Most people over 50 don’t consider themselves “old.” And, why should we? After all, most of us aren’t planning on retiring any time soon. Our aches and pains are occasional, not chronic. Our brains are buzzing along happily, with few, if any signs of forgetfulness or mental fuzziness.

At the same time, it often feels like the world expects us to start slowing down. Recent studies show that age-based discrimination in the workplace is all too real. With the idea of a “retirement age” firmly cemented in the minds of our managers, is it any wonder that, statistically speaking, our careers stop progressing in our 50s?

With a few notable exceptions, Hollywood paints a fairly negative picture of the aging process. People in their 50s and 60s are far too often portrayed in films as slow, grumpy and inefficient. According to film makers, we are expected to slow down, not speed up in our 50s and beyond.

Unfortunately, expectations are powerful – especially when they are subconscious. The truth is that life after 50 can be whatever you want it to be. If you want to start winding down and preparing to “age gracefully” in your 60s and beyond, that’s your choice.

At the same time, there is nothing to prevent you from speeding up. After all, you only have a limited number of years ahead of you.

Maybe you should spend your remaining years pursuing your passions, making the world a better place, being productive and getting in the best shape of your life.

I’d love to get your perspective on this. Do you think that life after 50 should be a time for slowing down and preparing for a relaxing retirement? Or, do you think that, with fewer years ahead of you than behind, life after 50 should be a time for speeding up and accomplishing as much as you can?

Do you think that life after 50 should be time for slowing down or speeding up? Or, do you perhaps think that we should live with the same intensity, no matter how old we are? Please join the conversation.

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