Aging is Inevitable, So Why Not Do It Joyfully?
As someone who started a hotel company based upon the premise of “joie de vivre,” I’m intrigued by my fellow joy entrepreneurs (like MEA alum Jack Abbott who created Made for Joy five years ago). And ever since Ingrid Fetell Lee’s bestselling book “Joyful” came out, I’ve been following her as well.
She also has a TED talk on the subject, along with this TED Ideas essay on a topic close to my heart: aging. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:
“Author Heather Havrilesky wrote: ‘Growing old gracefully really means either disappearing or sticking around but always lying straight to people’s faces about the strength of your feelings and desires.’
Now that I’m in my 40s, though, aging isn’t some future concept. Just being alive means growing older, so yes, we’ve all been aging since we were born. But at a certain point, the notion of what life will be like in a couple of decades starts to feel more real, and then I start to reflect more on what my current choices mean for that future me.”
“So the person who ages without thought to their appearance is written off as ‘having given up,’ and the one whose face remains 35 forever thanks to the surgeon’s knife is considered a joke, and the only way to be deemed acceptable is to have lucky genes or to conceal your battles against time underneath a practiced smile. It all sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? And so I’ve been thinking about how we move beyond this damaging — and frankly misogynistic — frame. What if instead of seeing aging as something to defeat and conquer, we were to embrace what gets better with age, and work to amplify these joys while mitigating the losses of youth?”
Here’s the shorthand of Ingrid’s recommendation for joyful aging (sounds like she’s been to MEA). Of course, you’ll find more details in the essay.
1. Seek Out Awe
2. Get a Culture Fix
3. Stimulate Your Senses
4. Buy Yourself Flowers
5. Try a Time Warp
6. Maximize Mobility
7. Refeather Your Nest
8. Stay Up on Tech
How can you age more joyfully?