Welcome to our newsletter on strategies for aging positively. Here we investigate, discuss, and challenge attitudes towards aging.
As Albert Einstein said, "We Act As Though Comfort And Luxury Were The Chief Requirements Of Life, When All That We Need To Make Us Happy Is Something To Be Enthusiastic About!"
... This is something that we ALL need to consider at any stage in life.
I bet you've heard the catch cry "No Pain, No Gain" many times in your life.
Whether it is sport, education, fitness, business or any form of endeavour it is screamed at us as some sort of article of faith.
In fact it has now become a mantra. It tells you that you can achieve anything you want in life if only you put yourself through the required pain.
Push yourself harder, make the sacrifices, get out of your comfort zone, take the risk, face the fear; Oh my God, stop I can't stand it any longer, I have enough pain in my life.I just want to be happy and relax.I don't want any more it's all too hard.
This is a culture that has evolved through the need to find a competitive edge in most areas of our lives.
It is very much the accepted belief among younger people and also amongst the Baby Boomers who are desperately trying to hang on to the last vestiges of their youth.
I say this in the nicest possible way as the BBs are really the backbone of a rapidly changing society now, and it would be great for all of us if they could hang on a bit longer than what is normally expected.
Without them there would be a huge cultural void between my generation and the present one. So hang in there. Your country needs you!
As Aging Positivists we have inherited a lot of these attitudes too and I feel we must have a closer look at how we are dealing with them.
Believe it or not we are not as young as we used to be. Pain and gain now have a different meaning for you and I.
I had a thought about this the other day when I met a friend of mine as he was out jogging. He had worked up a great sweat, and he couldn't talk to me for long as he had his heart monitor going and he wanted to get an accurate reading.
However, he did confide in me that his lungs were screaming out for any passing oxygen, and that he felt life had passed him by. He was now going to try to turn back the clock by following a very rigid fitness and life coaching regime.
I turned away to hide any look of amazement that might have swept across my face, and when I looked back at him he was 50 yards away in a fog of suburban dust.
I then remembered that he was fifty seven years old and I secretly whispered to myself (maybe with a touch of envy) that he should have more sense!
As I slowly wandered back to my home to rest on my rockin' chair I remembered how I had learned a completely different and opposite skill when I was only in my teens.
This was the ability to "relax".
I can honestly say that this skill has been more effective and productive for me than any exercise that I have ever done. I often think that it was providential.
It was one of the key strategies that I have used to deal with the inevitable curve balls life throws at you in the business of living. I can honestly say that without this skill I doubt if I could have made it to this day.
It was by far the most important lesson I have ever learned and it has helped me in every area of my life, every day of my life.
Because it will take some considerable time, I will explain the lesson that I got, in my next newsletter but because it is different to what you would expect I want to give you something very simple to practice in the meantime.
Here it is... (you are obviously now sitting in front of your computer)
Put your hands palms down on your knees and imagine what it would be like if your hands were completely relaxed.
Remember, I didn't say "relax your hands" I said "Imagine what it would be like if your hands were completely relaxed". This is very important.
Practise this every time you get the chance, wherever you are. You will soon get an understanding of what I am going to tell you next.
Let me know how you felt doing this very simple excercise. You are on the edge of learning something really special.
Oh, and before you go, remember; "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them".
- Henry David Thoreau, (1817-1862) American Author -
See you soon,
Joe Brennan - Aging Positivist