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As someone who has made some drastic changes in my own life, I feel I can speak on this topic. I’m almost 40, which isn’t too old, but I’m no spring chicken. And yet, I kind of feel like one. Here are some tricks I use to feel youthful.

Only As Old As You Feel

As with many other things, you only notice what you pay attention to.  Changing the words you use is a small, easy way to change your outlook. Try to pay attention to how often you complain, what you complain about and other feelings you have about your current life situation. Are all those feelings useful? When you think of doing something is the first thought in your head “I can’t. I am too old.”?

“Most individuals slip unaware into that narrow silo that defines them as a caricature of their former selves. Develop good habits of self-assessment, and pay attention to other people’s reactions to you that might inform you about how you have begun to move backward in life.” Dr. Michael Merzenich, Soft-Wired

Spend some time each day reflecting on yourself and what you’d like to improve. If you are aware of what needs to change, the more likely you are to change. Instead of worrying about what you can’t do. Focus on what you can.

Learn A New Skill

In many cases, we stop learning once we have finished school – typically because it’s not really necessary in our minds. This is unfortunate as our very hungry brains need that stimulation. They have vast potential that effectively gets wasted if it isn’t put to use.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been unable to because of other priorities? Now is a perfect time. Maybe you’ve retired. Great! Have you always been curious about martial arts? Do you want to be a concert violinist? There’s really nothing stopping you.

If you are curious about a topic, the library is a good place to start.

Working Out

Intense exercise is a key pillar to remaining youthful. Don’t be scared by that word “intense”, though. Intensity is a very personal thing. Also, intensity is something that builds up gradually as you improve.

Passive forms of exercise are good for getting the blood moving, but really won’t benefit your brain and body the way an active program would.

When you take a walk, change your route. Try taking a hike in nature if possible.

Weight lifting is a great form of exercise. It can be intimidating, but start small. Make it challenging. Talk to a personal trainer or get a book on the subject.

Whatever you choose, the key is intention.

 

Before you write yourself off as being too old to do anything, consider these cases:

Jiro Ono – An 85-year-old chef who operates a Michelin three-star restaurant in a Tokyo subway station (see Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

Seymour Bernstein – An 89-year-old piano teacher and composer (see Seymour: An Introduction)

Fumio Demura – A 77-year-old 9th dan (level) karate instructor (see The Real Miyagi)

Kimani Maruge – At 84 years old, Kimani became the oldest person ever to attend primary school (see The First Grader)

Doris Self – At age 58, Doris became recognized as the world’s oldest video game champion (see The King of Kong)

Caroll Spinney – Carroll is an 82-year-old puppeteer. He brought life to – and continues to play – the characters of Big Bird and Oscar on Sesame Street (see I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story)

Ernestine Shepherd – The world’s oldest female bodybuilder at 80 (see World’s Fittest Grandma Bodybuilder)

There are many more examples if you just look for them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. If there are other tactics you use to stay youthful, you are most welcome to share them in the comments here.

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