Change & Be Happy

Be Happy with Change

Older Americans Month takes place in May: a season of bright beginnings when the country is in bloom. It’s a terrific time for elders to emerge from hibernation into imagine-nation, and step up to being the person they most want to be (and who their dog already knows they are).

Last week we talked about some ways to ease the transition into retirement. The greatest asset to such life transitions is a sense of ease with change. One loan officer with a glass full (not half full) mindset offers, “I happened to see the Dr. Oz TV show with William Shatner (of Star Trek fame) as one of his guests. I was impressed with the positive attitude Shatner exudes and how it has affected his personal happiness and longevity.”

Indeed. After his long acting career, Shatner reinvented himself in his sixties as a musician, author, director, and celebrity pitchman. He also breeds and shows horses, and is active in a number of charities. He is 85 years old.

While this may be a more ambitious retirement than many would choose, it points up the possibilities. And it wasn’t a straight ascent: even after fame, Shatner suffered a reversal of fortune, at one point living in his truck bed camper.
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Happiness Is A Choice

Optimism. It’s something we must choose on a daily basis. Perhaps the simplest way might be to accept change as a fact of life, and embrace Bobby McFerrin’s musical advice: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, or the more recent Happy by Pharrell Williams, which boasts close to a billion YouTube views. Clearly, everybody wants happiness, regardless of age.

A LinkedIn member recently shared this brief, touching story of an 86-year-old gentleman who creates his happiness by bolding going where few have gone before, asking total strangers to have a cup of coffee. Talk about a zest for life!

This is another strategy to share with your reverse mortgage clients, and other seasoned adults you know: step out of your comfort zone and expand into something new. Most of us wouldn’t consider walking up to someone we don’t know and asking for their time, but it has created meaningful experiences for the man described above.

Muhammad Ali is purported to have said: “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” It behooves each of us to be open to/willing to change.

Hopefully, we learn from our life experience as we age and gain some wisdom, which we can then use to develop different goals and life paths later on. Change is life’s only constant; embracing it leads to a life-long love affair.

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