Weekly Thought – September 9, 2014
Fred believed a healthy person cultivated friendships with younger people, so aging didn’t rob of all relationships. He also understood the natural life cycle required an active involvement in managing the process. An article for Leadership Journal carried the title, “Old but not Older.” That was Fred!
Keep It Alive
Aging is a prime example of redefining achievement – the phrase I use to describe the process of refocusing energies to avoid falling into the pit during pits or plateaus.
Erik Erikson, the prominent 20th century psychologist and psychoanalyst, created the phrase “identity crisis.” His work centered on the wholeness of the human being. His remarks about aging have been most helpful to me. He counseled others to move the deterioration to the periphery as they aged.
In other words, the core of who we are never changes. The things we can no longer do are moved to the outside of our life and don’t define us. Let me give you a personal example. My physical condition changed my schedule, severely reducing my travel. This transition could have caused great stress. I could have moaned and groaned, but I took Erikson’s advice. I looked at my gifts and created other venues for making a contribution like teleconferences, personal visits by others to my home, a website, and local speeches.
I like to say “service is the rent I pay for occupying space on earth.” As I age, these alternative ways to experience achievement and productivity help me keep my rent paid up.
The loss of mobility, agility, ability, and responsibility are tough. No one wants to surrender their independence. I made a choice and adopted the attitude “Delightfully dependent.” I moved the deterioration to the perimeter. (more…)