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Your Attitude May be Aging You

2013 December 11

Some people are old at 18 and others vibrant, alive and loving life at 88. I think that “old ” is an attitude and regardless of age when one stands still they stagnate. ~Author Unknown

Your Attitude May be Aging YouThat old saying, “You’re only as old as you feel,” may be more than just wishful thinking.  In fact, it’s entirely possible that your attitude may be aging you before your time.

According to numerous studies your attitude toward aging directly influences your psychological well-being. Regardless of how liberated we’ve become, many people still view aging as a threat to their sense of self worth and quality of life.

And why not? Our culture and the media have taught us to turn a blind eye to wisdom and experience, seeing instead only weakness and lack of physical beauty (based on society’s standards). Of course, there is also the inescapable fact that the notion of growing older reminds us of our own mortality.

So for as long as they can get away with it, many choose to see those of a certain age as ‘other’ – with different attitudes, tastes and world views. To punctuate this there are the jokes about granny in her walker, or how Uncle Joe can’t figure out the difference between Facebook and Twitter. Because to admit that we may actually have anything in common with our seniors is to acknowledge that one day we will be like them.

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman

Self Fulfilling Prophecies

How you choose to react to whatever changes or challenges you may face in life is a direct reflection of your attitude. Typically, those who believe that as one ages it is possible to remain an active, vital and healthy member of society take better care of themselves and view adversity for what it is – temporary. When they experience twinges of age related aches and pains, they set out to find healthy ways to compensate for, or work around any potential limitations, rather than resigning themselves to what they believe is the inevitable shrinking of quality of life.

Can your attitude really become a self fulfilling prophecy? Research has shown that those who have a positive view of aging live happier, more fulfilled lives and stay healthier longer. In fact, more than seven years longer according to a study conducted by Becca R. Levy, PhD, of Yale University.

Sometimes, people use age as a convenient excuse. ‘I’m too old to start something new’ or, ‘I couldn’t learn that at my age.’ Other people, though, go on to achieve their greatest accomplishments in life in later years. ~Catherine Pulsifer

Never Put an Age Limit on Your Dreams

Ruth Yorkin Drazen started a new career as a documentary filmmaker in her 70s, after a long career managing medical foundations.

About the need to use a walker since a fall she took while crossing the street from her Manhattan apartment to Carnegie Hall Drazen says, “I don’t give a damn – I’m happier today than I’ve ever been. The fall was actually a blessing, because it forced me to sit down and think quietly about what I really wanted to do.” The 91 year old award winning filmmaker is currently working on her sixth film.

John LoweJohn Lowe is 91 years young. At the age of 79 he took up ballet and scored his first starring role at the age of 88. Mr. Lowe is a retired soldier and prisoner of war survivor, art teacher, theatre director and the grandfather of 11.

“Dancing is the most amazing feeling and you come home mentally uplifted after listening to all this brilliant music. I remember being in the prisoner of war camp starving and doing hard labor and thinking there was a good chance I might not make it. But look at me now!” ~John Lowe

In my next post I’m going to talk about how to cultivate an empowering mindset about life, but in the meantime I’d like to share with you an article titled Life is Good at Bliss Habits, a blog about attitude and life by my friend and fellow blogger, Kathy Sprinkle.

Whatever you do, please remember this … life doesn’t give up on us, we give up on life. The joy and fulfillment you get out of life is in direct proportion to the passion you put into it.

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35 Responses
  1. December 27, 2013

    Hi Marquita,

    Awesome post and I agree with you 100%. I look after my mom who is 86 and she couldn’t be in better health, except for dementia/Alzheimer’s. She still has the determination and positive attitude of a much younger woman and I believe it is due to her attitude all of her life.

    I would not be needed to stay here with her, if she didn’t have the memory problems. She is an amazing lady and proves to me that positivity and attitude DOES make a difference.

    Have a great New Year. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Make 2014 Your Best Year – No ExcusesMy Profile

  2. December 21, 2013

    Age is but a number everyone tells me and we all act as if we are never going to get any older. I recognise the differences in my age now and as I grow older the changes in my body which I do not embrace. Inevitable as ageing is should I accept the fact that our bodies and minds age. or fight against it. Paying attention to my body and my mental health and its needs and celebrating the miracle of our lives every day keeps me content.
    Frea recently posted..Causes Of AnxietyMy Profile

  3. December 18, 2013

    Hi Marquita! As I sit in my comfy chair, with a hot water bottle on my back as a result of shoveling snow… you have caused me to reflect upon an afternoon this Fall when I had trouble keeping up with a few 80-something year olds why kayaking! I better get working on a few things. I much prefer to live long and prosper!! Thank you for the inspiration.
    Dawn Golden recently posted..Penny For Your ThoughtsMy Profile

  4. December 16, 2013

    Marquita,
    well, well… what a surprise!!!! ok, there was no surprise, your articles are always so great, there is no surprises here haha :-)

    I can write an article with this commment if I truly have to comment on what you wrote.. wowoww, I had my mother as a MAIN example of what attitude can do to our ageing… she was with us till 2007 when she left for a better place in heaven at 92..

    Her life was full of challenges but overcome all of them with one main attitude and that was “God will provide” she was my mentor, my 3 sisters mentor and so many of her friends mentor, we all went to her when in troubles or facing some challenges..

    Anyway.. that was not all.. her attitude keep her young till a month or so before calling it quit.. she was always with the attitude of learning and participating in any thing and every thing that brought joy to her, I remember once in the nursing home participating in a “day in Hawaii”, they give her a hat and a dress and a lei and sun glasses… I participated as well for support and when the time come to finish with a plate of pine apple… she said to me, wow, it feels like we are in Hawaii… now that is what I call Attitude at its best, she was 901 years old and loved to DREAM of being in Hawaii.

    Your quote… “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman” say it better and hope more people read your great article to be aware that a great attitude can go a long way into our ageing that we cannot avoid but we can certainly make good of it.

    Thanks so much.
    _nickc
    nick catricala recently posted..Guilty as anyone can be…My Profile

  5. December 16, 2013

    What a wonderful post .. I turn 60 next year and I am actually looking forward to it. Attitude IS everything. I feel like I have more clarity and direction in my life now than ever before. Aging is a journey, so, your article is such a strong reminder of how awesome life can be even when you’re 88 … :-)
    Lesly Federici recently posted..Screw The ThousandsMy Profile

  6. December 15, 2013

    Hi Marty,
    I think of myself as ageless! You can achieve and do whatever you want in life no matter what age you are if you believe in yourself. It’s so inspiring to learn about the examples of the 91 year old filmmaker and ballet dancer who started at age 79. Thanks for sharing their stories and for reminding all of us to stay positive, enjoy life and follow your dreams no matter what your chronological age is.
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..12 Tips for Staying Healthy and Stress-Free during the Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  7. December 15, 2013

    I’ve always felt that age is just a number. There is beauty and grace at every age. Age does not define us. It is sad seeing the elderly people who have give up on life solely because they are aging.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..12 Days to Get Your Online Biz Booming: Day 4My Profile

  8. December 15, 2013

    I think when people are really involved in growing, learning and grabbing new experiences in life… even though they grow older, they don’t notice. And because of that, others don’t notice it either.

    You make good sense here, Marty. It’s about living your life full measure, and not settling for anything less.
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Sales Funnel Part 4 | DownsellsMy Profile

  9. December 15, 2013

    I agree wholeheartedly with this. It is a choice that you can control, and feeling older and choosing to be negative does have its impact. It might not always be on how you feel, but it may be how you’re perceived.
    Nile recently posted..How To Jump Start Your Social Media Marketing Strategy In Just 1 Hour Each WeekMy Profile

  10. December 15, 2013

    What a beautiful post Marquita! It’s so true how much our attitude and outlook affect how “old” we truly feel.

    I love your story about John Lowe and never putting an age limit on your dreams. So inspiring!!
    Rebekah Radice recently posted..Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing StrategyMy Profile

    • December 15, 2013

      So glad you enjoyed the article, and yes John seems to have captured everyone’s heart. This was a fun post to write, and I’m happy to say the toughest part about finding stories to share was selecting just 2 because there are so many other inspiring examples. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  11. December 15, 2013

    Hi Marty,

    I don’t believe in getting “old” as a mindset. Hey, I just finished making snow angels outside lol.

    My inspiration was my grandmother who always was young to me. Even in her 80′s she would get out every day, be the hit at every wedding dancing, and everyone loved her. She was in Los Vegas once and met Bob Hope in the elevator. She struck up a conversation and they ended up having drinks together. This is when she was 85.

    There are some people who complain their getting old as young as 30! Like Sylviane mentioned, it gets me irritated too. I cannot be with people having that energy. If it works for them, fine, but it drags me down.

    “You are only as old as you think.”

    -Donna

    • December 15, 2013

      I know what you mean Donna and I feel the same. As I’ve “matured” I’ve allowed myself the privilege of being quite picky about who I allow in my inner circle of friends. One of my dearest friends just turned 78 and she can run circles around people half her age – life long learner, great sense of humor and an active volunteer for her church and community. She is my kinda gal. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  12. December 15, 2013

    Oh Marquita, I LOVE John’s story…and from an energy and healing point of view to be limited by age or perception of age is soul destroying…whatever your age do anything and everything that brings you joy!
    Sarupa Shah recently posted..Heart Centered Entrepreneur: how to rid yourself of problems (and increase your abundance)My Profile

  13. December 15, 2013

    Hi Marquita,

    Came on your blog first time.Found this post very truthful and an insight that whether we age with our thoughts or with our body.I also came through many persons in life who are very enthusiastic about life even at a ripe age of above sixty and few of them continue to study different subjects. We age really depends upon how we think.
    Nitesh Sharma recently posted..The 5 Easiest Ways Towards HappinessMy Profile

    • December 15, 2013

      Welcome Nitesh! So glad you found your way here and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I look forward to visiting your blog, the article on Happiness looks very interesting. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  14. December 14, 2013

    I never plan to stop extending my knowledge and learning new things. I need that stimulation. I had an aunt who was a college lecturer who had to retire at 60. She was always the forgetful sort but within a year she deteriorated rapidly. I vowed that I would always keep my mind active.

    My body does not cooperate too well at times but I remind myself that I suffered from back pain all through my 20′s and early 30′s so I am better off now than I was then.
    Sue Bride recently posted..How To Protect Your Blog From CopyingMy Profile

  15. December 14, 2013

    Marty,

    I think Uncle Joe and I have something in common, Twitter baffles me and I spend too much time on Facebook.

    I get to go on Medicare in May (that should tell you a bit about my age) and I am totally amazed and astonished that I could be considered a senior. (I hate that term and if you call me that I’ll cut out your liver.) It has flown by and there is yet so much to accomplish, so much to see, so much to learn.

    I have struggled with my attitude most of my life having been raised by one who always saw the negative side. As I think about it, it seems that I’ve won that battle as I’m still here and still excited by every day, no, not ready to give up.

    Yours with enthusiasm!

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..Why We Teach This StuffMy Profile

    • December 15, 2013

      Yes that senior tag is offensive isn’t it? Technically “seniors” are the generation prior to the Boomers, so it sounds like your on the Boomer-cusp and the only reason I mention that is if there is one defining characteristic of the Boomer generation it’s that they will go into old age kicking and screaming the whole say. :-) You’ve always seemed very positive and upbeat to me Rick so keep doing whatever it is you’re doing cause it’s obviously working. Thanks for stopping by.
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  16. December 14, 2013

    Hi Marquita, love what you’ve written about attitude towards growing old. I’ve lived nearly 30 years with someone who’s always wanting to learn new things (actually I’m like that too:-) but then when he goes to “perform” on stage, he wants to be better than the young ones, because “old” people are “supposed to” be better. I’m talking about playing musical instruments.

    I hear a LOT about the Rolling Stones band because hubby does a tribute act of Jagger, they are all over 66 and their attitudes are a perfect example of “old people” who will never age! Although, if you look at Keith Richards arthritic finger joints, you know he’s been around for awhile, but he doesn’t care about those, just keep on playing!
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Do You Use Your Own Internet Marketing System?My Profile

    • December 15, 2013

      Yep the Stones are a great example Julieanne, and I’m with you about being a life long learner. As a matter of fact when I was working on my goals for 2014 it occurred to me it’s been a couple of years since I took a class at the local college and I’m planning on picking up a few credits this next semester. Thanks for taking the time to contribute to the conversation.
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  17. December 14, 2013

    I always want to catch your every post so that I can learn something new and authentic tips, suggestion from you. Thanks for sharing this.

  18. December 13, 2013

    This is very true. I can think of a couple of people very close to me that gave up on life just because they were becoming older. They were not even old yet, they were just older, and it was as if life was over to them.

    I’ve had friends and acquaintances that used to call themselves old by age 30, and that really made me so mad. I just couldn’t take this. They were telling all the things that were starting to turn for the worst in their bodies already, yes at 30. What? I was telling them that nothing of the sort was happening to me as I was at the time also just a little bit over 30 (like them). I knew from that that it was only be because they believed it so much that it was so for them. I just never believed that. EVER!

    I’m sure you know about Louis Hay, she never stopped doing new things, in her 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and now 80’s. She is probably the youngest 87 year old I’ve ever seen.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Are You Living Your Life On Autopilot?My Profile

    • December 13, 2013

      I can soooo relate to your experience with friends Sylviane. I couple of years ago I actually found myself sadly letting go of a long time friendship because this person’s whole world had come to revolve around her age and every ache and pain – which no doubt were magnified by her constant focus. I found myself so depressed every time I was with her I finally had to let the friendship go. Thanks for taking the time to contribute to the conversation. And now, I’m going to jump over and read your article because it looks really, really interesting. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  19. December 12, 2013

    Marty,

    I felt uplifted and inspired by this post, reminding me to keep a postive attitude not so much for others, but for my own health and well being. And it might even add to my own longevity. I feel so much better when I look at the bright side of whatever is currently bogging me down in life. We keep thinking there is a goal, some place to get to, so we get upset and frustrated by moments that seem to be slowing us down. But the true goal of life is to slow down, live in the moment and smell the roses – or find the roses when none seem to be blooming.

    I linked to your post in my recent article about overcoming the holiday blues. Attitude is essential.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..

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    • December 13, 2013

      Welcome back Dr. Erica! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the article, and I’d like to encourage readers to hop over and check out your article. It is equally inspiring.
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

  20. December 11, 2013

    Hello Marty! Yes I did find this article to be very inspiring! We do have the choice to do what ever we want in life your stories above prove this to be true.. Thank You so much for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Fighting Age From The Inside Out With The Ageless RevolutionMy Profile

  21. December 11, 2013

    This immediately reminds me of a wonderful quote:

    You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

    I have felt those physical twinges, reminders that my body doesn’t quite rebound the way it has in the past. However, I have never let that stop me from pursuing whatever it is that my heart desires. As you have so aptly stated, sometimes it is the perception of our mental being as opposed to our physical being that limits our accomplishments as we age.

    It is truly amazing how our thoughts create our reality. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to keep those thoughts positive :-)
    Dave recently posted..Breaking rulesMy Profile

  22. December 11, 2013

    Marquita, what a delightful surprise! Both Lorraine (the writer of the “Life is Good” post) and I are over the moon excited that you cared to share this form the Bliss Habits blog!

    I like to think of myself as keeping a young mindset but if I am to be honest with myself there are a few things I’ve put aside that I just might need to consider again. Starting ballet at 79… that is so inspiring! Thank you.
    Kathy from Bliss Habits recently posted..Life Is GoodMy Profile

    • December 13, 2013

      Thanks for stopping by Kathy and for all you do at Bliss Habits to inspire your readers! Glad you liked the article – and yes, please do dust off any dreams and goal you’ve set aside thinking it was too late. It’s never too late if you want it bad enough. :-)
      Marquita Herald recently posted..Your Attitude May be Aging YouMy Profile

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