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Oct 19

October 19, 2022 – JOLT – Part II: The Call of Becoming

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”

– Anna Quindlen

PART II: Been out of touch, but I was answering the call of Becoming

Did you miss my last “I’M BAAAAACK!” JOLT Note last week? See PART I HERE and, if it speaks to you, follow it up with the second installment below. Thanks for your interest in “Becoming”.

The Call of Becoming

My new book that came out in February, The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half, funnily enough, is actually all about what’s going on with me right now: a personal evolution of sorts.

As many of you who like to be as project-oriented and single-focused as me, once a long-sought, long-fought and inspired project is birthed, there’s a new level to be acknowledged and dealt with. I call it “Becoming”.

It’s kind of backwards: it’s not that we somehow “become” and then go out as whatever we say we’ve chosen to Be, but first we need to declare who we want to Be and then step into the “becoming process” of that.

When we take on the fulfillment of big goals and dreams in life, we must rise to the occasion internally to align with what and whom that new goal or dream requires us to Be. To have a goal become a reality in our life, we must develop the mental and emotional “energy equivalent” on the inside so that the goal is accomplished on the outside. It’s the internal alignment of energy which draws that dream or goal into reality. As the saying goes, “As within, so without.”

First, we declare it (our goal, dream, who we want to become, etc.). Then, in doing so, we initiate our process of Becoming it.

Big dreams come into fruition by living into the gaps that we actively create for ourselves between who and where we are right now and who and where we’ve declared that we want to Be. Closing that gap by Becoming is what allows us to reach those goals. Interestingly, the person at the end of that goal achievement has “become” a completely different human being than the one who first envisioned it.

Writing The Back Forty was, in effect, the declaration part of Becoming for me. And, WHOOOO Boy (!), the Becoming gaps have been revealed in droves! (That’s good news. . .because I’m not going to Become it and those dreams aren’t going to materialize until those gaps are closed.)

I appreciate your time, so I’ll end here for today and continue next week with the “rubber meets the road” of PART III, “Turning Talk Into Walk”. Stay tuned and thanks for listening.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Again, if you missed last week’s PART I, see it HERE.

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

– John Wooden
Oct 12

October 12, 2022 – JOLT – Answering the Call of Becoming

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“It’s not so much knowing when to speak, when to pause.”

– Jack Benny

Been out of touch, but I was answering the call of Becoming

The Weird Intro

This may be the weirdest update I’ve put out in my over 10 years of pretty-much weekly JOLT Note newsletters. . .but who said weird is a bad thing? I’m learning it’s not.

I do know that reading time is at a premium for all of us, so this update will likely come in sequels. First installment below. . .and, if what I write is of interest and might support you, stay tuned. (Maybe I’m not alone in what I’ll share.)

New Management

You haven’t heard from me for a while because, frankly, after completing a 20-year project of bringing out my last book in the spring — though I carried on “as usual” for a few months until late May – an expiration of the old “me” and a not-yet-sorted-out emergence of a new “me” prevented the sending of the same ‘ol same ‘ol weekly email.

So, in late May, the “me” that was then running the show took a pause from this decade-long weekly newsletter. And, at this point, I’m honestly not sure what forms or consistency it will have going forward under the “new management” but I’m at least sending out a smoke signal that life still exists over here and I invite you to stay tuned.

The Necessary Pause

I’m not sure if this communicates as I’d like it to, but an individual (namely, me) can’t really offer consistent and congruent communications when the entity at the source (namely, me) is in flux. And, as you’ll read in the coming weeks, it’s been a fluxathon!

I’m reaching out to reconnect and share with you a bit about the evolvement of the new me that is turning his walk into his talk. So, I’ll be opening up with you more personally than I have in the past and going a more naked and vulnerable route.

And know this: if you choose to hang with me for the evolution and emergence of the new me coming on board here in this newsletter (and in my service and contributions as a whole), at least you’ll be clued in to what’s happening behind the scenes.

Earnestly: I appreciate you having been a reader for however long that’s been and if what the emerging “me” has to say contributes to you and your own career and life evolvement, that’s awesome and always my wish.

I’ll end here for today and continue next week with the deeper subject matter that I want to convey, “The Call of Becoming”. Stay tuned and thanks for listening.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

– Michelle Obama
Mar 02

March 2, 2022 – JOLT – Appreciate Your Own Career Independence While Helping Ukraine

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”

– Mahatma Gandhi


Independence: Do we appreciate all it affords us?

We’re all watching, praying and doing what each of us can to hold out hope for the biggest and most glaring example of authoritarianism and aggression attacking independence in this century.

Not like it doesn’t happen in many overt and subtle ways at all times, and even metaphorically in our own lives, but this Ukrainian crisis is crystal clear.

Interestingly, in my state of origin, Texas, there’s much celebrating going on today for Texas Independence Day. As the Governor declared in a proclamation yesterday:

“First by the pen and then by the sword, brave Texans fought for their independence from a tyrannical government in Mexico that denied its citizens basic freedoms. In the fall of 1835 at Gonzales, Texans of all backgrounds banded together to fight for the cause of liberty and defend what was rightfully theirs. Months later, on March 2, 1836, while delegates gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence, brave defenders continued fighting for their freedom.”

Metaphorically, we’re all looking for our own “independence” to determine the kind of life we want to live post-pandemic as we make the most of this economy of “Great Resignation”, “Great Reset”, and “Great Reshuffle.” (See a series of LinkedIn articles on this I contributed last month beginning HERE.)

If you’re in a time of thinking through your personal independence options and how to best fight for your own work-life freedoms or second half/best half of life, schedule a session with me today HERE and I’ll donate half of your session fee to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency supporting Ukrainians fleeing the country. Help yourself. Help others.

And please be sure to fill out the quick 2-min survey we’re running to know what you, our subscribers, consider most important in your post-pandemic life, career, and visions for the future. Take that quick, 6-question survey HERE and, if you like, answer question 7 to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Thank you for appreciating independence everywhere, even with yourself. . .because we know everything begins at home.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got independence appreciation?

“Enjoy the blessings of freedom and independence, but also do your part and work hard to appreciate it.”

– Unknown
Feb 23

February 23, 2022 – JOLT – A Back-end Opinion Worth $25 to You

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Today’s person spends way more time in front of screens. . .being on one end of the other of an electronic data transfer. . .What is it to be human and alive and exercise your humanity in that kind of exchange?”

– David Foster Wallace

Front-ends and back-ends: Where’s that leave you?

Though in no way over, the pandemic is on it’s way out. . .or at least being requalified as endemic.

We had a harrowing front-end, shifting our lives in unimaginable ways, and now a slow and seemingly angry-ex breakup on the back-end.

No doubt we’ve all been through a lot, so much that even the mention of it in this newsletter is getting old.

But, as we move on, I’m personally REALLY INTERESTED in how the front- and back-ends have changed YOU as a subscriber to our newsletter. . .because speaking to what’s real NOW for each of us is where I’d like our dialogue and support to go.

Will you take literally 1 minute or less to answer 6 short questions. . .and a 7th if you’d like to be entered for a $25 Amazon gift card?

Click HERE to answer the quick survey

Thank you for your input and we look forward to wrapping up our back-end together with the insights and wisdom you’ll share with us for going forward.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier


Got your post-pandemic back-end plan?

“For better or for worse, I’ve watched people die in front of me. I see how they are in the end. And they’re not cynical. In the end, they wanna hold somebody’s hand. And that’s real to me.”

– Mitch Albom
Feb 16

February 16, 2022 – JOLT – Ready? Set? READ Your Way Into Your Midlife Makeover

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles W. Eliot

Who reads books these days, and are you one of them?

A recent study by Pew Research says that “roughly a quarter of American adults (23%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form.” It also says that those over 50 are less likely to read versus their younger counterparts.

Well, tell me then: if a great segment of those impacted by “The Great Resignation” and “The Great Reset” are folks in the mid to upper sides of their career, how does healthy, transformative insight on how to shape both one’s career or retirement get to those who need it??

I’d like to impact the stats to see if us busy mid-career and midlife folks can actually give ourselves some much needed self-care, personal assessment and reevaluation time.

My newest book, The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half, has been called “a perfectly timed tool for reevaluation brought on by ‘The Great Resignation’ occurring in today’s world economy” by Midwest Book Review.

The rub, however, is setting aside time for the reading necessary to engage in that reevaluation. And, if you’re like me, unless I have it set in stone in my schedule and a structure of support to keep me accountable, I fall short of my desired/intended/necessary personal reading goals.

So, if this is a time for your own personal, (almost) post-Covid reevaluation of life, career, meaning, purpose or even retirement planning, here’s a support structure for you!

Back Forty Readers Groups!

If you could use the support of a midlife makeover guide, of which Marshall Goldsmith declares “This is indeed radical thinking!” and would actually stand a chance of actually getting through it by having a weekly schedule of meetings with others to share your insights, then this could be your ticket to “the examined life” we could all use more of these days.

If you haven’t yet, download or have sent to you in a matter of days The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half now.

Please forward and share this with those who you believe could use some healthy and wholistic bibliotherapy just about now.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got your Back Forty reevaluation team?

“It is is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.”

– Donna Tartt
Jan 26

January 26, 2022 – JOLT – It’s Here, It’s Been Called Seminal, and It’s Almost Free (for a limited time)

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles W. Eliot

Happy “Library Shelfie Day”. . .

for those of you willing to reveal yourself, your values and your mind by sharing a pic of your reading shelf.

Today’s CNN article pointed out that “If a book can change your life, why leave that to serendipity? The trend toward bibliotherapy — a strategy of seeking books that aid you through difficult times and aspects of your life — is starting to catch on.”

And God knows we’ve been living through difficult times.

So, here’s my humble contribution to further encourage bookshelf therapy, to ideally support a “Great Reevaluation” in the midst of “The Great Resignation.”

Today you can pre-order at the KDP promotional price of only $2.99 your own virtual “shelfie” copy of
before its debut next week on 2/2/22.

I’ve been blessed to have the support of several beta-readers (besides all the editorial reviews below), and here’s just a couple comments that have come in from readers like you:

“The Back Forty is a brilliant challenge, rather, a very compelling invitation to live the rest of our lives, regardless of age, at an elevated sense of freedom, joy and achievement – however, WE define achievement in OUR OWN lives. In a compelling and fun way, the book gently leads you to that definition and lures you into wanting more.”
— Werner Berger
“I keep thinking of What Color is Your Parachute? and how long that’s been around as a go to book. This has the potential to be a similar operating manual for someone going through this midlife makeover process.”
— Steve Stebbins
Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got The Back Forty?

“It is is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.”

– Donna Tartt
Jan 19

January 19, 2022 – JOLT – Course correcting The Great Resignation – Beta-Reader Opportunity

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.

Hal Elrod


Happy “Quitters Day”. . .unless you don’t!

A recent article pointed out that, based on research, today, January 19, is lovingly referred to as “Quitters Day” because it’s today that most folks will give up on their goals for 2022.

In the midst of “The Big Quit” — a parallel term for “The Great Resignation” that’s been shaping our economy — there’s a whole lot of emphasis on terms reflecting retreat and retirement.

Of course, the economists say some of this is just the moving around of talent, which I am halfway through discussing in a series of articles on LinkedIn (see article 1 and article 2), yet the wording is all fairly negative.

Did you know that the French roots of “retire” mean to “draw back.” I’m not sure how you feel — and, for sure, there’s a LOT to want to retreat from in the recent past — but, in the midst of all the chaos, I believe that a course correction around “playing forward” is how we’ll personally turn our lives toward the directions we desire.

So, on the heels of “The Great Resignation” I would like to encourage you to step into “The Great Reevaluation” opportunity we all have to take the lemons of the last couple years (or, perhaps, lemons that have soured our lives for decades) and turn them into “playing forward” energy.

The book below comes out and will be available on Amazon in two weeks (2/2/22). If you’d like to get a sneak peak and be in a position to offer a review that day on Amazon, I have 20 spots available for beta-readers. Just 20. And, if you claim one, please only do so if you can truly commit to digging into it over the next two weeks.

(Hey, this is a complete midlife makeover book, so you’ll definitely want to spend time in it long-term. But here’s a chance to get a glimpse and be able to share what you see on 2/2/22 when purchasing the Kindle version — either $.99 or $2.99, not sure yet.)


The Reevaluation After “The Great Resignation” – Coming on 2/2/22

The Back Forty: 7 Essential Embraces to Launch Life’s Radical Second Half outlines the basic tenets of an approach to life that maintains that midlife is a time to revise perspectives to reach for new opportunities for growth and fulfillment. It’s a welcome antidote to the notion that midlife begins the slow slide into inability and retirement from life, providing readers with an inspirational survey of these opportunities and how they may be realized. Consider it a perfectly timed tool for reevaluation brought on by “The Great Resignation” occurring in today’s world economy.

– Midwest Book Review
Think differently, play better. (And, if there’s folks who you think could benefit from this message, please forward this to them.)


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got resignation course correction?

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

C.S. Lewis
Jan 05

January 5, 2022 – JOLT – Scientific research impacting the quality of your 2022

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“Decide what it is you want, write it down, review it constantly, and each day do something that moves you toward those goals.”

Jack Canfield


Trust and abiding by science has been challenging

in recent times, and I have not been as “woke” about it myself in some ways.

And yet here’s a big scientific revelation: the degree to which the good intentions and goals you and I have mused upon coming into this new year — the changes we want to make, the dreams we want to fulfill — will be directly related to what we do with those goals.

You’ve likely heard of the Harvard study where folks were followed for decades and those with written goals were so much richer? Well, Dr. Gail Matthews Dominican University discovered that study was an urban myth. . .but in conducting her own, she proved that not only writing out your goals but actually taking action, communicating them to others, and being held accountable for them is where the real riches lie.

OK, you’ve likely heard this before, but maybe it will stick with you this time, as it did with me last night when presented with the science:
How it worked:

Participants in Group 1: were asked to think about their goals (what they wanted to accomplish over the next 4 weeks) and then asked to rate that goal acccording to difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skills and resources to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation to the goal, whether or not they had pursued this goal before and if so their prior success.

Participants in Groups 2-5: were asked to write (type into an online survey) their goals and then to rate their goals according to those same dimensions.

Group 3: was asked to formulate action commitments based on those goals.

Group 4: was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a friend.

Group 5: was asked to formulate action commitments and send their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports to a friend. This group also received weekly reminders to email quick progress reports to their friend.

At the end of 4 weeks participants were asked to rate their progress and the degree to which they had accomplished their goals

In a nutshell: This study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment and writing down one’s goals.

Our best wishes on a goal-fulfilling New Year of great accomplishment by you in 2022. And remember: you’ve got a friend.

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got an ear for science and a goal for fulfillment?

“A goal that is not written is not a goal. It only becomes real when you write it down.” [and do sooooooo much more]

Bryant McGill
Dec 22

December 22, 2021 – JOLT – All You Want for Christmas is (more of) YOU!

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“The best gift you can give yourself is the gift of possibility.”

Paul Newman


Let the gift be YOU this holiday season. . .

And may the gift of more, full, abundant, Self-expressed YOU in life, career, business, relationship, health and well-being be what you bring forth overflowingly in 2022.

Our best wishes, from the CareerGuy Back Forty to you and yours!

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier


Got YOU as the gift?

“Love the giver more than the gift.”

– Brigham Young
Dec 15

December 15, 2021 – JOLT – Holiday Boxes to Get Outside the Box in 2022: Special Offers Inside

By Darrell Gurney | Blog

“It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.”

Tim Ferriss


Can someone’s greater self-expression in 2022. . .

be put in a box?

Yes, if it’s in a gift box supporting their greater self-expression sent by you!

And it’s that box that helps them get outside of the career/life/purposeful fulfillment box in 2022.

Sure, there’s lots of supply chain delays on the regular stuff you could gift to your loved ones, but it’s likely stuff they don’t need or may regift (without your knowing it) anyway.

But a gift of reflection, planning and 2022 design of their better year ahead is not something they’d ever dream of regifting.

So, if you care enough to consider what really matters for those you love, then take advantage of the Holiday Gift Specials below. Each gift will come with a personalized email to your loved one acknowledging your thoughtfulness.

  • Career Review Strategy Session: Know someone who wants to find their bigger career expansion? During this 90-minute phone call, Darrell gathers information on their specific career situation and then offers a tailor-made action plan to follow toward their greater career self-expression in 2022. This action plan is recorded to listen to again later. More info:
  • PlayGame™ Big Game Coaching Session: Have an entrepreneurial or executive loved one looking to play a whole new game at a whole new level in multiple areas of life in 2022? In this 75-minute phone or zoom video session, I’ll construct with them a “Big Game” around their specific intentions. From issues of business building, goals achievement, launching new initiatives, or simply the benefit of having a coach in their corner to stretch them, this session sets them up for a playful and expansive 2022. More info at:
  • Back Forty™ Big Game Future Session: Is your friend ready for a deeper purpose exploration? In this 75-minute phone or zoom video session, we begin to build their Back Forty “Big Game” Future, addressing goals and dreams they’d like to achieve at the midpoint of life and career, breaking through to fulfilling on who they came here to be and what they came here to do. Why wait for the upcoming book (below)? Help them create the movie of their own superhero-ish 2022 NOW! More info at:
  • Any Other Service: A variety of services available from resume to interview support.

Limited sessions remain for this holiday offer. (HINT: The “loved one” could be you!)

Schedule any of these sessions now and, for a special holiday discount, use coupon code “20OFF”. (And, if you’re not sure when they’d schedule their session, just book one and we’ll reschedule later.)

Have Happy Holidays. . .both inside and outside of the box!

Think differently, play better.


CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier

Got unboxed holidays?

“Don’t think outside the box. Think like there is no box.”

– Ziad K. Abdelnour