Life is short, it is known, but not as short as successful individuals, writers and thinkers want us to believe. Long life is a gift and we should be grateful for it. Living exceptionally is an art. Those who have a destination and a goal to achieve, live unapologetically. They seem youthful with every passing day. There are many examples in the world. Individuals who are growing old authentically, living, and striving every day to create something for the world.
We see glowing faces and sparkling eyes. They’re aging too with passing days, but what makes a difference is that they made a choice long ago to live the way they want to and not let life pass through them. Not let any idea or anyone stop them from pursuing their wants. However, most of us do not have a destination to go to or a goal to achieve. We just pass each day waiting for something or the other to happen to us. And that’s how we grow old.
Aging is inevitable, it’s natural, but how we want to grow old is a choice. A man or woman must aim for ‘successful aging’ and should learn how to achieve that. Marc E. Agronin is MD, a Harvard graduate, geriatric psychiatrist, and the author of the book ‘How We Age’. He believes that aging not only “brings strength” but is also “the most profound thing we accomplish in life.”
We must first nuke the idea of looking young forever, which has been imposed upon us by the product marketing and media industries. Things such as knowledge, wisdom, the value of experiences we had, and the beauty of maturity we have attained through our good and bad experiences, should be accompanied by our aging process.
In the words of Mattie J.T. Stepanek, an American poet who published seven best-selling books of poetry and peace essays, “I think I may have to grow up without growing old. I think we’re going to have to define differently what I’m going to be. We’re going to have to define my growing up differently.”
Below are a few traits that we can adopt or maintain in our lives as we age by staying graceful.
- Accept: The moment we accept ourselves, our appearance, challenges, struggles, experiences is the moment we are ready to live fully.
- Be child-like: Maintain those childlike qualities, such as innocence, laughter, curiousity.
- Ambition: Having a passion or a goal, be it small or big, gives our lives a purpose and something to look forward to each day.
- Evolve: Changing our mindsets with changing times while remaining open to new ideas.
- Maturity: Being patient and tolerant of the indignities of old age.
- Overall Health: Maintaining physical and mental health with a hope to better yourself each day.
- Grow and learn: Maintaining a sense of humor, share your thoughts, and capacity for play.
- Positive attitude: Taking sustenance from past failures and accomplishments while remaining curious and continuing to learn from the next generation.
- Love and compassion: Staying in contact with like-minded people and maintaining intimacy with old friends.