In his celebrated novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde declared, “Youth! Youth! There is noting in the world but youth!” Although written in 1890, that sentiment feels right at home during the first quarter of the 21st century. According to OrbisResearch.com the global Anti-Aging market is worth more than $250 billion, and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. But rather than march in lockstep to the conventional wisdom of worshipping youth, author Sheryl Towers urges older Americans to Embrace a New Vision of Aging.
“I encourage everyone, both young people and older adults, to move away from the declinist view of aging, and to celebrate our new gift of longevity” Towers declares. “In 1850, the average lifespan of a human being was just 43 years. Today, its closer to 80, and scientists predict that it will soon exceed 90 for the first time. Some experts predict that a child born today could live to 120 years or longer. The real question is: What will you do with those added years? Rather than decline, why not view aging as an opportunity for growth? This gift of longevity offers the means of finding our true selves, and a time for expressing our creativity. That creativity can lead to great contributions for humanity. As a society we need to have a perspective that promotes a positive view of aging as something to be celebrated and honored, rather than avoided at all costs.”
Towers acknowledges that our increasing longevity comes with challenges. Some of the changes we experience with aging can create feelings of loss of control, as if we have been abducted into an unwelcome phase of life. Our capacity to deal with change is cultivated through building our resilience. As we build resilience, we develop a reservoir of inner strength that enables us to cope with what comes our way and to favorably adjust to the challenges we face.
“Many of the health challenges we face are the result of our contemporary lifestyle,” Towers states. “You just can’t live under chronic stress, eat an unhealthy diet, or neglect to exercise, and not face the consequences” she says. But ultimately, she admits, we have to face the inevitable death of our physical body. “Rather than allowing the realization of our limited time to be an underlying source of anxiety, it can be a catalyst for cutting through the superficial and meaningless aspects of our life to reveal what really matters. And once we come to terms with our mortality, the anxiety associated with it begins to dissipate.”
There are more than 46 million Americans over the age of 65 – approximately 15 percent of the population. That number is expected to more than double by the year 2060 to over 98 million, and comprise nearly a quarter of the nation’s population. “Staying young psychologically means not surrendering the passion and creativity we enjoyed in our younger years. Maintaining our child-like curiosity is critical to thriving at every stage of life” Towers states. She suggests finding activities that don’t just amuse you, but fulfill you.
“Once you hit retirement age, you need to have something to look forward to, something that gets you out of bed every morning with a sense of enthusiasm,” Towers says. “It is important to start thinking about it before you retire. If your entire sense of identity and connection with others is what you do for a living, once you leave that behind it can be very risky for your emotional health. Without a plan for something to fulfill you once you don’t have to go to work every day, it is easy to become lost.”
Embracing a New Vision of Aging released August 29, 2018 from WordCrafts Press in hardback for $22.99, and quickly topped Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its Aging Parents category.
Sheryl Towers is an author, speaker, workshop facilitator and life coach. For over two decades she has inspired people to live with purpose, passion, and genuine happiness through her popular keynotes and seminars. She is the founder of Life Enrichment Skills, a company committed to empowering organizations and individuals to achieve peak efficiency and performance, and has served as a consultant to leaders of business, government, and education in the areas of organizational excellence, performance coaching and leadership effectiveness.
Sheryl received her Master of Liberal Studies degree from Mercer University in the area of psychology. She is the author of three books, Seeds of Success: Nurturing the Greatness within You, Transforming Your Life: Moving from Fear to Love, Joy, and Abundance, and most recently, *Embracing a New Vision of Aging*.
Sheryl is dedicated to helping people live more empowered, fulfilling, and joy-filled lives. Visit her online at sheryltowers.com.