Living Life on Purpose: John Shier’s Story

New Perspective Living Life on Purpose with Senior Skydiving

People often enter their senior years with the mindset that life is winding down. At New Perspective, we challenge that notion by helping people live life on purpose. Throughout our communities, our residents are uncovering how great the golden years can be.

John Shier of our Howard, Wisconsin, community is a great example of someone who knows what it means to live life on purpose. He’s lived this way his whole life, and his senior years are no exception. His story is an inspiration to anyone who wants to start approaching each day in a new way.

Finding Passion Through Education and Leadership

John’s passion for living life on purpose began early. After attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and an adventurous four years in the Navy as an anti-submarine intelligence officer, John pursued his love for higher education. He enrolled in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his Ph.D. twelve years later while teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. John loved being a professor and is grateful for the opportunity he had to impact students.

Living life on purpose means being open to pursuing new paths with existing talents. John later found an opportunity to use his skills in leadership by serving as the executive director of the Lake Michigan Area Agency on Aging and the United Way of Brown County. He was happy that these roles gave him another way to make a difference in his community.

Transitioning to Completely New Purposes

Has your loved one ever complained about feeling like their body can’t sit still while trying to fall asleep? If someone One of the biggest impacts on John’s life was losing a close friend who passed away from cancer. It’s a moment that took John in a whole new direction and gave him a new purpose. He began volunteering in hospice care in Green Bay. When he was in his late fifties, John felt inspired to pursue a career in nursing. He moved into the dormitory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and by age 60, earned his nursing degree.

After working in a hospital setting, John quickly became aware that Americans could do more to prevent life-altering health conditions. So, he set out again with a new purpose to help people live better. John developed a program called “Live Long and Die Healthy” and eventually found opportunities to begin sharing his program in workplaces and at conferences around the country. It even led him to author his own book called “Notes From That Guy Nurse: Choose Today & Live Tomorrow.” He believes we’re bound to be healthy if we make the right choices when it comes to basics like eating right and regular exercise.

Transitioning to Completely Living Life on Purpose in the Senior Years

Living life on purpose throughout his years has helped John flourish at an older age. One of his newfound passions has been skydiving. It all began when his wife, Rosie, bought him a jump at a charity auction. Since then, he’s done three skydives and is planning to do more with family and friends. He loves being a teacher’s assistant at a nearby school, and up until recently, was still involved with a decades-long passion for long-distance cycling. In his New Perspective community, John also enjoys sharing his book with other residents and helping them realize the potential in their golden years.

Living life on purpose doesn’t have to mean jumping out of an airplane or getting your nursing degree at 60, but John’s story is a great example of not letting age or inexperience limit your potential. At New Perspective, we believe you’re never too old to dream. We’re here to help you thrive while living life to the fullest.