There are so many stereotypes about aging that hold us back. One of the worst is that life after 60 is all about slowing down. Rather than following our passions, it sometimes feels like society wants us to get out of the way. What a bunch of rubbish!

The most interesting women that I know are the ones who see life after 60 as a second childhood. Rather than preparing to go “quietly into the night,” these women are going back to school, starting new relationships, taking up sports and exploring their passions.

I was thinking about these women today, when it occurred to me that they are all tied together by a single trait. They aren’t afraid to do things that scare them. Or, rather, they see stagnation as being the ultimate enemy and enrichment and learning as being the ultimate goals.

One of my favorite actresses, who represents this way of looking at the world, is Judi Dench. As one of the most successful performers in history, Judi doesn’t have to work. She could drop off the map at any point and choose to enjoy the final decades of her life in quiet luxury. Instead, she continues to push the envelope and take on challenging role after challenging role.

As she once said:

The more I do, the more frightened I get. But that is essential. Otherwise why would I go on doing it?

I couldn’t agree more!

You don’t have to be a famous actress to live a meaningful life. Each of us is blessed, in our own way, with skills, experiences and unique perspectives. The only thing you have to do is abandon the idea that comfort will bring you fulfillment. The only way to be truly happy in this life is to seek out new experiences, push ourselves to reach our potential and make the world a better place.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please take a few moments to join the conversation below. Let’s get to know each other a little better!

What do you think you were put on this planet to do? What would you do if you knew that you could not possibly fail? Are you a fan of Judi Dench’s work? What is your favorite Judi Dench film? Please join the conversation.

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