When my friend Tom died, his wife found a typed sheet of paper in his briefcase. The words “Personal Commandments” were at the top. There were 50 one-line truths he had committed to live by.
When I saw the list, I realized it had been based on his habit of reading one book a week for the previous 35 years. These 50 timeless truths are applicable to all age groups, but are words to live by for people over 60.
Contained in the list of 50 commandments were five proven strategies especially suited to help maximize life after 60. These strategies worked for me and they will work for you.
Hanging around with grandchildren reminds us of the curiosity of youth. How many times have you been asked by some young mind, “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why do I always fall down instead of up?” Curiosity is the tool for learning.
With age we tend to lose our curiosity. We stop asking why zebras have stripes and horses do not. And when we stop being curious, we stop learning. If you want to maximize life after 60, increase your level of curiosity. It may take some effort to resurrect it, but the effort will pay off and your mind will remain sharp.
Aging is often depicted in terms of slowing down. We can’t work as many hours as we once did. Our walking pace isn’t what it used to be. And there are times we want to take a nap.
In spite of our bodies slowing down, we can still live full throttle. This is the idea of maximizing life. Determine to live the rest of your life in such a way that you suck every bit of good out of it. Refuse to coast into obscurity. Instead, live life with passion, even if it’s from a wheelchair.
In our busy world it’s easy to focus on triviality. Too many people spend hours fiddling around with meaningless games on their phone or tablet. Often they sit in front of the TV binge watching episodes of Mash. This might be entertaining but it’s not productive.
If you are going to maximize your life, you must focus on what matters. The Pareto principle reminds us that 20% of our efforts yields 80% of the results. The key to optimizing your life is to focus on what really matters. Learn to prioritize and focus on what produces the greatest results.
Many things in life are out of our control. Stuff happens. We often feel powerless when we look to the future. As a result, the temptation is to feel like a victim.
But here’s the truth. We have the power to create the future. The majority of the future will depend on our own decisions, not on the whims of the gods. Decide what you want your future to look like. Figure out what must happen for the future you dream about to become a reality. And then, instead of waiting for the future to invade your life, go out and make your preferred future a reality.
Now is the time to attack your bucket list. You’ve been dreaming of seeing the Grand Canyon or writing a book or jumping out of a plane for a long time. But for decades you’ve made excuses and never accomplished these bucket list challenges.
It’s time to conquer your bucket list. Decide which item on your list to attack first and then go for it. Stop making excuses. Figure out what steps you must take to make the dream a reality. And then forge ahead.
These words to live by are proven strategies have become a way of life for me. They work if you take the effort to make them a reality in your life. If you want to see the other 45 commandments Tom left behind, you can check out my book Tom’s List: 50 Commandments to Transform Your Life.
Do you have things on your bucket list that you have been delaying? Would you call yourself a creative person, or do you tend to follow the status quo? Please join the conversation below.