Of course, countless self-help books and motivational speakers spread happy talk about how 70 is the new 50 and other such exaggerations.
This post offers my thoughts on how to live life's fourth quarter. (At this point at least.I'd welcome the game going into overtime)
Here are my thoughts:
- Don't think about it. Whatever you gain in perspective is outweighed by increased worrying about the unsolvable.
- Make the most of each moment. Because those moments are getting ever more finite, let your fear of death fuel you to use each moment wisely . For example, do you really want to play golf or fly to your cousin's wedding, or would you rather mentor someone?
- Worried about money? Consider downsizing your life, for example, by trading your home for an inexpensive small apartment. With a bit of an attitude adjustment, you could find the trade-off well worth it: You're less worried about running out of money and you have the freedom to choose what you want to do with your time with less regard to how much money it earns. One of my most popular posts is How I Could Live Decently on $20,000 a year.
- Act wise. As Neil Simon wrote, "Wisdom doesn't come with age; wisdom comes with wisdom." But perhaps you can instantly attain some by, in your moment to moment actions and utterances, invoking your wisest self. No matter how old we are, all of us are sometimes immature, sometimes less so. I find it rewarding to usually try to behave as wisely as I can. That makes me feel I'm reaping a reward of getting older and I feel more consequential, more worthy.
- Be less concerned with what society, friends, or family thinks. Sooner rather than later, you'll be dust. The time is now to do and think what you believe is consistent with the life well-led and what's right for the world.
For example, common as we age, I'm growing more conservative, believing for example, that the world's trend toward additional redistributive "justice," is, in fact, injustice, a short-term feel-good that, long-term, will deeply hurt the world's people. So I've been coming out of the political closet and daring to assert such political incorrect views, willing to accept the consequences. Indeed, I have been fired from positions in the supposedly tolerant liberal media for daring to occasionally veer right of center. After a quarter century in the media, I truly know it is guilty of McCarthyism from the Left, ever swinging its censorship machete dare you question the orthodoxy that the world will be better by diverting yet more resources to women, minorities, and the poor.
- Make the biggest difference you can. In choosing your Big Project, tackle something of benefit to society that few others would tackle. For example, I funded creation of an online continuing education course that helps teachers do a better job of educating intellectually gifted students in a mixed-ability class. But also make the biggest difference you can, moment to moment. Just one example: answer your emails, do it kindly and/or honestly.
As always, I welcome your comments, questions, and disseminating this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or the now old-fashioned way: copying and pasting it into an email and sending it to people who might like to read it.