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11 Positive Things Nobody Tells You About Aging

11 Positive Things Nobody Tells You About Aging

It’s no use getting old if you don’t get wise, and getting older isn’t all doom and gloom if you realize that life is a journey; a journey of life lessons and experiences containing successes and mistakes.

What nobody tells you is that it’s the accumulation of this knowledge and how you respond to it that makes your later years the ‘golden years’ because as you age, you earn your stripes. But if your stripes aren’t put to good use and acknowledged, then you’ve missed the point of getting older.

Here are 11 positive things nobody tells you about aging.

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1. You don’t always have to be right

Remember when you were younger, how important it was to be right? Well, as the years pass by, we begin to understand that being right isn’t nearly as important as listening to and weighing up every side of the argument, even possibly deferring to someone else’s point of view. We begin to understand that it’s often better to lose a few battles in order to win the war.

2. You learn not to judge

In the Western world, we learn early on to want material things and strive to get them. While this isn’t altogether bad, it often brings with it envy and jealousy.  We might begin to judge others on their material assets and not on who they are as people.  As we get older, ‘stuff’ becomes less important than people and relationships and we learn not to judge, but just to accept people as they are.

3. You begin to want Less

We accumulate so much ‘stuff’ on our journey through life in the Western world and much of this is redundant and in excess of what we actually need.  As we get older, we begin to realize that sometimes less is more.  It’s an incremental understanding that we don’t need to surround ourselves with a whole lot of material things.

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4, You gain more confidence in making decisions.

It’s true age brings wisdom. It can also bring more confidence. Why? Because we accumulate Experience with a capital “E” as we journey through life and our life lessons are powerful tools to draw from to make future decisions. Yes we’ve made mistakes, but we’ve learned from them and that instills an innate confidence for future decision making.

5. Your children become your friends

It’s hard to think of our children as friends when they are firstly so dependent upon us and then  perhaps when they’re rebellious against us, or even hate us, during their teenage years. What nobody tells us is that as they become adults, grow into their own lives and fulfill their own dreams, we as parents take on a different role.  Children now return to the family home and hearth as individuals in their own right and as friends.

6. You understand that there’s no point in telling anyone what to do

At some stage in your life you might feel the urge to proffer unsolicited advice and think that you’re doing someone a favor.  At a certain age, you then realize that there’s no point in telling anyone what to do, that actually, if you think about it, being given advice you didn’t ask for doesn’t feel very nice.  What does feel good though is if someone plants a seed for you to ponder which leads you on to find the right answer yourself.

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7. You learn that wrinkles should be worn with pride

For women especially, the onset of the first wrinkle is a day of some grief and in the years of growing up, a wrinkle free face is falsely deemed a prerequisite of beauty by our youth-centric society.  Later in life, we realize that we are fortunate to be growing old and that wrinkles stand as a testimony to our experiences.  It shows that we have successfully navigated the troughs and peaks of life.  Wrinkles represent the days of our lives, each telling a different story.

8. You are able to treat your parents with unconditional respect

Our parents, although we love them, may have driven us mad at some point in our lives, and for those of us with children ourselves, the pattern is repeated.  As we get older, we learn how to treat our mothers and fathers with respect and how to have patience as they reach their autumn years because we have better understanding of the trials and tribulations they have gone through in the process of aging.

9. It’s O.K. to play the fool again

As children we laughed, played the fool and generally didn’t think too much about what other people thought about us. Then our ego’s developed, self awareness set in and we began to reign in our inner child, and squash the idiosyncratic part of us that was once so spontaneous. When we reach a certain age, it begins to matter less what other people think and not taking ourselves so seriously becomes an option once again.

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10. You learn not to criticize

As we get older, we learn there’s little value to be gained by criticizing anyone. If we need to say something, it’s far better to say something positive than dwell on what’s negative. By mid-life, we have learned through trial and error that positive reinforcement always puts us in a much better position.

11. You are thankful for growing old

Not everyone grows old. Many die before their time or in the prime of their life. With age comes gratitude and the knowledge that with every passing year we are privileged, and being grateful becomes a daily ritual that enhances our lives in so many positive ways.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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