How Old Do You Feel on the Inside? The Art of Staying Youthful Within
Over a year ago, I was going to come out of the closet about my age at a talk I was giving. I had just had a birthday though, and someone beat me to it by putting it on Facebook. I had just turned 77.
Do you think that’s old? No way! Just because I have lived while this planet has traveled around the sun 77, today 78, times doesn’t make me old.
Society puts you in a box when they think you’re old. One of the ways is to get you to retire from your job when you are 62, or 65, so you can collect Social Security.
But, did you know that when they came up with those ages in the mid-1940s, they expected you to die when you were 66? Today we are living another 30-40 or more years.
I Will Never Retire
Personally, I hope to never retire. I love what I do, and I’m having a blast. Why would I give that up? I’m passionately living my purpose. I want to keep growing and learning and becoming.
I also want to keep using my skills speaking and writing. In fact, I just published my book, Revivement: Having a Life After Making a Living.
A few years ago, I attended a Memorial Day Service for Veterans. Ted, the keynote speaker – a small man who stood tall on the stage with great posture and a powerful voice – mesmerized a multi-generational audience to listen intently and laugh. At that time, he was 95. Was he old?
How Old Do You Feel Inside?
I want you to imagine yourself looking in the mirror. Who do you see? Is it that young, spunky person that you were 20 or 40 years ago? Are your present actions, thoughts, involvements and attitude keeping you feeling young?
Or, do you see a person who is 60 and feels like 90? Who are you, and who do you want to be? You get to choose. Here are some ways to keep your inner youth:
When You Believe, Your Brain Believes
Age may be in the body, but youth is in the mind. Our brains are amazing. The more we honor the brain’s plasticity to grow and add new information, make new decision and challenge it to think, the smarter we become.
It’s understandable that attitude has a lot to do with it. If you give your brain positive messages, it gives you longevity.
Have a Purpose
Purpose appears to have a potent ability to improve and extend lives. Personal purpose is a worthwhile way to use our time. To discover yours, set aside time for deep thinking, writing and integrating the information that defines you.
In my book, I offer 15 exercises to help you do just that as well as figure out your next steps to have the life you want.
Make your life full of creative ideas. It will make your day-to-day experiences more vivid, more enjoyable and more rewarding, says Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
When we live creatively, boredom is banished and every moment holds the promise of a fresh discovery. Cultivate curiosity and interest, and it will supersede whatever age is on your birth certificate.
Give Yourself a Lift
So, what does the future look like when it comes to age? I believe that in the future all the things that added up to being old will be gone. Today, people are getting face lifts, neck lifts and other lifts.
But, the best lift you can give yourself today is having faith in yourself and your future. You can make it happen.
How old do you feel inside? Do you believe in yourself and your future? Are you happy sharing your age with others? Please join the conversation below!
Gloria Dunn-Violin is a professional speaker, workshop leader, and author of Revivement: Having a Life After Making a Living. Her 25-year background in organizational behavior and development, constant research and personal experience makes her uniquely qualified to guide retirees on their journey. She also hosted a cable TV talk show and writes for publication. Visit her site at www.havingalifenow.com.