Enough with the talk of fine lines, forgetfulness, and graying hair. Growing older has many benefits — ones that you cannot easily experience in your 20s and 30s. These advantages can only be attained over the passing of time. So forget all that other nonsense about aging. You’re like a fine wine. You only get better with age. Want proof? Here are ten surprising superpowers that aging can give you.
You’ve likely been through it all. Heartache. Disappointment. Loss. And after every stumble, you’ve picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and kept going. These challenges have not only helped to sharpen your strength and resilience, but also develop your self-esteem. As you age, you cultivate the confidence to know that everything will work out okay and that you are good enough.
There are countless stories of 60-and-older men and women who are trying some pretty courageous things. Sky-diving out of an airplane. Climbing a mountain. Starting a new career based on their lifelong passion. These bold actions are not due to a FOMO (fear of missing out) so much as a newfound courage to take risks. You’ve made it this far in life and you only live once. Why not try something that you’ve never tried before?
While the rest of the world is in full-throttle “go” mode, you know that real power resides in the ability to slow down and be patient. By taking your time, you notice the miracles in life that others may overlook or take for granted: the flowers starting to bloom, baby birds leaving the nest, or a rare twinned rainbow. You have honed the practice of critical awareness, and it’s opened your eyes to unimaginable riches in our world.
Remember the little imperfections that you used to obsess over? A nose that’s crooked. Legs that aren’t long enough. Feet that are too big. With age comes a better ability to accept who you are and what you were born with. Sadly, many younger people struggle with this, and they live a life of disappointment and unhappiness. Spending too much time wishing for things to be different keeps you in a state of bondage, leading to anxiety. When you learn to practice self-acceptance, however, all the things you can’t control no longer seem to matter.
Peace of Mind
If you’re like most people, your younger years probably were made up of countless responsibilities. Many different people were pulling you in many different directions simultaneously. With responsibility comes stress, anxiety, and burnout. But for most seniors, those stressors are a thing of the past. Most older adults enjoy greater peace of mind, knowing they aren’t beholden to anyone or anything.
Older, but none the wiser? We beg to differ. Wisdom doesn’t just apply to book smarts or street smarts. If you think of all the life lessons you’ve experienced — from relationships and parenting to your career and accomplishments — you could probably write a book or two about them. Wisdom can only come through a life well lived. Your stories are what make you unique and give your life meaning.
Next time you’re at a party or social event, don’t hold back. Share a story or two. You’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to listen, be entertained, and learn from you. You’ll also be amazed at how many people will look up to you with respect. So take the time to open up. Your wisdom is a gift that those around you can benefit from.
As you age, you acknowledge that there’s nothing you can do about the past. You certainly can’t predict the future. All you have is this moment. People who practice mindfulness are very present-oriented, and it’s a practice that gets much easier with age. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s the practice of recognizing what is happening right now. Then, you either calmly receive it or identify what you can do to make it different. You realize that focusing on all of the potential “what if” scenarios only takes you away from the abundant joy that each day has to offer.
Think about it. By now, you’re probably retired. No one holds any power over you. Your children are grown, your house is paid for, and you are your own boss. The younger crowd gets to wake up every morning and be chained to a desk for 8 hours. But you get to wake up every morning and choose how to spend it. The 20 and 30-somethings might have youth, but you have something more valuable: freedom.
By now, you know who you are and what you stand for. With all of the ups and downs you’ve been through, you have a deeper understanding of what you’re capable of and how to get through challenges. The result? Life is more enjoyable. You’re not saddled with the burden of having to figure everything out. Everything just seems to click and fall into place. Lucky you!
Many people spend their entire lives battling stress and chasing happiness. Then, when they hit their retirement years, they realize that all the stress has melted away and they’re finally happy. When those sources of stress have been eliminated, it’s much easier to look on the bright side of life and see the shimmering potential of each new day.
Take a Deep Breath
Relax. Take a deep breath. Sure, you’re getting older. But your superpowers are at their sharpest and strongest. Your self-esteem is at its peak. You have time to seize the day. And you have all the freedom in the world to be yourself, own your time, and be the captain of the ship. Recognize that, because of your age, you have many gifts to rejoice in — ones that will take the younger generation years to experience. For you, the struggle is over. Enjoy your superpowers. You’ve earned them.