Living in your 60s marks a time when either retirement has arrived or it’s certainly on the horizon. You’re ready to knuckle down on happiness and health and bring together the threads of your life tapestry.
With this in mind, I invite you to explore the value of pleasure, purpose and passion. These three concepts enhance our day-to-day and engineer positive life experiences. Better still, they help us stay motivated to live life to the fullest.
Pleasure is a concept we should pursue with zeal! Pleasure reflects our capacity to appreciate our world and experience joy. There is no reason why pleasurable experiences shouldn’t play a more prominent role in your ordinary day. After all, who doesn’t want more happiness when it is relatively easy to acquire?
Here are two easy ways to build more pleasure into your life:
As basic as it sounds, learn to notice joy. Apart from a smile, you may feel an upswing in mood or sense of excitement, increased optimism, or release of tension. Observing our emotions slows us down and helps us savour the moment. It’s a lovely win-win.
Become a pleasure seeker and make happiness a research topic in your life. People gain satisfaction in such individual and extraordinary ways. Most of us enjoy that morning cup of tea and perhaps a good book, but happiness can also involve much more. From rock climbing to volunteering or travel, take time to unearth new pleasurable experiences by experimenting and exploring.
Humans are purposeful. You were purposeful when you got out of bed this morning, even if some of your activities felt mundane. Eating breakfast, for example, fulfils a very fundamental goal of human survival. Every day we seek to achieve goals related to our health or betterment.
Clarifying and refining our purpose improves our chances of fulfilling our dreams. Health outcomes are also improved, and even managing hardship or setbacks becomes easier.
So how is purpose determined? Culture, communities and families may influence our sense of purpose. Self-reflection also defines it and women cite more “thinking time” as one of the many rewards of maturity. Here are two simple ways to unlock the purpose in your life:
Curiosity is your best friend and “why?” is a handy question that helps you think more deeply. For example, if you want to keep fit and healthy, ask yourself why? All sorts of reasons may come up. Fitness may reflect a desire to be autonomous or an active role model for friends or grandchildren.
Perhaps you want to keep fit to fulfil a lifelong desire, like hiking the Inca Trail in Peru? See how far you can go in questioning yourself by applying the “why?” question. It may help you appreciate or re-evaluate your values and aspirations and become more motivated and focused.
Human beings are highly social. The pandemic showed us how much we value our globe. People across all countries shared a mutual purpose to stay at home to save lives while vaccines were invented and delivered.
As the pandemic eases, it’s an excellent time to further link purpose to the people and communities we treasure. How will your life effort benefit family, community or friends? Delivering good for others and our world can give us enormous meaning.
Passion sits at the top end of the pleasure spectrum – it fills you with anticipation, enthusiasm and motivation. Think back to your childhood when you felt excited about a specific activity. You may have adored horse riding, photography or swimming and always made time for it. It made you feel rejuvenated and alive.
That’s passion, and you’re perfectly entitled to feel it in your sixties! Indeed, entering our sixties gives us more time to explore these more profound moments of happiness. Short courses or taster experiences are terrific ways to rekindle long-forgotten interests; however, there are many other ways to find your passion:
Role models spur our ambition and help overturn self-limiting beliefs. Discover role models in your local community, unearth them by mining popular culture or explore your family history. Dierdre Wolownick, for example, started rock climbing at 60, while Anne Youngson published her first novel at 70. These women show us that new adventures can begin at any stage of life.
The fear of “not being good enough” stops many women from pursuing new interests. It’s essential to be a good champion for yourself or hire a professional to support you. Avoid focusing entirely on fame or fortune.
For example, if you want to explore writing as a passion, getting published is only one of the many possible benefits or outcomes. The mindfulness of writing, the joy of developing skills, and the friendships gained from being in a writing community may also compel you to type!
List all the benefits of pursuing an interest, and remember that setbacks and mistakes are part of the learning curve. A growth mindset, persistence, and the knowledge that learning is a stand-alone reward will help you succeed.
Celebrating a 60th birthday marks an exciting period of consolidation and growth. You can happily acknowledge that you know some things about life, have developed skills, and achieved goals. That’s a good feeling. Be proud.
It’s also a time to focus on what is deeply important to you. The 3 Ps – Pleasure, Purpose and Passion – will help you achieve long-held ambitions, enjoy new delights and find happiness in everyday existence.
What was the latest birthday you celebrated? What new did you embrace as you entered your current decade? Have you found your pleasure, purpose and passion?