“Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” ~Frank Kafka
I, like many others my age, belong to AARP. As I rifle through the pages of their monthly magazine, all I see is information on how to live as an older, retired person. While the title of their organization is the American Association of Retired Persons, I thought to myself, “Why the heck do I belong to this organization?” Retirement will never be a part of my life. I don’t do motorhomes or go on vacations to typical retirement vacation spots, like Florida. I don’t play golf or BINGO. While it is okay to those that do, I prefer to focus on challenges that even younger people would gasp over.
What you hold closest to your heart regarding how old you are, you will move towards that. Let me ask each of you a question, “If you were 18 years old again, what would you be doing?” When you think as an old person, then you’ll be old. If you think as a young person, then you will be young. If you think like a kid, guess what? Yes, you will feel and play like a kid (as I still do).
Attitude is important in order to stay youthful. Having that kind of attitude will enable you and me to remain physically and psychologically active. Exercise is a big part of The Fountain of Youth. Realize, there is no magic potion. What Ponce De Leon sought is already inside of us.
What we surround ourselves with affects our thoughts. Ellen J. Langer discovered the same during an experiment she conducted back in 1979. As described in her book, Counter Clockwise, an experimental group and a control group were both placed for a week as if they were back in 1959. The only difference was that the experimental group had every aspect of 1959 as if they were actually there. That included what they talked about and so forth. Clothes, food, newspapers, television…the whole environment.
What happened was remarkable. Both groups showed signs of physical and mental improvement. The experimental group had such improvement that arthritis disappeared, they got taller (due to the straightening up of their bodies), and their fingers grew longer as well. They walked with a bounce as if they were young again. Much like their 1959 selves. They didn’t actually go back to 1959, but their minds believed they were there and it affected their physiology and health.
It was the environment. One’s environment also applies to who one surrounds themselves with. Healthy people usually are seen with other healthy people. Sick and unhealthy people are surrounded with the same. Each group tend to do what others in their group will do. Hence, if you are of a certain age and hang with others like you and you talk about aging, you’ll age. Getting back to reading that copy of AARP Magazine, it was the last copy I would read. I talked about being youthful and that means to read magazines that will help me in that way. That means not have thoughts of retirement and think about what adventure I can do next. It’s about remaining vital and active throughout one’s life. And keep doing it.
America’s #1 Mind-Body Transformation Expert and author of Mind Your Own Fitness