Ageless Advisors: 80-Somethings Share Their Secrets
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Sometimes I run on trails, and because I work full time and often can’t just cut loose to spend four hours in the mountains (yes, trail-running in LA is a sport of commitment!), I run around the neighborhood park.
It can be mind numbing to do the same 0.6 mile loop over and over again, so I also resort to people watching. It’s a bit like sitting in a sidewalk cafe in Paris, except the people are stationary and I’m the one moving. Last week, as I passed a park bench, I noticed four women who were clearly in their eighties, huddled together, chatting, laughing and genuinely having a great time. Here is an abbreviated list of my thoughts as I passed them each time:
Loop 1 = Look at those cute old ladies.
Loop 2 = They’re kinda cool!
Loop 3 = Gosh, they’re having so much fun!
Loop 4 = I wish I was a part of their group.
Loop 5 = WHAT ARE THEY STILL TALKING ABOUT???
Loop 6 = I wanna be like them when I grow up (or old!).
Loop 7 = What’s their secret?
As always my curiosity won over my shyness and when the next loop came around, I stopped and went over to talk to them.
I let them know how I’ve been observing them for some time because I’m mesmerized by their energy and vitality!
They let me know that they are all well into their eighties but created their group of (now) twelve women, starting in their late fifties. Three of the women came together with the understanding that life’s changes and challenges ahead can be best navigated by creating a community of like-minded friends.
In the ensuing decades there’s been losses along with celebrations. And yet, here they are – taking in the fresh air, feeling the sun on their lived-to-tell skin and giggling together like school girls.
So I ask my Loop 7 question.
“What’s your secret?”
Unsurprisingly, they laughed heartily and told me there was no secret. But you can’t give a Professional Coach that response and expect her to go away. So I asked, “What would be your one piece of advice to your fifty five year old self?”
That’s when the flood gates opened and the pearls of wisdom ensued.
- Never turn down an invitation.
- Go on that date – even if only once.
- Keep on learning.
- Nurture relationships.
- Be nice to people.
The greatest “secrets” are also the most simple!