We are Not Done Yet! Creating Your Resilient Future.
Here’s the situation We have never lived this long. Today, there are more of us entering this transition into later life with twenty years or more ahead of us than at any other time in history. Let’s use this opportunity to make new choices.
We are not going to embrace the common narrative about retirement-when it happens, how it happens and what we use it for. We know there are limits to our lives, and we are not interested in prolonging and preserving youth in a way that keeps us from becoming more alive in our role as elders. Instead, we believe that embracing these limits provides guidance and wisdom about how we can best come of age.
I invite you to exchange retirement for elderhood. Elders use their experience and wisdom to support courageous action. Imagine that you are stepping into an “accelerator” to design our future with resilience at the core, making our own maps, using our intuition and wisdom to find paths to freedom and vigor.
There is good work to be done - now.
What will it take for us to reimagine how we see our aging through the lens of resilience? To live in this his time brings potential for renewed vigor and service to our lives and culture. Challenging times help us bring into clear view what matters most. Freud said it simply, when asked what matters most - “Love and Work”, as elders this leads to a broader pursuit of generating health, meaning, mattering and belonging.
Resilience is the core
It is the capacity to recover from adversity and pursue your goals despite challenges. Resilience helps you survive the worst day of your life and thrive every day of your life. You grow resilience by adapting to stressful events. It may be hard to imagine that such a time as this could result in a stronger, more adaptive you, but research shows it is entirely possible to come out of this stronger.
Capabilities for Resilience
We have always been curious about who does well. I have devoted my career to understanding and applying the research about longevity, hardiness, resilience, wellbeing, coping, performance and stress to design the conditions for personal and organizational health. Many research studies show a pattern of mindsets and approaches that enhance our ability to do well. For the last 2 years I have been validating this research by interviewing people who are navigating transition beyond 60 learning how they combine these components to create vibrant and meaningful lives.
Navigating Your Resilience Journey
There is no one smooth path. We will rapidly prototype, experiment, get stuck and unstuck, and fall forward and get up again. We need to share what we are learning with each other and younger people who are curious about their future. Our courage to reinvent will open new ways for them to rethink success and satisfaction in a changed world.
Welcome to Resilience Land
It’s not Disneyland but I like the coherence of offering a map to navigate your journey. So, Imagine Resilience Land, with specific territories that enhance resilience. You adventure awaits and you can begin anywhere. You don’t need to follow a certain path. You will be more familiar with some areas and a raw beginner in others.
7 Adventures Await you in Resilience Land
- Recognize Your Resilience - Remember what you have already learned, your experiences, gifts, stories, and relationships.
- Enhance Your Optimal Zone - Create a personal sense of wellbeing and calm in your mind and body.
- Rekindle Purpose and Clarity - Rekindle your purpose-redefine success and satisfaction. Connecting with your core values to make fresh choices.
- Navigate Change and Transitions - Disrupt your patterns and navigate the loss that accompanies change.
- Build Momentum for Action - Take risks, reset goals and take small steps forward.
- Refine Confident Focus - Put attention on things you can control, focus your constructive outrage on areas of deep importance.
- Deepen Connections - Give and ask for support, refresh friendships and let go of relationships that no longer serve you.
The Good News!
None of these practices require financial support to begin. Think of this as a new “bucket list”, serving as a guide for guiding yourself, your friends and the next generation. Refresh your ideas and challenge yourself to make changes.
Don’t Journey Alone
Now is the time to gather with others to talk, explore and refine your options. We will value places where we can listen, be listened to, share, learn, refresh our future choices.
Cynthia Scott, Ph.D. M.P.H., of Changeworks Lab is an author and change consultant designing courses and community conversations for exploring resilience beyond 60.