Hello everyone and welcome to episode 114, “Learn how to Age Well in 2021.”
Before we get started
Several weeks ago a family friend stopped over to our house, and on her way out the door, she said, “Oh, by the way, I listened to your podcast this morning [episode 109, Rekindle Relationships by Remembering]. It made me feel guilty about a friend of mine who lost her husband a year ago. So I called her to set up a time to get together. Thank you.”
This was certainly encouraging to know. I hope others of you are remembering a key event or two in the life of your friends and then taking action on what you remember to rekindle or deepen your relationship with that person.
On to today's program
Last week’s episode, number 113, Our Choices Define Us, Not Our Personality was a review of Benjamin Hardy’s book, Personality Isn’t Permanent. In his book there is a 6-word paragraph that I’ve been thinking about all week that I’m making the subject of today’s episode. Those six words?
“People become old far too fast”
Keep listening to hear what we can do to keep from becoming old far too fast.
People become old far too fast
To put this six-word paragraph into its context, I’ll read a brief section from Hardy’s book:
“As a person ages, they tend to stop engaging in new situations, experiences, and environments. In other words, people’s personalities become increasingly consistent because they stop putting themselves in new contexts. p. 200.
“By the time a person reaches their thirties, they stop having as many ‘first experiences,’ as an example, first time driving, first job, first big failure, etc.
“As people age, they become increasingly less open to having new experiences. They stop surrounding themselves with new types of people. They stop engaging in new roles and in new environments. New challenges aren't taken on anymore. They stop experiencing new emotions.
“People become old far too fast.”
Don’t avoid the “new”
The operative word in his comments is “new.” The author writes how people who become old far too fast avoid “new.” By my count he uses the word “new” eight times in the section I just read.
I don’t know about you, but I wonder if this is true for me, too. Do I avoid “new”?
Because truth be told, I’m a fan of “old.” Old ways of doing things. Familiar foods, familiar clothes, familiar people. Old ways of dealing with life that I think have served me well.
But maybe I’m missing something. How about you? Maybe we all need a little more “new” in our lives to age well.
Hmm. If you’re with me on this, I’d like to suggest we focus on just one new thing to keep us from becoming old far too fast.
It’s this: learn one new skill. And that skill would be INVESTING. Yes, investing. Not investing money, but investing in ourselves, and investing in others
Investing in ourselves
- In my twenties, during my high school teaching days, I would spend an hour a week on my future. Started with anticipating my future as a teacher. MS in counseling that led to something totally away from my intended goal
- Benjamin Hardy, the author of Personality isn’t Permanent would call it investing in my “future self.” The person I want to be
- We can invest in ourselves by reading
- Be open to new relationships to age well in 2021
- Learning new relationship skills, such as listening. How to ask questions. How to fight the urge to fill the airwaves with the sound of our voice
- Make room for God in ways you haven't before. Make room for him
- We can invest in ourselves by studying the Bible to learn how to be more kind, compassionate, and patient with one another
- Another way we can invest in ourselves is to acknowledge our fears and practice trusting people more. And God more, too.
- Listen to episodes 11-14 about the four levels of relationship skill. I’ll have a link to them in the show notes.
Investing in others
- When you invest money, you expect a return on your investment. You expect to get something back. It’s not always that way with relationships
- Invest in people without any exception of a return on your investment
- Quote from basketball coaching legend, John Wooden, who said, “You haven't had a perfect day until you've done something for someone who can never repay you.”
- Being with kids keeps you from aging too fast
- Teachers and others who work with kids have a great opportunity to invest in others
- Mr. Littaritz’s funeral, June 19, 2021. Most of his 87 years on earth were spent investing in others, namely teenagers
So what does all this mean for YOU?
How can you use what you’ve heard today to improve the relationships in YOUR life? Here are a few ideas:
- Invest in others. Example: Mr. Littaritz. He prepared his students for the draft, running his P.E. class like boot camp. The marching, the barking at students. And at times with a smirk afterward
- Invest in yourself to age well. Devout an hour a week for your future like I did in my 20s
- Colossians 3:10 “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
- Learning to know your creator and becoming like him is a great way to invest in yourself.
Here’s the main point I hope you remember from today’s episode
We can age well by investing in our self and in others. It keeps our focus more on the new and less on the old. And it prevents us from aging faster than we should.
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. Just send them to me in an email to john [at] caringforothers [dot] org. Or you can share your thoughts in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes.
In closing, if you found this podcast helpful, please subscribe if you haven’t already done so. Feel free to forward this episode to others you think might be interested in today’s content.
I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.
Well, that’s all for today. I look forward to connecting with you again next week. Goodbye for now.
Related resources you may want to check out
Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s book, Personality Isn’t permanent
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