Life Area: Personal | Topic: Aging
Never mind Aging: Four Ways to Stay Young at Heart
My birthday was yesterday. I always use the day to contemplate my life, assess my year just past, and set goals for my year ahead.
I always marvel at how hung up on age so many of us are—even when we’re still relatively young! I often get questions from clients such as: “I’m 38 years old and just got out of nursing school. Will anyone hire me at this age?” or “I’m 55. Is it too late for me to start a business?” Of course you probably are way ahead of me on what my answer has always been to these and other similar questions…”You’re never to old to start anything.”
Take a moment and imagine yourself in old age. What do you see?
Take a moment and imagine yourself in old age. What do you see? When I do this exercise with my seminar participants what immediately comes to mind for them is a version of themselves where they’re slower, grayer and weaker – a shadow of their former self. At worst, they are so frail that everyday activities become difficult.
Now, repeat the exercise, except this time I’d like you to imagine yourself to be fitter, sharper, and more energetic. There are no wheelchairs, canes, or nursing homes in this future. If you’re a tennis player, you’re still storming the net. If you’re a hiker, you’re still hitting the trails. If you’re a nutty cyclist like me, you’re still on the road. This version of you can become a reality.
How can you stay young at heart, mind, and spirit and get the most out of life and your career? Here are four ways:
Never stop learning. The day you stop learning you become old—at any age. Just as weight lifting is to your muscles, learning is to your brain. To keep it sharp, strong, and high functioning, take a class, engage in self-study, do more challenging reading, take music lessons, learn a new language, talk to people who do something different from you. Learning keeps you young and makes you feel alive and engaged in life.
Keep laughing. There is an expression: “You don’t stop laughing because you get old—you get old because you stop laughing.” There is humor in almost every situation if you look for it. Learn to laugh at yourself. Humor is therapeutic. It reduces stress, lightens the load, and keeps you young at heart.
Set goals. As soon as you stop setting goals, you switch from fast forward to stop or even reverse in your life and work. You need to be continually striving for something, challenging yourself in some way. Stretching yourself helps keep you feeling strong and brave and enthusiastic.
Step out of your comfort zone. Always be trying new things, whether a new project at work, applying for a higher-level position, or working in a new specialty. Otherwise you get stuck in a rut and start to decline. The comfort zone is a danger zone because you’re not learning or growing while you’re in it. And if you’re not growing, you’re stagnating or even worse—decaying.
Whether 25 or 85, you’re only as young or old as you determine yourself to be. Stay engaged in life, live every day to the fullest, and continue to learn about yourself and the world around you at every age.
Please share this post with your family and friends.
My mission is to inspire people and organizations to live their highest vision.
I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.
There is no better endorsement than that of a friend, so if you like what you’re reading or are using my many FREE resources, tell a friend to join the Tom Hart Success Series Community, to receive email notifications of new blog posts and Talk with Tom podcast episodes, learn of upcoming events, and other news, by visiting my website and clicking on the offer to receive my FREE monthly resource by leaving their email address OR forward this to them and have them simply click here (we respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information to any third party).