The authors of ‘Senior Wonders’ on the 3 P’s for Triumphant Aging
The media abounds with negative views about the impact of aging on physical, cognitive, and financial well-being. In fact, there are entire industries that have emerged to counteract the effects of aging — nutritional supplements, hormone treatments, surgical improvements, lotions, potions, and the like. They all seem to underscore Bette Davis’ famous quote, “Old age is no place for sissies.”
What if there were another point of view? What if aging brought about, not decline but our greatest accomplishments? What if we looked at aging as Dr. Christiane Northrup does? She tells us that “getting older is inevitable, but aging isn’t.”
Our book, Senior Wonders: People Who Achieved Their Dreams After Age 60 profiles 23 individuals and two groups who not only survived into old age, but achieved their greatest successes. As we wrote our book, we looked for emerging themes. Were there any commonalities among these people? Although their accomplishments were in a variety of fields (arts, sciences, social causes, entertainment, etc.), several themes became apparent. We think of them as the 3 P’s: Passion, Perspective on Life, and Persistence.
Passion, by definition, is any compelling emotion or feeling. These individuals either had a strong belief in what they were doing, or in the case of those with an artistic bent, they couldn’t help creating, whether it was writing, painting, or acting.
Many of the seniors in our book faced daunting obstacles and accomplished their goals by sheer will and determination; they did not give up.
Perspective on life emerged as a theme when we noticed that several of our seniors commented that they couldn’t have achieved their success at an earlier age. Having lived a long life enabled them to learn from failures and successes, establish a clear focus, and develop a unique perspective.
Our last P is Persistence. This theme became apparent when we observed that many of our seniors faced daunting obstacles and accomplished their goals by sheer will and determination; they did not give up.
Author Harry Bernstein and humanitarian Clara McBride Hale are two who exemplify these themes.
By Karen L. Pepkin and Wendell C. Taylor
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