Ready to roll up your sleeves and create your best possible future? It takes courage, imagination and faith. A strong work ethic. And a willingness to do what makes your heart sing. I call this “writing new chapters of life.”
By choosing to create our own story rather than following society’s traditional script for getting older, you take charge. You decide. You learn. And you grow. Discovering how to turn endings into new beginnings, harvest and delight in, rather than squander and miss out on, the opportunities that come with aging, you become the stronger, more resilient version of yourself—and you thrive.
By making bold choices to live forward rather than in the past, you rise above the fears and resistance to change that often come with getting older. Refusing to just go through the motions, you learn to embrace the challenges and opportunities of aging courageously—and write your own story.
Picking up your “pen”
Writing new chapters of life can be difficult. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy, patience or confidence to make the effort. Or know where to start. If you’re having trouble writing new chapters of life, you’re not alone. Perhaps it’s because you’re going through a dry spell and your creative juices aren’t flowing. When you try to think positively, you draw a blank. Or, you may have suffered a loss of some sort. The wind has been taken out of our sails, and your heart is simply not up to the task. The motivation’s just not there, and the future might seem grim. Convinced the best parts of your life have already passed you by, you may find yourself slipping into despair.
On the other hand, you may be doing great. Things have been going your way, and you’re full of energy and enthusiasm and are raring to go. You’ve kept yourself in good physical shape, are surrounded by loved ones and find yourself in more of a position to enjoy life than you ever have before. The chapters you’re writing in this new season of life are filled with fun, adventure, travel, stay-cations, classes, volunteer work and quality time with family and friends. And, you’ve saved wisely and are financially secure as well. Filled with a sense of calm, gratitude, and joy, and surrounded by people like yourself who are enjoying the moment, you’re inspired to create an amazing future.
Whatever the case, take the next few minutes to consider the possibilities. Your blueprint for getting older—whether it’s a bit anemic, robust, or somewhere in between, is about to get an upgrade—a brighter tomorrow awaits you!
But positive thinking alone is rarely enough. Your best possible future begins with the least utilized aspect of your inner genius: your imagination. Seeing yourself enjoying life, being at peace and connecting with other people does three things. First, it affords you a sneak peek into what’s possible. Second, it energizes and motivates you. And third, it provides you with a clear path of action to get there.
Even if you’re still hesitant and stubbornly fighting off the invitation to stick your toe in the water, the following three questions can activate the regenerative part of you that gives your life meaning and purpose. By answering them, you are activating your mind-body-spirit to produce newfound strength, faith, enthusiasm and courage.
- What makes my heart heavy when I think about getting older?
- What makes my heart sing when I think about getting older?
- What three things could I do to make my life more joyful, peaceful and satisfying?
This upgrade in your approach to getting older may provide you with a few new and uplifting messages such as:
As I get older, I . . . experience joy, deep connection, purposeful activity and peace of mind.
As I get older, I . . . know what’s making my heart heavy and how to unburden myself.
As I get older, I . . . choose to do more of what makes my heart sing and kick up some dust.
As I get older, I . . . know that it is within me to create a new blueprint and create my best possible future.
Realizing and reaching our greatest potential requires newfound strength. And we’re not the only beneficiary. Our family members and friends will also reap the benefits, as will our community and nation. Leaving a legacy of love begins with summoning the raw courage, understanding, and faith to write new chapters of life. When we do so, we “pay the good forward” to our children, grandchildren, and future generations who will someday sit in the shade of a giving tree we planted.
Dr. Ken Druck's pioneering work over the past 40 years, encapsulated under the heading, Courageous Living, has included Executive Coaching/Consulting, Visionary Leadership, The Psychology of Men, Parent Effectiveness, Healing After Loss, Resilience and, most recently, Courageous Aging. He will begin teaching classes at San Diego Oasis in 2018. To learn more, visit https://www.kendruck.com/.
Photo credit: Lisette Omoss