In our previous Wisdom Note, we explored 9 moments that bring happiness. These bits of wisdom help us to live a rich and satisfying life while creating a living legacy. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to the blog to read past newsletters.
Although I am in my 60s now, it is hard to believe, as I do not feel that I have lived that many years. With the advancement of medical care and the ability to stay fit and trim, many of us may be able to live another 60 or more years. If that is the case, I am barely middle age. There are certain practices that we can take advantage of that will help us to stay young much longer. There are certain habits or character traits that will help you to feel and stay young. On our trail today we will explore and examine…
9 Ways to Stay Young
Youth is wasted on the young—or at least, that’s what has been declared, but it would be a travesty if it were true. Youth is not only a time of life; it’s also a state of mind. Paula and I often speak about how we still feel that we are in our 30s. We do still consider ourselves young—and we intend to stay that way.
You can have a youthful outlook and attitude at an older age, or an old-fogey attitude at a young age. The choice is yours. Want to stay young at heart and mind? Here are a few ideas to help you:
1. Keep only cheerful, positive friends.
You can pick your friends, and I like to choose those who are positive and those who challenge me. They make me feel good. They don’t drag me down or make me angry at the world. Negative people see the difficulty in every opportunity while positive people see the opportunity in every difficulty. We need to be choosy of who we become close friends with or spend a lot of time with. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
2. Keep learning.
I think Henry Ford put it best when he said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” You should consider that you are a disciple all of your life. Never stop learning.
3. Enjoy the simple things.
Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the things that you like to do—go for a walk or to the movies, read a good book, watch a favorite TV show, or spend time with your family. To stay young, you have to have a good balance in life.
4. Laugh often.
Starting your day with a good laugh, or, at least, a big smile, is as beneficial to your health as it is to your mood. Scientific studies have concluded that laughter benefits the heart, lungs, stomach, and other organs. It relaxes tension, changes attitude, and increases the body’s natural painkillers. Plus, it has no harmful side effects.
5. Stay in shape.
Exercise is good for your mind as well as your body. Studies show that healthy employees have decreased absenteeism, improved performance, and improved morale. I’ve always felt that a healthy life is a dynamic life.
The human body is the only machine that wears out faster if it is not used. Cherish your health. If you’re healthy, do what you can to preserve it. If your health is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
6. Be happy.
You are responsible for your own happiness. We sometimes convince ourselves that life will be better after we get a better job, make more money, get married, have a baby, or buy a bigger house. Yet the accomplishment of any of those events might not make any difference at all. If you are not happy with the stuff you have now, you will never be happy with more stuff. There is no magic secret to happiness, but it starts in your head.
7. Don’t stress out.
You can’t escape stress, but you can avoid creating unnecessary anxiety. You just need to find a stress reliever. Mine is running, working on renovating The Big House, and working on the lawn. If the stress just doesn’t go away, then you have to make some changes in your life that might be more stressful in the short term but healthier in the long run. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
8. Don’t take guilt trips.
I remember a story about the worry tree. At night, an accountant would go home from work and place all his worries on a tree in his front yard. The next morning he would pick up those worries on his way to work, but surprisingly, they weren’t as heavy the next day. Taking trips can be enjoyable, but stay off the guilt trips.
9. Visualize yourself as youthful and with endless energy.
I learned years ago that visualization through life planning is the most powerful means of attaining personal goals. Visionaries can achieve whatever they want by determining a plan to attain it and expecting positive results. Visualization doesn’t do the planning, and it doesn’t anticipate the obstacles. But, it gives you a real idea of what is possible, if you want it bad enough. Vision is not so much what you think as how you think. If you can visualize it, you can make it happen. If you have a vision to build a house, you must take care of the preliminary requirements before beginning as it tells us in Proverbs 24:27, “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.”
Harvey MacKay put it into perspective, “If you want to stay youthful, stay useful.”
Along our trek today, we learned the 9 ways that will help you stay young. As we hike our next trail, we will search for the 9 signposts to turn endings into new beginnings. In addition to our Wisdom Notes, encourage your friends and family to also join us on our daily podcast for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.