Are You Getting Old Too Quickly?
By Jim Donovan
Our Persian cat, Frosty, now 17, knows how to stay young.
It saddens and frustrates me when I see people in their fifties or sixties moping around talking about how “it’s not easy getting old.”
On the other hand, I am inspired when I see an older person, someone in their eighties or nineties, living a vibrant and productive life. It gives me hope and further proves my theory that there is a huge difference between aging and getting old.
So what’s the difference between these two groups of people? Why are some, still in mid-life, seeming to be on their last legs while others, old enough to be the parents of the first group, still going strong?
The answer really boils down to a couple of key differences, as outlined in my “Ageless Living Method” to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.
1. Challenge the myths of aging
“You’re getting on in years — you’d better slow down,” “At my age, I’d better be careful,” “Act your age,” “We’ll all wind-up in a nursing home sooner or later,” “I’m just having a senior moment.”
All of the above statements are nonsense. There’s no biological connection between age and poor health. If you want to break down these beliefs, find references of older people living vibrant, productive lives. They’re all around us.
People like Hulda Crooks who became the oldest person to climb Mt. Fuji in Japan at 91 years of age. Author Phyliss Whitney, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 104, said in an Associated Press interview when she was 85 that “I’ve slowed down in that I only write one book a year. A writer is what I am.”
2. Ignite your passion
Older people who are living vibrantly are passionate about their life. Their outlook is positive and they are motivated by something outside themselves. They have a purpose.
They are engaged in life and are pursuing something that matters to them. Whether a career, a hobby, a cause, or something in between, they have dreams and goals and are living life to it fullest.
3. Create your vision
If you were living your ideal life, what would it look like? In your journal, write a vivid description the life you dream of living. For now, don’t be concerned with how you will do this. What are you doing and with whom? Where do you live? Where are you vacationing? What type of work are you engaged in? Who are your friends?
Write your vision in as much detail as possible, making sure to include the feelings you are experiencing and engaging as many senses as possible. Smell the ocean if you’re at the shore. Hear the sounds of the people in the city where you’re visiting, and so on. If it’s a dream home you desire, see each room in vivid detail. What do you see when you look out the windows?
4. Change your beliefs
The only thing stopping you from having whatever you desire is your belief about your ability to achieve it. What beliefs are standing in your way? Do you tell yourself, “I’m too old,” “I don’t have enough education,” “I’m not smart enough,” or some other variation on this theme?
Challenge those beliefs that are not serving you. Find references of someone just like you doing whatever it is you want to do. Override your limiting beliefs with positive affirmations.
5. Reclaim your power
Spiritual Power: A regular practice of prayer and meditation, the former, talking to God and the latter listening, will help you create and maintain a strong connection with your Creator.
Emotional Power: You can strengthen your emotional power by devoting some time each day visualizing your ideal life. Sit quietly, close your eyes (assuming you’re not driving), and create a “mind movie” in which you’re living your ideal life.
Mental Power: You can strengthen your mental power by paying attention to your self-talk and replacing any disempowering thoughts with positive affirmations. Read positive and uplifting information daily to maintain a more productive state of mind.
Physical Power: Of course, without physical power and energy you’re not going very far. It is essential, as we age, to take an active part in maintaining our health. Invest the time to learn about health and nutrition. Of course, exercise is important too. As a society, we do not move enough. Our high-tech lifestyles have enabled most of us to expend the minimal amount of physical energy in our day-to-day life.
How you age is up to you. You can live your life vibrantly and productively, or you can just get old. Decide now to take decisive action to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.