If you’re in your 20s, you’ve likely heard it. If you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s you’ve more than likely said it…a few times.
We hit 40 and suddenly we find ourselves slowing down, gaining weight and losing muscle tone. We’re less energized than a few short years ago and our libido – well, let’s just say it’s not what it was when we were in our 20s.
Are the majority of those symptoms the result of actual chronological aging? Or are they the physical manifestations of our perceptions, beliefs and expectations?
It’s been said that “aging is a mindset” and “you’re only as old as you feel.”
Really…aging is all in our head? Well, not entirely. Although the impact of getting older on our physiology is undeniable, there is evidence that our mindset may be an even bigger factor.
For several years, I had the inspiring pleasure of officiating at the National Senior Games weight lifting competition in Denver Colorado. Year after year, I was blown away by the sheer brute strength of these 60, 70 and 80-year-old athletes. The weights they were lifting was staggering. More impressive, however, was their way of thinking and acting.
It wasn’t the fitness of their bodies keeping them young and spry — it was their mindset.
What I learned along the way has served me well as I’ve moved into my 50s.
Naturally there is the obvious:
• Eat healthy
• Avoid excess alcohol consumption
• Monitor your health often
• Exercise regularly with intensity
• Get plenty of rest
• Don’t stop having sex – you heard me right.
• Maintain a positive attitude
Those are the things we should all be doing regardless of age.
But I also learned something much deeper that went directly to what I now call a “new aging mindset”.
New Aging Mindset Hack 1
When most people exercise and begin eating healthy — especially as they mature –in the back of their minds they are moving AWAY from something they want to avoid.
“I don’t want to be fat”
“I don’t want to feel weak and tired”
“I don’t want to get old”… getting old sucks!”
But trying to move away from what you don’t want is a surefire way to get more of it. By focusing on what you don’t want, you’re programming your mind to move closer to it.
What many of the senior game athletes have successfully done is program their minds to move with gratitude towards what it is they do want.
This is what I would hear them consistently say:
“I am so grateful for my lean, athletic and strong body.”
“I am incredibly appreciative for all this abundant energy and strength.”
“I feel blessed to look and feel so young and vibrant.”
Adapting his “towards” mindset creates power, energy and focus in the right direction. It will keep you moving unobstructed towards what you will achieve and experience in your life — not what you don’t want.
New Aging Mindset Hack 2
This mindset hack has more to do with perspective than purpose.
Let’s use your cell phone as an example:
At some point, you’ve had to at least suspect that your cell phone is designed specifically to last for a given period of time before the battery or other circuitry just starts to wear out. You might say it’s programmed NOT to last forever.
Most of us also have a set blueprint or an unconscious program for how we’ll age and how long we’ll live. This blueprint was passed on from generation to generation starting when our ancestors first walked the earth.
Over the ions the blueprint has only changed by as little as 30 or 40 additional years. It in itself is old and antiquated. This is why, with few acceptations the average man and women begins to feel the onset of aging as early 35 or 40 and never makes it past 80 or 85.
Unfortunately, unlike your cell phone, you can’t buy a new model to replace your body. But you can upgrade. It is possible to change your old aging blueprint.
This can change everything. Suddenly 40 or even 50 is no longer middle-aged. Instead it’s simply the beginning of a new and more powerful second half.
1. Start by making a decision. You decide your desired aging timeline. I recommend being generous. Me, I’m programmed for 115 and I refuse to give up one single day to feeling old and worn-out.
2. Act and live as if you’re already 10 or 20 years younger. George Bernard Shaw, who lived to the ripe young age of 94, once said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Get back on a bike for crying out loud.
3. Refuse to engage in “old talk” and thinking. Don’t even joke about getting old. Stop commiserating with friends about aching joints, Viagra, the need for reading glasses or anything else other than how great you feel.
4. Go back to the “Obvious” list above and get to work immediately.
You can choose the recliner or you can choose to be young and healthy forever. All it takes is a different mindset.
Tom Terwilliger is equal parts athlete, entrepreneur and motivator. 5 years after pulling himself from the world of drug and alcohol abusing outlaw bikers Tom’s determination and willingness to sweat earned him a coveted Mr. America title and was the springboard to a successful 16 year career as a Fox Sports Net TV show host and the #1 bestselling author of 7 Rules of Achievement. Tom has taught thousands of individuals and organizations the empowering Leadership, Body Rapport strategies needed to take massive leaps forward in their lives, businesses and careers. Learn more at http://www.MaxMindset.com