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Positive Aging Quotes

Celebs and others weigh in on how to get the best out of later life

It ought to be taken as a given that aging is a fact of life, so we might as well make it as positive as possible. Many people do not feel that way, though, and we live in a youth-obsessed culture, as Oprah Winfrey has put it. But taking a negative view of aging is just wrong. We have to embrace aging and turn it into the best positive of all. Many people who have aged before us have paved the way, becoming models we can all learn from. Everybody should be aging positively — and why not? Being afraid of aging and even death often makes us afraid of life. And how wrong is that?

Here is a look at some of the best minds of the past and present who are showing us all the way to age positively.

 

How to age positively

We live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and we’re not glowing, and we’re not hot, that we don’t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I don’t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable. Whether you get the lesson is really up to you.

Oprah Winfrey on aging

 

Live with courage and hope

In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber.  So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage – so long are you young.  When the wires are all down and our heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old.

Douglas MacArthur on Aging

 

Measure success by one thing: how many people love you

When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you…If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.

Warren Buffett on Aging

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest.

John Glenn on aging

 

Keep working

Work helps prevent one from getting old. I, for one, cannot dream of retiring… The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age. Each day I am reborn. Each day I must begin again.

Pablo Cassals on aging

 

Keep learning

Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, ‘I’m going to be 30—oh, what am I going to do?’ Well, use that decade! Use them all!

Betty White on the right attitude toward aging

 

Keep growing

There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience. Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.

 

Keep playing

We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

Shaw: we grow old because we stop playing

 

You can always continue maturing

Maturity is not a static arrived platform, where life is viewed from a calm, untouched oasis of wisdom, but a living elemental frontier between what has happened, what is happening now and the consequences of that past and present; first imagined and then lived into the waiting future. Maturity calls us to risk ourselves as much as immaturity, but for a bigger picture, a larger horizon; for a powerfully generous outward incarnation of our inward qualities and not for gains that make us smaller, even in the winning.

David Whyte on maturity

 

Dispel myths about aging and about youth

There are six myths about old age: 1. That it’s a disease, a disaster. 2. That we are mindless. 3. That we are sexless. 4. That we are useless. 5. That we are powerless. 6. That we are all alike.

Maggie Kuhn: six myths about aging

 

Don't believe that your age means much

I just don't think of age and time in repect of years. I have too much experience of people in their seventies who are vigorous and useful, and people who are thirty-five, who are in lousy physical shape and can't think straight. I don't think age has that much to do with it.

Harrison Ford on how to think (or not think) about age

The past does not equal the future…. Most people think, the past equals the future. Of course it does—if you live there!

 

You're not aging, you're becoming who you really are

If you are pining for youth I think it produces a stereotypical old man because you only live in memory, you live in a place that doesn’t exist. Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.
David Bowie on positive aging

 

The whole of the life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to him [or her] self; indeed, we should be fully born when we die — although its is the tragic fate of most individuals to die before they are born.
Erich Fromm on the purpose of life






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