1. They live with compassion (for themselves).
2. They watch their language.
No, not that language! Use profanity all you want, especially when your joints hurt, or your sciatic nerve is screaming. I’m talking about what you say to yourself about yourself. Our culture is full of messages that aging is bad. Ashton Applewhite commented that, ironically, “older adults themselves [can be] the worst ageists.”
3. They absolutely love their body.
As you age, it’s tempting to berate whichever body part has “betrayed” you by starting to sag, wrinkle, or give out. If you’re like me, you took your body for granted for most of your life.
Having your eyesight now become weak, your waistline steadily expand, or even losing some of your hearing feels like an insult. But science tells us that focusing on those losses and blaming your body actually may make things worse. And here we come back to compassion.
4. They remain curious and cultivate a “growth mindset.”
Sure, you know a lot, but it’s still only a drop in the ocean of what there is to learn. As we age, our brains become less suited to acquire new knowledge — like a foreign language (although that’s not impossible!). But our brains are incredibly well-tuned to make connections. Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
5. They maintain a fulfilling sex life.
I recently read about a 75-year-old woman who, widowed after a long and successful marriage, finally discovered passionate sex with a new partner. It shocked her so much that she went into therapy. At 75, she finally felt free enough to actually enjoy sex. And she’s not alone.