Living in the Eternal Now, Wisdom Comes With Age
Successful older people’s ability to live long, and and be success at the things they poured their lives into during the years, came from their complete lack of desire to conform to anyone else’s needs or demands.
Notably: When we are young, there is a lot of peer pressure and some always feel that they are not doing as well as some other peer. When we are older … the expectation changes, expectations of other people and expectation of self, we accept ourself better.
With age comes a sense of balance, an “all things considered” approach that views being agreeable as not a betrayal of one’s personal code, but evidence of a greater understanding of what iss at stake and what’s truly important in life.
In Y 2016, Swarthmore College conducted a study in which researchers concluded that life experience should not be minimized as it sometimes is by younger people.
Science Daily declared, “With age comes wisdom, at least when it comes to knowing that things are not always as they appear.”
The researchers found that older people tend to assess the correct slope of a hill better than young adults simply because the former group has a greater set of life experiences to draw from.
More importantly, interpreting the slant of a slope may be a metaphor for all of life, the study authors conjectured: “Whereas much research on aging emphasizes perceptual decline, when it comes to space perception for navigation, older adults do well. And they also seem to have acquired wisdom with their years about the difference between how things seem and how things are. This is a point well worth making.”
In talking to younger relatives for their impressions of their elders’ personalities, characteristics and qualities, it’s telling that one younger relative in the study of Italian oldsters described her father as “a Dictator.”
My Father was a benevolent “Dictator”
We likely all know an elderly person who has not chosen to take the proverbial high road and instead chooses to look back on the landscapes of their lives with regrets of the past and anxiety for the future rather than focusing with gratitude and grace, both for themselves and for others in the Eternal Now.
That is why the researchers also encountered older people with a tendency to be domineering, inflexible and the ones in control.
It is easy to see how people with such a bent would find it particularly hard to face the changes that come with age, with their circumstances often dictated by a decrease in financial or physical freedom.
Some people call that survival skill “Stubbornness,” some others call it “True Grit.”
It is tough to be deferential in the face of hard times, like the loss of loved ones, lost jobs, unmet expectations and consequences of things that might not have gone quite as 1 planned or hoped, especially as old age is taking its inevitable toll.
“Old age ain’t no place for sissies”– Betty Davis
One of the most important things we can do in any situation is to look at the bright side, and that is probably more true with approaching older age as any other situation in life.
It is one thing to notice older people who are not handling it as well as we feel they could or should, but the bell tolls for us just as surely as it does for the archetypal “them.”
Time marches on.
There is something that’s both galvanizing and encouraging about viewing and living advanced age with an outlook that everything will be all right, no matter what happens.
That’s why a positive attitude may very well be worth its weight in Gold.
Studies suggest that how we approach the aging process can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you feel that because you have a certain number of candles on your Birthday Cake it means that iy is time to fade into insignificance and obscurity, you will do.
But, if you adopt a can-do, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other outlook on life with each new day, and are gratefull for it, the odds are you will live longer.
And, you will be happier and healthier along the way.
If you ever find yourself thinking “people my age should act or feel this way or that way,” resist it. Instead of allowing words and phrases like “cognitive decline,” “crotchety” or “feeble” to fill your thoughts of what “old age” looks like, focus on positive terms such as “knowledgeable,” “experienced” and “wise” instead.
A willingness to prolong life is dependent on being able to maintain their current state of health or what they might deem acceptable. The best way to do it is by making lifestyle choices that will help increase your potential for a long, healthy life.
The researchers in the study noticed in talking to the older people the connection was of great significance, and recognizing their own significance was fundamental for survival physical and emotional.
It is important to have connection, there to be at least 1 place to go where everybody knows your name.
In another study I read today, it reported that people who had positive rather than negative ideas about what aging looked like lived an average of 7.5 years longer than their more negative counterparts.
Variables like age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness and functional health notwithstanding, the will to live is powerfully suggestive, and more often than not, it’s about the love of friends and family.
It is one of the Key aspects of being able to live happily, even if it is not forever.
No matter how old we are, we need to know we are wanted, to feel at home, to look forward to seeing familiar faces and knowing they can freely share both stresses and joys, but such freedom is missed most ‘old people’ when they no longer have it.
Social support does not have to come from a hundred friends, no one really has more that 5, ideally it should be at least 2 good friends or relatives to fulfill the sense of belonging we all need.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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