How to live better is a question we all should continue to ask ourselves. Aging well depends on updating your answers every year instead of maintaining the status quo.
Sometimes its fear of a threat that gets us moving; “You are on the verge of being diabetic” my doctor said 2 years ago. I now exercise seriously 6 or 7 days a week.
Keeping your body moving is important. Movement is the secret to aging well. I love work because it keeps my brain going. Keep your life moving because this is how to live better & how to achieve personal growth.
Routine can be deadening. Except for flossing & garbage day try to mix things up a bit. How to live better? Get out of your comfort zone; do something that takes courage every year.
How to live better? BE UNCOMFORTABLE
Sign up for a class or a teacher that scares you. Volunteer & deal with your awkwardness, instead of letting it stop you. Try a different church or a different religion. Walk in a different neighborhood. Try a new skill like kayaking. Go somewhere where everyone is a stranger.
It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone of blood connections or on the couch in front of the t.v. It’s easy to make excuses & avoid the discomfort of new beginnings. Your world soooo easily becomes too small because of fear & deflection. This is giving up on personal growth.
Movement of all kinds is the answer of how to live better & how to be a better person.
Curiosity & excitement lead to movement in new directions. The brain loves novelty! Sniff out some new possibilities. If you don’t understand contemporary art try a docent tour. Don’t allow fear of your own awkwardness or stupidity squelch ideas.
Dread & exaggerated fears of uncertainty prevent movement & personal growth. It is impossible to grow without being uncomfortable. You were uncomfortable the first time you played Red Rover, rode a bike, tried to speak another language, produced the noise of music or do anything brand new.
Moving towards a larger world requires openness & a willingness to experiment. I went to a 3 day workshop in DC with David Schnarch of The Marriage & Family Health Center. It was the best workshop I’ve attended since 1980. It was scary good because I was challenged to be uncomfortable. At my age it would be easy to rest on my laurels & I won’t.
In conclusion I want to quote from Gail Godwin’s novel The Finishing School:
There are two kinds of people…One kind, you can tell just by looking at them at what point they congealed into themselves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keeps moving, changing. With these people you can never say, “X stops here,” or “Now I know all there is to know about Y.” That doesn’t mean that they are unstable. Ah, far from it. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion they are the only people still alive.”
“The most visible creators I know of are those artists whose medium is life itself”, my dear friend Patrick (pictured above) said, before he died at 40 more than 20 years ago.