Age doesn’t matter when it comes to developing the attitude of being an explorer. Adventure is most often associated with youth. Let’s not, however, confuse inexperience with adventure. To be an explorer of life is to see life as an adventure versus a chore or time served on the planet. I know adventurers who are 9 and those who are in their 90s. The choice is yours.
My friend Mel Kaufman is 93 and he’s a remarkable explorer with the wit to match. Mel writes short stories that are long on wisdom and insight. Many of you downloaded The Kaufman Christmas Collection for free … and it’s still for free. (Hint!)
After my On-Purpose Minute, How Do You Manage Disappointment, Mel wrote me the following: “Disappointments are like failure; they are of no value unless we learn from them. Henny Youngman said, ‘I went to a psychiatrist and finally found my self. I was very disappointed.’” Now there’s a lesson and a laugh. It doesn’t get much better!
Cultivating a spirit of curiosity about the world is a noble endeavor, but don’t forget yourself. The better you know who you are the richer that journey beyond you will be and become. The ultimate exploration is to know oneself because in the process of that journey you’ll face some very challenging ordeals (Hey, it’s an adventure!) that will clarify your thinking and provoke your beliefs. To understand your design, you’ll look into the mind and heart of the Designer. Wow!
Some Quotes on Exploring
“We must develop a compelling vision of later life: one that does not assume a trajectory of decline after fifty, but one that recognizes it as a time of change, growth, and new learning, a time when our courage gives us hope.”
Author: The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure
“We are here to be excited from youth to old age, to have an insatiable curiosity about the world. Aldous Huxley once said that to carry the spirit of the child into old age is the secret of genius. And I buy that.
“We are also here to genuinely, humbly, and sincerely help others by practicing a friendly attitude. And every person is born for a purpose. Everyone has a God-given potential, in essence, built into them. And if we are to realize life to its fullest, we must realize that potential.”
The photo to the right is not Norman Vincent Peale. It is Mr. Six of Six Flags. I want to meet him! Dig the shoes! Watch him in action! (He’s actually an actor not a real old guy but you get the point about the attitude.)
The aging process is inevitable. How we age, however, is significantly within our control. Just because you might be part of an “aging population,” such as the Baby Boomers, it doesn’t mean that you are over the hill, washed up, and done for. Heck, you’re finally better equipped than ever.
Keith Lawrence is the co-author of Your Retirement Quest. Keith has been researching and advising those approaching and in retirement. Here is a fascinating chart Keith and his co-author Alan Spector developed about various types of Retirement Quests. Why wait to get started until you are retired or in assisted living to begin your Retirement Quest? Discover your Retirement Quest today regardless of what decade of life you are in.
I regularly visit my Mom who is 87. This affords me the honor to meet her friends, many of whom are well into their 90s, even a couple in their 100s. One learns a lot from being with this Greatest Generation in this independent living facility. They’re an interested lot who read, discuss, debate, and embrace life. One observation I’ve had about this vital group—they aren’t the grumpy old people so often portrayed. They’re vibrant, interested, and interesting. As Peale recommends, they’ve carried a youthful curiosity into their advanced years.
Another observation I’ve had about the 80+ crowd is that they’re generally thin and at a healthy weight. The general U.S. population has 2 out of 3 of us being obese or overweight. My guesstimate of this group is they’re just the opposite — only 1 in 3 are overweight or obese. Chances are the consequences of the excess weight in their peers brought about an early demise.
Begin by discovering who you really are. Retirement age is not mandated by an employer or the government; it comes when we decide to stop discovering who we really are and what we are capable of achieving even to our death bed. Those who never tire of learning, never retire.