George Bernard Shaw once quipped, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Zig Ziglar said, “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude which will determine your altitude in life”.
At a recent workshop I was surprised to hear one participant in her 60’s say, “I’m too old to change the way I do things”. Another said, “I don’t want to have to keep learning new things”.
Both were struggling with their businesses. One just wanted to give up and “retire”.
Given their attitude, hardly surprising.
In life you’re either growing or dying. There is no sitting still.
Take Dr Lis Kirkby, who at 93 became Australia’s oldest PhD graduate in April 2014.
She commented, “A love of learning is essential. I say that to people, that you really have to have an enthusiasm or passion for something. You can’t believe that when you retire you just play golf or bowls or sit round with your mates. You always have to do something.”
Closer to home, my own Father who at 88 still goes to “School for Seniors” (which he’s done since “retiring” 23 years ago). Over the years there he’s studied and led classes in French, German, Spanish, Drama, English Literature, Ethics, plays Bridge and a whole lot more.
He sings in a choir which gives concerts.
At home you’ll either find him reading or sitting on the computer.
He still catches a bus and train into the city with a backpack full of books.
Yes, he’s physically slowed down over recent years, but his love of learning continues. I have enormous respect for what he’s achieved. Quite a role model for the rest of us.
Our attitude is a choice. Withdraw into our shells like turtles or get out there and seize the day.
And before you think I’m being pollyannaish, yes we all have “bad hair days”. But it’s how you pick yourself up and carry on which will define you.
Carpe Diem – Seize the day!
Rashid & Barbara.