Chapter 8: ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS
“The greatest revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James
Too many who retire also retire their minds. Easy thing to do — kicking back and taking life easy. I encourage you to do so — to a point! Relaxing is one thing, vegetating mentally is quite another. The slogan, “Use it or lose it” really applies when we stop our regular job.
Now is an excellent time to reframe our thinking into positive directions. Start each day thinking about an issue that you have some degree of control over. Tap into the deep reservoir of your ability and desire to deal with it. Set a few meaningful goals and focus on them with emotion for a few minutes each morning. With consistency, this can become an excellent habit of keeping you focused, leading to a very happy, productive, satisfying retirement.
We all age. It is how we age, however, that determines the quality of our lives in retirement. People with stronger positive emotions have a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and illness.
It is incredibly freeing and empowering to know that we can play a significant role in our health in the future. No longer do we have to feel doomed by such statements as, “Your parents and grandparents died of cancer, so just be prepared.” Wow! Some freedom for a change!
The flip side to that freedom is responsibility. Now that we know that we can really make a difference in our health, our lives, and our future, we have to rethink all our attitudes and approaches to it.
David Kekich, in Life Extension Express, his monumental book on aging, talked about how a sense of purpose improves your outlook on life. Without that clear sense of purpose, living a successful, long life may turn out to be an “empty dream.” He suggested that you choose a mentor with experience living a long and successful life to guide you. Pick their brains and follow their example, adapting it to your life.
Do you have a mentor or partner to encourage your mind program?