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  • Tom Boyd


“Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason. Traumas or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.”  Psychology Today

A fear of public speaking is considered the number one fear among the population. 75% of individuals suffer from speech anxiety. The # 1 phobia is public speaking or stage freight ahead of the phobia of death and end of life which is # 2.

Early in the business life of Boyd & Nicholas, Inc. it was clear we had little money for marketing and that public speaking at conferences was a cheaper way to market. I became the speaker and marketer for B&N out of necessity and the fear of business failure. In the beginning I often threw up the morning of the day I was speaking, did not sleep much the night before, and I soon learned not to eat the day of my speaking, be it 8 am or 4 pm. I eventually learned I liked doing the presentations (and to quit throwing up) and I began to dream of teaching at the college level.

Now I am having to face my biggest fear–retirement. My purpose in life is work related, my friends are all within the home health and hospice world, and my favorite inexpensive leisure activities are sole in nature; reading and chess. What am I going to do in retirement other than watch TV westerns?

A colleague told me that all of us need three things in life to be functioning and happy; Connections, Purpose and Kindness (CPK). My connections are all within my business world as is my purpose. I hope by now I have learned and practice kindness. What do I do for connections and purpose in retirement?

I have been asking retirees and soon to be retirees what are the connections and purpose they have or plan to have in retirement. Please feel free to send me an e-mail,, with your views on retirement and CPK. I ponder retirement at 68 as I once pondered life when I was 18.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to recap. A time to weep, and I time to laugh A time to mourn, and a time to dance.” ― Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 Old Testament

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