do what you want when older

Do what you want to do when you are older

Behavior, Plastic Surgery

One reason to live a healthy lifestyle when you are younger is so that, when you are in your 60s and beyond, you will be able to do what you want to do, physically and mentally. Maybe you will want to go to college or graduate school, take singing lessons, learn to play an instrument you have always secretly desired, write a book, take up hang gliding, start a new business, or move to a different state or country.

All these things will be easier if you have kept yourself in good shape. Many more options will be open to you. Today we give some real-world examples of people who have re-invented themselves later in life; some well beyond 60 years old.

“We absolutely have to revamp this idea of a linear pattern of accomplishment that ends when you’re 50 or 60. There are simply too many examples of people who bloom late, and it’s the most extraordinary time of their life.” according to professor of geriatrics Karl A. Pillemer, of Cornell University (New York).

There are different types of intelligence, and recently we presented research showing that one type of intelligence—crystallized intelligence—peaks in a person’s late 60s or 70s. If you have taken care of your mind and your body over the years, and with a little luck, there is much you can accomplish, years beyond what has been traditionally thought. Here are some examples.

The lady in the photograph, Lucille Shulklapper, now 80 years old, always wanted to be a professional writer, but was too busy in her teaching job and raising her family. Twenty years ago, at age 60, she decided to act on her wish. In January, her 5th book was published: a children’s book “Stuck in Bed Fred”. “I am living beyond my dreams…I feel like the book is my baby” says the widowed grandmother of six.

Marjorie Forbes was a 68 year-old retired social worker when she decided to take up playing the oboe. Now, at age 81, she plays semi-professionally in chamber ensembles in New York. She says, “I can’t make money doing what I’m doing, but I think I’ve reinvented myself to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I never dreamed I’d get to be as good as I am.”

Recently the Folha of São Paulo featured one of Google’s newest interns—retired advertising exectutive Jaques Lew, age 70. His desire to join Google started in 2013, when he was invited to give a lecture at the Google headquarters in São Paulo. Folha notes that Lew is not the oldest employee at Google. One of the vice-presidents there, Vint Cerf, is 71.

Other notable examples of “late bloomers” include Harland Sanders, who started the KFC fast-food empire in his 60s; Ernestine Shepherd who started running marathons and competing in bodybuilding competitions at 56; and Diana Nyad, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, who finally accomplished her goal when she was 64, following several unsuccessful attempts.

“Often people don’t even discover what they really want to do with their lives — or even where their talents might lie — until well past middle age” says University of California psychologist Dean Keith Simonton. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Keep in shape, and the possibilities are enormous.

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See also in ProcuraMed:

Research shows older people are happier and less tired than younger people

Some brain functions continue to improve later in life

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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