Original Spanish version published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on December 24, 2016
What are the attitudes or behaviors that can make us feel and appear younger?
We live in a world fascinated by youth and everything it represents. The job market is no stranger to this fascination. We associate youth with a series of traits we all strive to have and maintain: flexibility to change and adapt, ability to learn and unlearn with originality and speed, curiosity, native use of technology and data, excitement and a desire to conquer the world, boundless energy, and good health. However, being perceived as young or old is now associated more with a series of behaviors and attitudes than one’s actual age. I know people who are 30 years old that already feel old, and others over 70 that are at the peak of their lives in many aspects, confirming that being young at heart does not have an age limit. What are the attitudes or behaviors that can make us feel and appear younger?
- Decide not to fall behind and instead stay up-to-date, especially in technology, science, and innovation, without accepting any of the mental limitations or excuses we always make for ourselves.
- Challenge yourselves intellectually, for example, take different courses in “difficult” subjects, obtain new academic degrees, and learn to write code or speak a new language. If you find yourself thinking, “I am too old for that,” shake it off and never repeat it again.
- Increase your vitality without giving in to the years and their consequences. This requires determination and the investment of time and money, but also a high level of discipline and personal effort. Intense and frequent exercise as well as keeping your weight down always take years off. Feeling younger and having more energy pays in opportunities and quality of life.
- Stretch your mind towards new ideas and all kinds of paradigms, especially those related to innovative ideas. It also pays to revise your mental assumptions: age is not what it used to be.
- Cultivate curiosity and the excitement of having many new and different projects, careers, and interests that have nothing to do with your everyday work or with the age you are supposed to be. This helps us to enjoy life more, as well as travelling, going out, seeing and feeling new things do.
- Challenge conventionalisms without allowing ideas of the past to condition our abilities or dreams. Being young is a mental attitude sustained by continuously rebelling against the status quo.
- Keep away from negative, gossipy, and troublemaking people who only try to hide their unhappiness and pettiness by poisoning other people’s lives.
- Make new friends, and the more diverse and different they are from us, the better. They bring different ideas and other perspectives that refresh and renew us and help us fight the mental rigidity that ages both body and mind.
- Visualize how you are going to celebrate when you achieve your goals and dreams in order to program your brain for success. This is key to achieving your goals. Setting very ambitious goals and dreaming big at any age, without ever giving up, keeps us fresh and vital.
Life is short; there is no time to lose!