Aging Expectations

Aging Challenge – Week 4: Purpose

This morning I was listening to the radio (who even does that anymore?). They were discussing getting yourself motivated. No, I wasn’t listening to NPR or some other talk radio program. I was listening to the iHeart radio pop station with Elvis Duran. Now, don’t knock my taste in music. Okay, you can but I believe it’s one of the things that keeps me young (kidding, not kidding).

So Elvis was talking about a motivational speaker (unfortunately, I didn’t get his name) who declares that the secret to a happy and LONG life is not in material things but in finding your life’s purpose.

This message is obviously aimed at the station’s target audience (18-34 year-olds) but of course, it applies to anyone, any age.

There is one small problem I see with this ideal when it comes to people over the age of 40, which is probably you.

When people begin to think of their life’s purpose or more simply put “what they want to be when they grow up,” they think of one thing. Maybe it’s a teacher or a doctor or a mom. Then they set off to achieve that purpose. Fantastic!

Done, finished, achieved, eternal happiness!

Hold on a minute. Here’s the problem:

Life changes.

As you get older things change (and I’m not just talking about those lines and wrinkles on your face).

Kids grow up, jobs get old and stale, or worse you might get laid off. Then what? Depression. I’m old. My life isn’t worth anything anymore. I might as well shrivel up and die. Of course, I’m not being 100% literal but this is what happens over a span of time.

This is where we need to embrace change.


Yes, it can.

I promise you – it can!

You can be a mother and then become a writer and then become a researcher and then become a doctor. You can. You can do whatever you want.

So what is the aging challenge this week?

I’m so glad you asked!

  1. Think of all the things you dreamed of being when you were a child. You know there was more than one. When you were a teenager or in your twenties, you probably narrowed things down to a few choices and then settled on one. What were those other things? Write them down.
  2. Think of all the skills and talents you’ve acquired in your life. Be kind to yourself. If it’s too hard, think of what your most trusted friend might tell you your skills and talents are, or even ask them! What would those skills and talents enable you to do? If you have done a great job at meal planning for your family, maybe you would be a great nutritionist – that is just one tiny example. Write those ideas down.
  3. Think of all the cool jobs you’ve encountered in your life. All the things you thought, “wow, that is so cool, I’d love to have that job!” Write those down too. Now, look at that hard work! You should have a pretty good list. Be proud!
  4. Narrow that list until you have your top three options. The ones that really get your heart racing.

Are you excited?

If you are, fabulous!

If you’re not, get excited!!

You are on your way to creating your next purpose and that means a longer life of happiness!!


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