Old age is contagious, but you don’t have to catch it

This is advice for the young and the young at heart.

I recently read an article about a research project conducted to evaluate how people age and the empowering or disempowering mindsets that they carry throughout their lives. The research study extended over fifty years.

The primary conclusion was – old age merely continued what earlier years had lost, meaning that most behaviour, personality and character traits tended not to change over time. The research revealed that people who were irritable in the 1940’s were a great deal more irritable in the 1980’s.  Those who were intolerant in 1949 were even more intolerant in 1979.

Today, many of us make excuses for those old codgers who are difficult to deal with, prejudiced in their outlooks and show little interest in anything.  However, research into the characters of those old people will invariably reveal that those were the traits that were quite evident in their earlier years. A person isn’t suddenly transformed into a “nasty old man” or a “miserable old git” or a “gossiping old bag” because of birthdays. He or she becomes that way through a series of habits that are established much earlier in life.

I share some thoughts and ideas that will help each of us avoid “getting old”, at least in the areas we have control and choice: attitudinally and emotionally:

  • Learn something new every day.
  • Say something cheerful and pleasant to everyone you meet.
  • Be a ‘mover and shaker’, not a ‘moaner and groaner’.
  • Do good deeds for others.
  • Take up new hobbies.
  • Develop new empowering habits.
  • Eat sensibly and exercise regularly.
  • Be a volunteer.

In short, put others first and you’ll be amazed at the fact that you’ll end up feeling better yourself. And above all, constantly be appreciative and grateful for all you have. Oh yes, and don’t forget to smile!

Remember, you have to get old, but you don’t have to act old. I hope this gives you reason to be hopeful about your future years. Enjoy them!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

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