“The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Do you find yourself: Wanting to deny your age?; Having a hard time imagining life beyond your career or family business? or; Concerned about what the next life-stage will bring?
While some of you may not be focused on these and other like questions, more and more are. “When I stopped, they just came to me.” This quote came from an aging actress with little success in cinema as a young woman. She came into her own only when she became older, more gray-haired, and more open to possibilities – less driven.
When I was younger, I heard, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Later it was, “Where do you want to be five years from now? Most of us had ready answers and some of us have actually been spot on.
When you reach 50 or 60, you are definitely grown up, so the first question is unlikely. But that second question becomes increasingly important. And yet, many don’t have clarity about the next two years, let alone five.
Turning 50 or 60 no longer means one is “over the hill.” Many individuals can easily pass for ten years younger. With all the new medical advances, baby boomers are just more aware of health risks like smoking and high cholesterol. These people have added exercise and reduced fats to make their future years truly enjoyable. Add the advancement of cosmetic products and procedures and the fear of looking older need not apply.
The vast majority of those reaching 50 and 60+ today feel optimistic for an even brighter future with new goals to reach. It’s a wonderful era in which to pursue lifelong and/or new interests, sports, travel and a host of active endeavors that weren’t possible while working full-time and raising a family. Plus there is still time to continue working full-time or part-time if desired. And more and more are. My mother took up golf at the ripe young age of 79 and has been playing every week for three years since.
Entering the next life chapter is a significant point in one’s life. Over 90% of baby boomers believe age is not a handicap and certainly turning 50 or 60 is not about to stand in their way. Most have viewed this as a chance to fix some of the mistakes about themselves, their work or their family when they were younger. Experience over the decades has been an excellent teacher.
If you’ve reached this life stage or are nearing it, here are three important ways to prepare for and leverage your ongoing journey:
Find a Community – Countless studies have shown that those with strong social networks enjoy less stress, better health, improved mood and longer lives.
Exercise the Body – Exercise actually reduces the risk of death by a third. It reduces the potential of getting chronic disease by 40%. And it retards aging.
- Exercise the Brain – Older adults are recommended to spend five to ten minutes per day doing brain-boosting games and activities. Apps like Brain Trainer by Luminosity can help promote healthy brain functioning and improve memory.
We’re all moving toward lives of even greater significance at the same pace. What are you doing now to better your odds of enjoying that sought and newly found significance?