The oldest trees often bear the sweetest fruit
When Are You Planning to Get Old?
When are you planning to get old? According to a recent study, you'd
better move the date back.
"Contrary to common belief, many
people can live well into their 90s without becoming cognitively impaired,
study findings indicate." - Neurology 2003; 60: 477-480
But statistics are statistics.
Let me give you some examples
from my own coaching practice.
I have a client who is 72 who's a real estate coach. One of
his coaching clients just made her goal, doubling her income to $100,000
this year. She's a real estate agent and she plans to do it again next
year with his help. Her age? She's 80.
I have a client who says she's having the best sex of her
life. Her age? She's 78. Her lover? He's 80.
I have someone who designs websites for my marketing
clients. She's the best web designer I've found. Her age? 58.
I have another client who went from ground zero to fluent
in German in the last 3 years. Her age? She's 59.
Many of my clients are over the
age of 55 and they are all busy learning new things. The layperson best at
the computer I know is 58 and learned it all in the past two years. She
keyboards at 100 wpm.
And what's the secret to all this? Al Siebert, Ph.D., has studied
resilient seniors for 30 years and has defined some of the
characteristics. Among them are:
Retain a childlike curiosity
If you have a victim mentality, replace it with something better that
gets you what you want.
Learn to tell your 'survivor' stories so they inspire
Find meaning in your adversity. If Victor Frankl did, you can.
Stay connected. The single worst thing for your health, mental
and physical, is isolation, and you can be isolated in a
room-full of people if you aren't connecting. Isolation is worse for
your health than obesity, smoking or high blood pressure.
Have a sense of humor, remain playful.
A lot of this has to do with
your attitude and your emotional intelligence. Living long and well means
going through lots of
changes, and, alas, some adversity. We build resilience by going through
hard times and one of the keys is staying flexible and
According to Siebert, individuals who die in their 5th and 6th decade have
this trajectory: study, then work, then leisure.
Resilient seniors have combined all three throughout their lifetime.
Key to all this is learning optimism. Optimists live 19% longer, enjoy
better health, are more likely to fulfill their potential, and
enjoy life more. Would you be willing to trade some of the ways you think
now in order to gain those things just mentioned? If so, learn optimism.
When are you planning to "get old"? Apparently it's up to you.