6 Essential Life Lessons From 70 years old man that can benefit us all

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Richness is found by pursuing a path of peace.

I’m 70 now, in the final third of my life, and more aware than ever the seconds and minutes are ticking away. So I ask myself more frequently, what’s really important?

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I don’t feel that youthful sense of immortality anymore — the belief I can do almost anything and survive. Although I feel spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally strong, I feel vulnerable.

Vulnerable because I know life is a gift. I feel blessed to be still here, particularly when old friends drop dead, literally.

It’s not up to me when I go. The only thing up to me is how I choose to think and behave.

So, while I am here, the goal I want to pursue is to live a peaceful life in alignment with my values.

This is my North Star.

Here’s what’s helping me stay on the path.

1. Define what’s important to you, and stick with it.

Whatever work I do now must be enjoyable, meaningful to me, and of service to others.

If It doesn’t meet those criteria, I don’t do it. This means I say no to more things than ever before. I don’t chase opportunities just because of the money. I don’t chase anything. I let opportunities come by staying true to my values.

Things were quite different when I first entered the mainstream workforce at thirty-three. I worked in retail selling women’s shoes and men’s shirts. My job selection criteria were simple — I needed someone to hire and pay me. I didn’t care if it was meaningful, enjoyable, or of service to others. Bills had to get paid. So I did what I had to do.

Sometimes, lousy jobs are the price we pay to determine what we don’t like and what we do. But, within a few years, I found work I enjoyed, and it’s been that way for the most part ever since.

Define your values. Find what you like to do. Then, get good at it and stick to your values, always.

2. Be kind and forgiving to yourself.

I’ve been tough on myself throughout life. Family of origin stuff planted deep in my DNA. It’s taken a lot of work to dig through the layers, reprogram the operating system and exorcise most of the demons.

I’ve eased up on the negative self-talk, the perfectionism, and the impossible standards. Instead of denial, I’ve faced my flaws full-on, embracing them and doing what I can to make improvements. I still stumble, but I’m catching myself sooner when I go off track.

The less harsh I’ve been with myself, the better I’ve felt. Less guilt, shame, and embarrassment. More happiness. More peace.

And, the best thing of all perhaps — the kinder and more loving I am to myself, the kinder and more loving I am to others.

3. Release any guilt or remorse about the past.

Guilt is debilitating. Acceptance is energizing.

If my mind tries to drag me into what a terrible person I’ve been for past transgressions, I release those thoughts as quickly as possible. If not, I feel them sucking the energy right out of me.

If I’m genuinely pursuing a peaceful life, this type of self-torture has no place. None at all.

Holding remorse over the past is like carrying a giant stone on your back — you’ll slowly get crushed. People who stand tall, literally and figuratively, don’t carry the past. They’ve set it down.

The more I’ve made peace with the past; the lighter and brighter I’ve gotten.

4. Be tolerant of others.

I’ve written plenty of articles about the differences between arrogance and humility. Tolerance is a direct manifestation of humility because the mindset of humility recognizes and respects the opinions and idiosyncrasies of others.

I have a lovely wife whom I adore. She’s helped me heal wounds from the past and discover a new way of being. Before we met, I asked the universe for a woman who could contain my sometimes out-of-control energy. The universe listened and delivered.

She can undoubtedly contain me, and sometimes I don’t like it. She’ll do and say things I find perplexing. I’ll think, well, that’s not the way I would do it. There’s part of me, the egoic mind, that wants her to be like me. My mind tries to convince me that if she is more like me, my problems with her behavior will go away.

Absolute lunacy.

I’ll never find peace when I insist other people change. It’s not my job to change their minds or behavior.

My job is to accept what is.

If she’s doing something that bothers me, of course, I can make a reasonable request, such as, please don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking.

But, when it comes to someone’s viewpoints, opinions, choices, and style, acceptance is wisdom and a step forward on the path to a peaceful life.

5. Appreciate what you have.

We often celebrate what we have, but too often, we judge ourselves by what we don’t have. New job — celebrate. Birth of a child — celebrate. The ability to afford a vacation — celebrate.

But also lurking beneath the surface is the inner critic ready to tell us what we don’t have. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t help either because it bombards us with messages about everything we don’t have but need.

The new iPhone 13 ads are everywhere. I’ve got a very usable iPhone. I don’t need a new one, but they’re after me, trying to convince me I do. They’ve planted that seed in the back of my mind, letting me know I don’t have one. I’m not biting.

I’m grateful to be still alive, enjoying what I have.

There’s no need to get involved with what I don’t have.

  1. Nurture your inner world.

Last perhaps in this article, the essential practice — nurturing the inner world. There are two aspects for me — meditation and mindset.

Meditation came first for me. It’s given me a connection to my spirit. After 50 years of practicing, I enjoy a simple but profound experience of my lifeforce on a daily basis. It’s deeply fulfilling, grounding, and lights me up from the inside. So whatever your practice may be, please keep at it. The older you get, the more it’s going to mean to you.

The mindset work started later in my life. If I had to do it over again, I’d begin in my twenties.

Over the last fifteen years, the work I’ve done has been to clarify my values and pay much more attention to my attitude and beliefs. The values at my core are humility, integrity, responsibility, and honesty. I’ve written more about them here.

They’ve been instrumental in developing a more positive and vibrant mindset. I’ve watched false beliefs and limitations drop away, leaving me more open, curious, ambitious, and courageous.

The inner work never ends, and the time to do it is — all the time.

Final thoughts

No matter who you are, what you have or don’t have, walking a peaceful path can unlock the richness of life. Here’s a summary of what we just covered.

Define what’s important to you and stick with it.

Be kind and forgiving to yourself.

Release any guilt or remorse about the past.

Be tolerant of others.

Appreciate what you have.

Nurture your inner world.

CONTRIBUTED BY Don Johnson

6 Essential Life Lessons From 70 years old man that can benefit us all

Richness is found by pursuing a path of peace.

I’m 70 now, in the final third of my life, and more aware than ever the seconds and minutes are ticking away. So I ask myself more frequently, what’s really important?

I don’t feel that youthful sense of immortality anymore — the belief I can do almost anything and survive. Although I feel spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally strong, I feel vulnerable.

Vulnerable because I know life is a gift. I feel blessed to be still here, particularly when old friends drop dead, literally.

It’s not up to me when I go. The only thing up to me is how I choose to think and behave.

So, while I am here, the goal I want to pursue is to live a peaceful life in alignment with my values.

This is my North Star.

Here’s what’s helping me stay on the path.

1. Define what’s important to you, and stick with it.

Whatever work I do now must be enjoyable, meaningful to me, and of service to others.

If It doesn’t meet those criteria, I don’t do it. This means I say no to more things than ever before. I don’t chase opportunities just because of the money. I don’t chase anything. I let opportunities come by staying true to my values.

Things were quite different when I first entered the mainstream workforce at thirty-three. I worked in retail selling women’s shoes and men’s shirts. My job selection criteria were simple — I needed someone to hire and pay me. I didn’t care if it was meaningful, enjoyable, or of service to others. Bills had to get paid. So I did what I had to do.

Sometimes, lousy jobs are the price we pay to determine what we don’t like and what we do. But, within a few years, I found work I enjoyed, and it’s been that way for the most part ever since.

Define your values. Find what you like to do. Then, get good at it and stick to your values, always.

2. Be kind and forgiving to yourself.

I’ve been tough on myself throughout life. Family of origin stuff planted deep in my DNA. It’s taken a lot of work to dig through the layers, reprogram the operating system and exorcise most of the demons.

I’ve eased up on the negative self-talk, the perfectionism, and the impossible standards. Instead of denial, I’ve faced my flaws full-on, embracing them and doing what I can to make improvements. I still stumble, but I’m catching myself sooner when I go off track.

The less harsh I’ve been with myself, the better I’ve felt. Less guilt, shame, and embarrassment. More happiness. More peace.

And, the best thing of all perhaps — the kinder and more loving I am to myself, the kinder and more loving I am to others.

3. Release any guilt or remorse about the past.

Guilt is debilitating. Acceptance is energizing.

If my mind tries to drag me into what a terrible person I’ve been for past transgressions, I release those thoughts as quickly as possible. If not, I feel them sucking the energy right out of me.

If I’m genuinely pursuing a peaceful life, this type of self-torture has no place. None at all.

Holding remorse over the past is like carrying a giant stone on your back — you’ll slowly get crushed. People who stand tall, literally and figuratively, don’t carry the past. They’ve set it down.

The more I’ve made peace with the past; the lighter and brighter I’ve gotten.

4. Be tolerant of others.

I’ve written plenty of articles about the differences between arrogance and humility. Tolerance is a direct manifestation of humility because the mindset of humility recognizes and respects the opinions and idiosyncrasies of others.

I have a lovely wife whom I adore. She’s helped me heal wounds from the past and discover a new way of being. Before we met, I asked the universe for a woman who could contain my sometimes out-of-control energy. The universe listened and delivered.

She can undoubtedly contain me, and sometimes I don’t like it. She’ll do and say things I find perplexing. I’ll think, well, that’s not the way I would do it. There’s part of me, the egoic mind, that wants her to be like me. My mind tries to convince me that if she is more like me, my problems with her behavior will go away.

Absolute lunacy.

I’ll never find peace when I insist other people change. It’s not my job to change their minds or behavior.

My job is to accept what is.

If she’s doing something that bothers me, of course, I can make a reasonable request, such as, please don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking.

But, when it comes to someone’s viewpoints, opinions, choices, and style, acceptance is wisdom and a step forward on the path to a peaceful life.

5. Appreciate what you have.

We often celebrate what we have, but too often, we judge ourselves by what we don’t have. New job — celebrate. Birth of a child — celebrate. The ability to afford a vacation — celebrate.

But also lurking beneath the surface is the inner critic ready to tell us what we don’t have. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t help either because it bombards us with messages about everything we don’t have but need.

The new iPhone 13 ads are everywhere. I’ve got a very usable iPhone. I don’t need a new one, but they’re after me, trying to convince me I do. They’ve planted that seed in the back of my mind, letting me know I don’t have one. I’m not biting.

I’m grateful to be still alive, enjoying what I have.

There’s no need to get involved with what I don’t have.

  1. Nurture your inner world.

Last perhaps in this article, the essential practice — nurturing the inner world. There are two aspects for me — meditation and mindset.

Meditation came first for me. It’s given me a connection to my spirit. After 50 years of practicing, I enjoy a simple but profound experience of my lifeforce on a daily basis. It’s deeply fulfilling, grounding, and lights me up from the inside. So whatever your practice may be, please keep at it. The older you get, the more it’s going to mean to you.

The mindset work started later in my life. If I had to do it over again, I’d begin in my twenties.

Over the last fifteen years, the work I’ve done has been to clarify my values and pay much more attention to my attitude and beliefs. The values at my core are humility, integrity, responsibility, and honesty. I’ve written more about them here.

They’ve been instrumental in developing a more positive and vibrant mindset. I’ve watched false beliefs and limitations drop away, leaving me more open, curious, ambitious, and courageous.

The inner work never ends, and the time to do it is — all the time.

Final thoughts

No matter who you are, what you have or don’t have, walking a peaceful path can unlock the richness of life. Here’s a summary of what we just covered.

Define what’s important to you and stick with it.

Be kind and forgiving to yourself.

Release any guilt or remorse about the past.

Be tolerant of others.

Appreciate what you have.

Nurture your inner world.

CONTRIBUTED BY Don Johnson

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