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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 July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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