. He was the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Forum, a youth ministry here in Minneapolis. Over 30,000 teenagers have been to Youth Forum camp since 1981. Phil was in his early 50s when he started this ministry. He worked right up until his death. He said that working with young people keeps you young, and he was walking, talking proof. He took no medications before his 80th birthday. I work hard to emulate Darby in my attitudes, my faith and my vocation.



  2. Timothy Hanson on March 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

    My dear friend Darby McDonald died this past November at the age of 84. He was the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Forum, a youth ministry here in Minneapolis. Over 30,000 teenagers have been to Youth Forum camp since 1981. Phil was in his early 50s when he started this ministry. He worked right up until his death. He said that working with young people keeps you young, and he was walking, talking proof. He took no medications before his 80th birthday. I work hard to emulate Darby in my attitudes, my faith and my vocation.



  3. Anonymous on March 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Timothy: thanks so much for sharing. Darby sounds like a great role model. Lets both strive to follow in his footsteps. Thank you.



  4. paulbatz on March 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Timothy: thanks so much for sharing. Darby sounds like a great role model. Lets both strive to follow in his footsteps. Thank you.



Leave a Comment