Redefining Leadership In the Afternoon Phase of Your Life

by candy barone Feb 27, 2024

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Shift with Wayne Dyer. I honestly have watched it over fifty times … it is my “go-to” often once a month, or even multiple times throughout a month. 

In fact, I watched it again last night. 

Sometimes I let it just play in the background while I am doing other things, and then there are times when I am so deeply engrossed in it that I find myself extracting new levels of understandings, additional insights. beautiful inspiration, and amplified activations. 

I remember the first time I watched the movie, almost 10 years ago now, and the spark it ignited deep within my soul. The moment was profoundly impactful in my life. Strangely, the spark felt like both a whisper and a roar.

I have since recommended The Shift to all my clients, and even have made it a prerequisite for some of my workshops and retreats. I love when I hear that my clients not only watch it, but they share it with their teams, friends, and family members. There’s something so beautiful and deeply satisfying to know that people are choosing to watch this film with their children. 

If you haven’t seen it yet (and I urge you to), let me share my take with you. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer’s insightful movie, The Shift, was truly one of the last gifts he left us with before passing in 2015, at the age of 75. In this film, he invites us to explore the transformative journey from ambition to a deeper, more fulfilling afternoon phase guided by, what he calls, “a future pull.”

This future pull creates a shift, where we move from the energy and desire of seeking external validations into an internal knowing and sense of self that directs us towards a future grounded in meaning and authenticity.

As the morning sun of ambition rises, we are encouraged to chase goals, climb ladders, and accumulate achievements. It becomes an endless drive and an incessant need for more, more, more. A shift occurs, however, in the afternoon of our lives, as we find greater significance in aligning our purpose with a deeper, more profound sense of who we truly are.

The first time I heard Wayne Dyer’s poignant words, “Don’t die with your music still inside you,” I felt a reverberation in the depths of my soul. I see that as my due north. For, the music he speaks, that lives inside each one of us, is the unique melody and song of our individual purpose, that we are hear to share with the world, and is waiting to be fully expressed. 

In the afternoon phase, the way we choose to lead takes on a brand new, dynamic and more connected dimension. 

The afternoon phase is a call to transform fear into inspired action, pain into gratitude and service, and ambition into a meaningful contribution.

Moving into the afternoon phase of life is not merely about finding meaning but it represents a calling to become truly aligned AF. It’s about living in authentic truth, being in integrity, embodying our values, and expressing a leadership love language that emanates from our soul. 

Success, then, is not something we measure by external accolades but by the full expressions of our unique gifts, as a function of our own well-being and that of others, and in the positive impact we share into the world.

It’s about embodying and leading your Living Legacy. 

Moving into the Meaning Phase of Your Life

As we enter into the afternoon, or meaning, phase, we are prompted to seek deeper meaning, guided to align ourselves more authentically, and asked to live fully in integrity with our values and our truth. 

Our leadership (love) language then transitions from one of commanding authority and power over to one that expresses greater compassion, empathy, and understanding, and offers the energy of power with.

In the afternoon phase, leadership is not about titles, roles, or external validation but about genuinely serving others from the highest level. 

This shift transcends a sense of entitlement, validation, hustling, competition, and it propels us to embrace a state of surrender, compassion, service, grace, and humility, instead. 

As Wayne Dyer points out, the afternoon (meaning) phase is about embodying the four virtues that resonate with the teachings of Lao Tzu: 

  • a reverence for all of life (or respect for all things), 
  • sincerity (our ability to be honest with ourselves and others), 
  • gentleness (compassion, kindness, empathy, and grace)
  • supportiveness (being of and in service to others).


Returning Back to the Place You Came From

The return back home to ourselves marks the transition from ambition to meaning. This transition is not a linear path but a cyclical journey that invites us to rediscover and remember who we truly are. The shift prompts us to let go of an old narrative, decondition ourselves away from all the programming we have internalized, and tap in a deeper innate knowing. 

In the afternoon phase, success no longer is solely defined by societal norms and material gains. Instead, it is measured by the depth of connection to life, meaningful relationships, the authenticity of one’s journey, the fulfillment and peace we access, and the impact we create.

We learn that our purpose is intricately linked to service. As Wayne Dyer shares the quote from Hafiz, which is beautifully expressed:

“Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth: You owe me — Just imagine what a love like that could do. It lights up the whole world.” 

We each are here to light up the world. The Shift teaches us that purpose is found in service. This transition happening is not about what you can or can’t do; it’s about connecting to an energy that takes care of everything, an energy that is available and present in all of us. 

Living the four virtues becomes the essence of this new leadership philosophy, a way to redefine what leadership is, and a reminder that “we are only one thought away from changing our lives.”

Leadership ultimately is a choice. It is a function of how we choose to show up, how we choose to serve others, and how we choose to take personal responsibility inside those two spaces. It’s about leading our Living Legacy. 


Leading Your Living Legacy

Our purpose is to be love, to emanate love, and to give love. That is, a love that radiates continuously, that does not judge or condemn, one that transforms not only our lives but illuminates the entire world around us.

The messages of the morning are about limitations, societal definitions and programming, and self-imposed boundaries. After the shift happens, it becomes about connecting to an energy of something more profound. 

It all begins with the simple act of showing up in our lives, heeding the whisper that calls from within, paying attention, and allowing our unique music to happen. Thus, we allow ourselves to become conduits of virtue, living in respect, honesty, kindness, and service, as a result.

In the afternoon of our lives, leadership is the art of being present, and in listening and allowing our unique song to play through us. We need not “do” anything, but allow ourselves to be done. The Shift encourages us to move away from the constraints of societal pressure and expectations, conditioning and programming, and, rather, embrace the timeless virtues that guide us toward a more fulfilling, peaceful, and purposeful existence.

It is about embodying integrity and values, expressing our authentic truth, and serving a purpose that goes beyond personal ambition. A shift into inspired, transformational leadership that comes from love, with love. 


The Shift Is Calling Us 

One of the scenes from the movie that really affects me is when Asilomar’s (the retreat center where the film takes place) owner is sitting at the piano simply playing from his soul, engrossed and in the moment. 

As he engages with one of the film director (one of the main characters) who happens to be listening to him play, and goes on to share that he’s having a bit of an existential crisis and feels like quitting, the owner starts to play a different piece of music. When asked if he “are you making that up?”, the owner, responds with a line that touches my soul. He says:

“I listen, and then I just play what I hear. I’m not making it up at all; it makes itself up. I just play. Sometime all you got to do is just show up, pay attention, and music happens. Your music happens.”

This moment in The Shift takes my breath away every single time. In it’s brilliant simplicity, these words are so poignantly eloquent. For, when we allow Source to move through us freely, our music just plays. 

We don’t have to “do” anything to force, push, pull, or make things happen. We need to “be” present to that which wants to move through us. To allow ourselves to be done. When we are present, inspired action guides us. 

The shift beckons us to redefine leadership in a way that is not only transformative for ourselves but has the power to change the entire world. As Dr. Dyer emphasizes, “After the shift, it’s about connecting to an energy that’s taking care of everything. And, we’re all just being done.”

In other words, when you choose to take care of yourself first, when you choose to lead yourself first, when you choose to listen, all is taken care of.

As we move into the afternoon of our lives, we transition from entitled commanders to humble servants and leaders, embodying virtues that illuminate and inspire others. It’s a return home, a calling, a whisper, a song we carry, and a shift from what we can do to what we can give.

In this expansive phase and in the immortal words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “All we need to do is put our attention on: How may I serve?”

So, how will you choose to show up and serve in the afternoon of your life?

Want to explore how you can raise your own level of leadership, be sure to grab a copy of my FREE guide: How to Be a More Effective Leader


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