Our research – both formal and anecdotal – confirms that people are not living the lives their parents lived. Today more and more people who are 50 and older – those we refer to as “people who weren’t born yesterday” – are more active, more engaged, more committed to living lives of greater conscious, and much more aware that they and not their doctors are responsible for their health and well-being. They exercise more and are more conscious of the foods they eat and the impact these foods have on their energy levels and enthusiasm for life. They are also becoming much less interested in retirement and more focused on learning what to do with the gift of years the additional years they are inheriting.
On this point it is helpful for us all to remember that although homo sapiens have been around for hundreds of thousands of years until only a few hundred years ago the average life expectancy was under 30 years of age. Today futurists and longevity experts are predicting that the average life span will reach and exceed100 and more within the foreseeable future. In fact, it is estimated that within a decade there will be more than 5 million individuals in the U.S. alone who will be 100 or more alive for the first time in history. So one of the things are number of us in this age group are realizing is that we have to write a new “third act”, one that articulates what to do with this precious gift of extended life.
As to how people can live more consciously and age wisely, here are 10 ways we suggest to help our readers lead more vital and ageless lives
Live For Today and Not Tomorrow
We suggest we all take a lesson from the lyrics of the Broadway musical, Annie – “Tomorrow, Tomorrow …You’re always a day away.” Remember that today and not tomorrow is a gift that each of us can use in any way we choose. We can be engaged or disinterested, awake and aware or on automatic pilot. Indeed, every one of our thoughts, words and interactions with others can be an opportunity to share what we know, learn, contribute, support, encourage and celebrate, or it can be an opportunity missed and spent waiting for a tomorrow that will, in the end, be the result of the choices we make today.
Take Greater Responsibility For Your Own Life
While a number of people in our world today seem intent on marginalizing those of us who are 50 and older, the truth is these folks lack the experience and, unfortunately in many instances, the historical perspective and an accurate awareness of the contributions elders have always made to the world. So one sure way to live a happier, healthier, more rewarding and ageless life is to get involved and take greater responsibility for political decisions others are trying to make for us, for the level of integrity being practiced or avoided in many of our institutions and businesses and for the ways in which we can contribute to the well being of those around us. In short, our job and our choice is to do whatever we can to leave the world better than the one we inherited.
Put A Pin In The Illusion of The Myth of Youth and Start Celebrating The Truth About Aging
Most of us who weren’t born yesterday know that we live in a world that is youth obsessed and age adverse. As a result more and more of us face levels of disregard and dishonoring that is as unacceptable as it is unconscionable. Unconscionable because it leads to lives of isolation and suffering and unacceptable because it is based on implications and allegations about aging that simply aren’t true. Instead the truth is that we are not over the hill and we are certainly never out of luck. For history shows us that many of the people we revere did not accomplish their best and most notable work until they were in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 90’s.
Breathe A Lot Deeper and More Often
Wise teachers throughout history have said that breath is an essential key to a healthier life and it’s true. So consider those moments when you are relaxed and enjoying whatever you are doing. Notice how easily and naturally your breath flows. By comparison reflect on those moments when you are tense, worried, troubled or frightened. Notice how often we literally hold our breath in these moments. So if you want a more rewarding, energized and satisfying and ageless life, remember to breathe more deeply, slowly and a lot more often. Yoga, good exercise, laughter, singing, walking in nature, meditation – all terrific ways to benefit from the breath of life.
Squeeze The Juice From The Fruit of The Past & Turn It Into Gold You Can Invest In Today and Tomorrow
Those of us who weren’t born yesterday have a lot of memories and experiences. Some involve things we call good and valuable, others things we’d just as soon forget about – especially those less pleasant experiences we’ve had and mistakes we’ve made. No matter which category we assign our memories and experiences to, however, they all contain a great deal of value and if we are willing to take a little time to review them, to mine of wisdom they contain, and apply this wisdom to what we are doing today and will do tomorrow, we can improve the quality of our lives and our general health and well being.
Replace Limiting Beliefs With Positive and Constructive Ones
Let’s face it! A lot of us are living our lives today based on beliefs we learned a long time ago from others – parents, siblings and friends, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, etc. While some of these beliefs were necessary and even valuable at the time we learned them there are others that are not as valuable or relevant and that limit our lives. So one way we can lead happier, healthier and ageless lives is to review the beliefs we are holding and replace those that are limiting or no longer apply – the “I can’t, I don’t know how to, the I’m not good at that, and the I’m not supposed to”.- with new ones that empower us – “I can, I will, I am good at.” In short, celebrate the possible, be curious about your life and watch what happens.
Practice The Gift That Keeps On Giving
It is said that one of the greatest gifts of all is the gift of forgiveness. To be forgiven for the stumbles and bumbles we’ve made and to forgive others for whatever we think they may have done to us is one of the most valuable and beneficial things any of us can do to lead an ageless life. For the truth is, when we carry around either guilt (for things we’ve done) or resentment (over things we believe others have done) the only person we are ultimately hurting is ourselves. A closed heart and all of the detrimental side effects and limitations having a closed heart entails is not the path to a fulfilling, vibrant, ageless life. Instead practice forgiving yourself and others and notice the bounce in your step, the increase of joy in your life, and the amount of meaning, purpose and passion you’ll regain.
Live No Faster Than Feeling Can Follow
We live in a world where thinking, analyzing, rationalizing and worrying often overwhelm our ability to feeling. Feelings, in fact, have become the disregarded stepchild in our contemporary world, often spoken of in derogatory terms as if the ability to feel intensely and deeply was weakness instead of one of the most valuable tools we have to live healthier, more engaged and ageless lives. So the advice here is to move past the misconceptions of our times and instead, pay close attention to how we feel – physically and emotionally. Pay attention to the guidance our feelings give us and, above all, stop overriding them. They are our allies, so listen to and follow their wisdom and watch what happens.
Master The Three Great Illusions
In our world where the Gods of Science and Technology are worshipped so ardently, and the God of Economics reigns supreme, far too many of us live a good portion of our lives under the illusion that we can control things – our physical environment, our careers, our financial well being and, in some instances, the primary people in our worlds. Closely allied with this illusion of control are two others – the illusions of security and safety. Clinging tenaciously to these three great illusions does not contribute to the quality of our lives or to living engaged, ageless lives. Indeed, as Helen Keller once said, “Security is mostly an illusion and does not occur in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Remember That It Is Never Too Late (or too soon) To Live Your Dreams
There is another illusion that can limit our well-being as well as our sense of purpose, vitality and passion – the illusion that suggests that it is too late to live our dreams, In fact, this errant belief is perhaps the most debilitating of all for it robs us of hope and our enthusiasm for life. It also happens to be untrue. The real truth is that no matter how old we are chronologically, it is never too late or too soon to manifest at least some aspect of the dream each of us has come here to live. So rather than listen to the naysayers – either around us or those we have incorporated within us; rather than listen to those who warm us to be practical and realistic, get back in touch with that dream that lives in your heart and then take whatever steps you can – small or large – to begin to express more of your dream in your life.