“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
There is a general misconception that unless we have achieved “overnight success” in our chosen field by the time we are in our late 20s, we have somehow missed the boat. Tom Butler-Bowdon who is famous for writing summaries of classics in the fields of self-help, business, psychology and spirituality has written a fascinating book which turns this idea on its head. The book Never Too Late To Be Great focuses on the idea of slow-cooked success and argues that contrary to what we might think people actually need a long time to realise their true potential. Tom Butler-Bowdon makes the point that given advances in healthcare most people live well in to their eighties in rude health. This means that we have on average a productive adult lifespan of 60 years (from 20 to 80) in which we have plenty time to realise our dreams and have much more time than… Read the rest...
I have just finished reading a fascinating book called Aging Well by George E. Vaillant M.D. who is the Director of the Harvard study of Adult Development. This longitudinal study has been able to follow the developmental stages of three different cohorts of adults over a lifetime (the Harvard Grant Cohort, the Inner City Cohort and the Terman Women Sample) and has been able to offer a unique insight into what leads to a successful ageing process over an individual’s lifetime.
Based on the research of Erik Erikson, the Harvard study of Adult Development, has been able to identify six tasks of adulthood which are often sequential but not necessarily so. For this reason George Vaillant refers to these developmental milestones as tasks rather than stages as not everyone goes through every stage in an orderly fashion and everyone does not fulfill every task.
Dan Buettner, a National Geographic writer and explorer, has travelled the world to discover the secrets to living a long and happy life. Dan Buettner teamed up with the National Geographic and the American National Institute on Aging to find areas of the world which demonstrated remarkable longevity so that we can learn from these vitality “hotspots” what the inhabitants of these areas do differently. These areas have been named Blue Zones and have become the subjects of Dan’s two best-selling books, The Blue Zones and Thrive, which uncover the well-being and happiness secrets of these remarkable people.
The Danish Twin Study has demonstrated that only about 10 percentof how long an average person lives is dictated by genes.The other 90 percent is dictated by lifestyle so the Blue Zones study was an attempt to find a formula for the optimal lifestyle for longevity. It is actually very hard to live to 100+… Read the rest...
This interesting article from the BBC News looks at how our happiness levels change over our lifetimes. The article is based on the research of neuroscientist, and author of The Optimism Bias, Tali Sharot.
Viewpoint: How happiness changes with age
When it comes to happiness, it seems that the young and the old have the secret. And it turns out what’s true for humans is also true for our primate cousins, explains neuroscientist Tali Sharot.
How does happiness change with age?
Most people assume that as children we live a carefree existence, then we go through the miserable confusion of teenage years (“Who am I?”) but regain happiness once we figure it all out and settle down, only to then grow grumpy and lonely with every additional wrinkle and grey hair.
Well, this is utterly wrong.
It turns out that happiness is indeed high in youth, but declines steadily hitting rock bottom in our mid-40s – midlife crisis, anyone? … Read the rest...
This is a really inspiring video about positive aging by Dr Charles Eugster – I urge you to watch it and to check out his website which gives you more information about this remarkable man. If you were planning to spend the weekend relaxing on the couch, watching this TEDx talk might just change your mind. Enjoy.
Why bodybuilding at age 93 is a great idea: Charles Eugster at TEDx Zurich
Want to live to a ripe old age? Having a positive outlook on life maybe the key to doing just that. The article below from CBS News looks at how optimism can lead to longevity. The TEDxWomen talk below by psychologist Laura Carstensen shows that not only does being optimistic make you live longer, but research shows that you also become happier and more content as you get older and are likely to have a more positive outlook on the world. Living to an old age does not mean that your quality of life has to diminish, on the contrary it is likely to increase. Enjoy the article and the video and let me know what you think.
Researchers discover optimism may lead to longevity
The secret to a long life may be something as simple as a sunny disposition.
In a study published in the journal Ageing on May 21, researchers surveyed people who were over the age of 95 and found that most of them had positive personality traits, making them upbeat and relaxed
The longevity revolution: within this generation, an extra 30 years have been added to our life expectancy — and these years aren’t just a footnote or a pathology. At TEDxWomen, Jane Fonda asks how we can think about this new phase of our lives. Her TEDx talk looks at the third act of life and asks how can we be happy in the last 30 years of our life.
Happiness is not just for the young – you can be happy and live a fulfilled life at any age. If you have a passion and devote time and energy to pursuing something you love you can be happy at any age. Edith McAlllister is a wonderful example of someone who is not prepared to let her age get in the way of following her passion. She is an inspiration. Enjoy the video.