To Age Gracefully, Never Stop Growing Up
If you're over 30 years old, answer this question.
At what age did you stop growing up?
If a number comes to mind, consider yourself at risk. To see a picture of your future, go to a local coffee shop and sit down next to a pair of 50-somethings and eavesdrop on their conversation.
If they're the type who consider themselves fully grown up, they'll act entitled, bitter, and superior owing to their decades of accumulated wisdom. They'll complain about everything they don't understand, yearn for a time that no longer exists (and probably never did), and fret over the younger generation's quixotic ideas about the world and their place in it.
It's easy to interpret old-people-talk as the natural order of aging. We start as idealists, and little by little, after dealing with life's curveballs, oppressive mortgages, stubborn kids, soulless employers, and an ever-increasing number of health issues, we finally see the world as it exists.
What if all those adult problems have closed your mind to what's possible instead of opening your eyes to what's real?
Our life experiences give us a flavor of possible outcomes, but they teach us little about the world. As Socrates once said, "The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing."
That advice helps us as we age, reminding us that no matter how old we grow, we always have a lot of growing up to do. Growing up in our more senior years allows us to maintain positive, growth-oriented mindsets that train us to hunger for the future instead of clinging to the past.
This might seem obvious, but life often gets in the way of our best intentions. These four practices will keep you in a state of growing up no matter your chronological age.
The older you get, the more comfortable you become with shooting down the ideas of people in younger generations. We tell them, "Wait until you have to deal with living expenses, kids, health care, and all the other crap that comes from living life." From the…