Ageless Mental Strategies-Part 2
I asked my martial arts students to finish in this open-ended statement: “I will be happy when ______________.”
I got various responses, but one really surprised me. One student stated that he would be happy when he retired from his current position. This may seem like a typical statement, but the student was in his early 20s and had been working for less than a year at his current position. I surmised that it would require this individual to delay happiness for approximately 40 years—surely that seems like an excessive amount of time for delayed gratification.
Unfortunately, adults of all ages seem to share this same mindset: retirement will bring about a panacea of joy and happiness. Not only is this typically untrue, but it also reflects the lack of joy that many experience as a result of misguided thinking.
I know a physician who had a very busy lifestyle. His responsibilities and the prestige he received from his position seemed to fuel his vigor. I saw him during his retirement and asked if he was enjoying himself. He was not at all happy. According to him, each day was “boring.” He woke up each day without a sense of purpose. His health had deteriorated, and he didn’t have any clear direction in life. This is one of many encounters I have had with retirees.
When I was asked what I was going to do when I retired, I had a strong sense of direction. First, I would tell those who questioned me that I was not retiring. Instead, I would say that I was transitioning. It would either be to a state position in special education or a health and fitness advisor. My years as a martial arts instructor led to a seamless transition as an instructor at Penn State and the development of www.agelessstimeless.com. In addition, I added many more private martial arts students to my schedule because I now had more time to devote to my martial arts academy and one-on-one with my students.
It was a smooth transition to these new ventures, and I never experienced the depression that commonly affects retirees.
To live an Ageless/Timeless lifestyle, you need to define your attributes and use them to make a positive impact. Exercise is a vital part of this program. Sitting in a rocking chair will not provide the physical and mental stimulation necessary to be ageless. You have earned your transition, so put it to great use for the well-being of yourself and of others.