by: Gary Grossman
Many years ago, I learned: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!” I refuse to waste mine. On December 25, 2007, I turned 60. I have just begun to actively live and enjoy the rest of my life. In this article, I will share some important discoveries about what you need to do to live the successful active life that you deserve.
I have learned that we have few guarantees in life. The most important guarantee is that we have Choice. Choice about how we participate in our life. We can react well or poorly, with a smile and optimism or with anger and pessimism. We all are guaranteed 24 hours per day. No one gets more; no one gets less. We cannot stop the clock. Aging well is within our grasp, aging isn’t!
“…..there’s one diabolical factor that does more to kill achievement, smother success, cripple happiness and castrate prosperity- than anything else you can imagine. That dastardly culprit is poor health.”
You have heard it all before: we need to take care of ourselves with proper nutrition and hydration, clean air to breathe and exercise. In addition, we need a good dose of spirituality to temper our humility and stress, to keep all our parts working properly. Keeping your brain alert and figuring out how to do all of this is the most difficult task of all. You “gotta” eliminate excuses, develop a plan of your choosing and stick to it for the rest of your life. Keeping yourself motivated and active is the secret to your success. Stop moving and it all comes to an end.
I recommend that you develop a positive clear life plan and dedicate the rest of your life to following it. Once you have the plan, choosing the details about how to live your life becomes much easier.
Here are some ideas that might be useful to you.
• Greet your day with a smile on your face, with yesterday done, your present and future having just begun.
A positive attitude goes along way to helping you get along. Smiles and happiness are good. Hopefully you will CHOOSE to start today, right NOW, with a smile on your face. Before you can begin to take care of today, to wake up with a smile on your face, with passion, clarity and conviction, you need to know what you want, what you are proud of and what you want to keep that is worth keeping. You need to de-clutter: to get rid of the rest!
• Know that opportunities, that you create, await you; that your spark is self-lit.
Now that you have begun to get rid of your past clutter, you can begin to focus on the positive and on the present. You need to believe that you can create positive opportunities for most of what you want; that you can maintain and sustain your self-lit spark even through adversity. You have that choice. You can figure out the “Whats”, “Hows”, “Whens”, “Wheres” and with “Whoms” necessary to deal with these choices. Knowing this is powerful and essential to creating, maintaining, sustaining and truly living your active life your way. My recommendation is to first work on those obvious aspects of life that you have a lot of control over, choice about and success with; e.g. de-clutter, then eat, rest, sleep, relax, work, share etc. Focus on the less obvious later. They will be clearer then.
• Develop, maintain and succeed at your loftiest goals and dreams.
I believe that with a realistic Plan and Lots of Support you can succeed at most anything you choose. I believe that by making the Plan as real as you can, you can Participate and find out what went well, what didn’t and can begin to speculate about how to improve your life. You can talk with and Debrief about what happened with trustworthy others. You can then Plan again for next time, all the while getting closer to living out the ideals of your loftiest goals and dreams.
• Design your environment to have people, places and things profoundly support, stimulate and inspire you. You need to work The Law of Attraction.
• Trust your intuition and your self, trusting complementary others will cooperate and support you in complementary ways.
“Either you are creating your life or the circumstances are.”
The Law of Attraction states that you attract who you are and how you are, both the good and the bad. You have choice. You can attract winners or losers, people who support you and/or people who don’t, people who like you for who you are and/or people who have a need to criticize you and/or want to change you, people who want you to succeed and people who don’t. You can choose positive relationships: complementary others who are capable and willing to participate with you in complementary ways. Do it while you can. Toxic relationships suck you dry. Sometimes you have to find that support outside of your family. People are ready to help you if you allow them to.
• Create enough energy to do whatever you want to, whenever you want to by taking care of your physical, spiritual and emotional health, eating right and exercising properly.
I finally decided to do something about caring for my health: to have a body to die for instead of to die from! I made a discovery, the personal discovery that I am worth it. If I am to succeed at my life my way, then I need my health and fitness to get me there because without it, I won’t. I go to the gym and follow the advice of a nutritionist. I don’t smoke or do drugs and drink alcohol rarely. I de-stress regularly and purposefully. I sharpen my mind by learning from those wiser than I am, challenging myself with new thoughts, reaffirming old ones. I am confident enough to be humble, reverent that my powers and abilities are limited but that my Choices and Motivation are open ended. I invest time in my self and as a result, feel better, look better and have incredible energy to spare. How about you? I believe you can too. You must build your health and fitness plan into your committed positive life plan. Thinking about it isn’t enough.
• Integrate work, play, learning and growth. They can all be one.
If you are still working and enjoying it, great, if not, please volunteer, mentor, keep busy, doing what you love to do. Read, be around people and join a church, synagogue, activities group or club. Different retirement communities offer classes in music appreciation, and art. Join a chorus, sing, dance, learn the computer and/or play video games. There are professional people available to help you if you are willing to take that first step. Many municipalities provide economical and accessible resources for community activities and classes. They have catalogues that offer a variety of stimulating classes including exercise classes. Art museums, Town Hall meetings and local libraries all have ongoing programs for senior citizens. There are senior mentor programs in the local elementary schools to teach children how to read. The local hospitals hold at least monthly health education workshops. Check the local television and radio stations; they have useful information and lists of community activities and services.
• Choreograph your day so that you have all the time you need, to do and be, whatever matters most to you. Ready/Fire/Aim at your priorities.
• Finish what you start on time and with the original joy that inspired “It”.
You should live your life in pencil with a big eraser available at all times. Do everything you can to follow the schedule you set, but be willing to change, as your priorities and responsibilities dictate. Your responsibility is to succeed at fulfilling your obligations to your self and others. You can’t do this without a predictable, clear plan with obvious steps and the time commitments necessary to fulfill them.
Steps to completion are important. They must be clear, with an appropriate beginning, middle and end. The more that you set up the What you need to do, the How you need to do it, the When, the Where and the Who you need to do it with, so that you have no doubt about the order of events, the greater the opportunity you have to succeed and sustain your energy throughout the process.
• Enjoy, laugh and play with your “truly” significant others. Fun energizes.
You need to take care of your commitments to your self and your complementary others first. Only then do you have the pure, free, voluntary, committed, non-distracted energy to enjoy, laugh, and play with your “truly” significant others. Fun energizes and you need to play, laugh, feel connected and relax daily to truly succeed. You need to assure yourself of fun caring people in your life. Sharing positive energies is essential to a complementary lifestyle. Loneliness kills your spirit.
• Create your life to have everything that you want and nothing that you don’t want as much as humanly possible. Sometimes life throws curveballs, you can hit your pitch: strikes.
If you hold yourself responsible to do your best, no more, no less, you have the greatest opportunities of succeeding. If you know your abilities and your limitations, you can make good choices. You can work with complementary others to help you accomplish whatever you can’t do on your own. You can also do your best to help them succeed too. By respecting and including their complementary participation, you can develop and maintain synergistic relationships full of personal and mutual well being.
• Operate from your passion, your mission and your positive life plan! This isn’t easy. It needs to be more than an idea that was presented by someone else!
Your positive life plan needs to become your personal guide, your mission, your passion, your code of ethics and your non-negotiable deal with yourself and with and to others. It is selfish without being selfless. When your selfishness includes the unabashed need to serve others in complementary ways that creates Win/Wins for all of you, you can lead and follow and get and give and take and serve all at the same time. Wow, that’s powerful.
• Give back to others so you can sleep through the night like a baby; awakening to another day’s opportunity!
It’s legacy time in my life. How do you want to be remembered and cared for? Address it now. Avoidance leads to missing choices and opportunities and can result in chaos.
I am realistic enough to know that there will never be a plan, a system that creates and controls the “perfect life”. You can, however, always strive to do whatever you can to succeed. You cannot complete everything today. You can only complete everything that you intended to and planned for, everything that you can possibly do by yourself and with the help of others. You need to schedule the rest for later. So list your intentions and prioritize them. By doing this, you can create successful opportunities to accomplish the achievable today and then, as necessary, the achievable tomorrow, the next day and into your active future. I believe you can do this if you want to badly enough.
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