Could it be said that the secret to a productive life, at any age, is one devoted to being as authentic to who you honestly believe you are inside for the longest span of your days alive? Is the key to living a productive life discovered by finding the right balance between what’s acceptable to survive from the perspective of your soul and what you find minimally acceptable to survive from the perspective of guaranteeing you have adequate (and preferably exceedingly comfortable) food-clothing-and-shelter?
As I have noted in a good number of previous posts, early old age, which varies for some, ranging anywhere from 45 to 65, brings lots of consternation about who you really are and what you are doing with yourself in work and elsewhere. You come to an intersection where you think more deeply about where your compass is pointing, and it’s almost like going back in time to when you were first trying to figure out what you were going to do with your life.
The article identified six aspects of modern life known to have troubling influences on our psyches (along with suggested cures): meritocracy, individualism, secularism, romanticism, the media, and perfectibility. As I read though these, I thought about how they might apply to getting old, which, in my estimation, jumpstarts once you turn 60, when we reach the beginning of the final three-innings of life (or less depending on your fate).
For me, it’s not arguing anymore. As someone who has always enjoyed a good debate and has typically been fairly outspoken – respectful or otherwise – on anything, I think the time has come to be more of a passive observer. I say this because I doubt I have ever changed anyone’s mind through any kind of serious debate.
On three inspirational and realistically optimistic-in-the-extreme books that cogently address this issue of negativity bias, along with addressing numerous other wrongheaded attitudes and biases we possess that wind up promoting mistaken ways of thinking about our world.