What determines who you are, where you are in your life, and where you’re going?
Your age isn’t the primary factor. How many people do you know that are just like you because they are the same age as you? There’s a lot more at play here. Defining yourself in terms of chronological age is an outdated habit that won’t help you create the life you want. It’s like keeping one foot on the brake while your pressing down on the gas.
Let’s take baby boomers as an example. There is really no such thing. Sociologists, demographers, and the media define baby boomers as people born between (and including) 1946 and 1964. That means one alleged baby boomer is 65 while another is only 47. One could be retired while the other is climbing mountains. One could be having a first child while the other is becoming a great grandparent.
The 47 year old could be retired AND starting a new family. The 65 year old could be climbing mountains and becoming a great grandparent for the first time. Think about it.
Age is not the point. The obesity epidemic isn’t driven by age. The explosion of yoga classes isn’t driven by age. The statistically huge shift away from the “traditional” family isn’t driven by age. The need for meaning throughout our lives isn’t driven by age.
The real emerging standards for high quality, successful lives between 50 and elderly are:
- active engagement; and
- social agility/adaptability
I’d like to clarify an important point here, why I keep saying between 50 and elderly. We know a lot about what a 5 year old has to be good at as she gets older: 10, 15, and 20 years…and we can help her get there. We know a lot about the kinds of support and services that are needed for the elderly (defined as when people can no longer fully self-manage).
What we are beginning to create now is what we need for our lives between 50 and elderly. This applies to each of us an individuals and to society as a whole.
Now is the time to take a clear look at the paradigms, language, and images we’re stuck in and that don’t work for us anymore. Now is the time to shift the paradigms and create new language and mindsets that work for all of us.
It’s an investment of time, energy, money, and effort in ourselves that we deserve and is critical to a high quality of life for all of us.
Where do we start? Let’s start by stopping…
Let’s stop defining ourselves by age alone.
Take an honest look at your life and experience: What are the paradigms, language, and images that you’re stuck in? How about society? If you could change one thing, what would it be?