This is Part 2 of How To Grow Young Gracefully – Reversing the Aging Process. Click here for Part 1.
Whether for vanity, health, socialization or economic productivity, most of us prefer to cling to youth.
One of the top characteristics that the very long-lived (elderly) have in common is adaptability.
Let’s face it, most of what happens in life is outside of our control. We must learn to wake up and let go.
My wise, old (compliment) ex used to say, “The sooner you get over it, the better you’ll feel.” And according to research, the younger you’ll be!
We all experience set-backs, disappointments and painful experiences in life—that’s a given. According to Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body, Timeless Mind most who have reached the ripe age of 100 years+, have the ability to roll with the punches a lot better.
Chopra defines adaptability as “freedom from conditioned response”, basically to be open-minded.
The more welcoming of uncertainty (life!) the longer and healthier we’ll be.
So, how much mental/emotional flexibility do we have? Here’s the gist of the Quiz…
Answer these questions as follows:
Almost never 0 points
Sometimes 1 point
Usually 2 points
Almost always 3 points
(Note: Altered to author’s words.)
- When confronted with a seemingly solution-free problem, I trust the right answer will appear.
- Events in life happen at the right time.
- I feel Pollyannaish about my future.
- I accept rejection and don’t take it personally, respecting others’ preferences.
- When someone I love dies, I feel sad, but then I move through grief without holding on.
- I feel committed to a greater good.
- Even though I may discuss/debate, I respect and acknowledge the rightness in the others’ opinions—even when they differ from mine.
- I vote for the person, not the party.
- I donate/volunteer to causes I feel are worthwhile, even if unpopular.
- People say I’m a good listener; I’m not an interuptor-majoris.
- When someone is passionate about a topic, I hear them out without needing to add input.
- I’d rather do what I love for less bucks than detest my day job for high pay.
- I don’t micro-manage or try to control others in my charge.
- I easily trust others.
- I’m not a worry-wart, life’s roller-coaster affects me less than others.
- I’m a good loser! I congratulate the winner and don’t make excuses for my performance.
- Being happy is more important than being right all the time.
- I’m a kid at heart and children are drawn to me. I relate easily.
- Me moody? Nah, I never think about it.
- I’m empathetic to the nth. I feel for you, my friend. (Friend is anyone!)
- I’m comfy around both the reserved and the easily agitated people.
Add up the total score and let’s see where we fit… (Again, author’s words.)
We rock! We are super adaptable and have been second-serving on self-help for a long time. We get asked for advice a lot and are comfortable with change and uncertainty. We tend to be excellent at conflict management.
We are reasonably adaptable to life and its surprises, but don’t have all the personal growth answers on the tip of our tongues. People see us as laid-back even though there are still a few niggling need-to-dos on our list, as well as regrets. We still get upset by conflict and can sometimes be found following the leader if he is more zealous than us.
Oh dear. We have our opinions and view the world in black and white, right or wrong, glasses. We tend to defend. We are organized, goal-oriented and probably have a lot of quality-control checklists. Winning is more important than happy-happy-joy. Personal growth? No time for that.
Our sense of self sucks. Probably dominated by one or both parents, we suffer from fear of rejection and easily anger when others are disagreeable or critical of us. Our way is best. Surprises suck. We are either: everything has a place, everything in its place! OR where are my keys, cat, car?? Damn it.
No matter where we fall (or fall down) in this test, no one is better than the next person. In fact, if we feel superior about a high score, that’s our ego talking and we can probably give a few points away because of that.
The good news: Awareness is the key. With awareness we can start to make conscious changes in our lives. The more we work on upping our score, the healthier we will be, because the choices we make mentally affect the quality of our life, no matter how old we get.
We are all just trying to do our best with the information we have at the moment.
Accept others for where they are on their path, but also be kind and gentle to ourselves. Instead of should-ing on ourselves (and others), let’s simply try to do better next time. Next time is possible, but the past cannot be changed.
And the sooner we get over that, the better we’ll feel!
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Elephant Archives