Master Key Week 6: Are You Behaving Like a 90-Year-Old?

I have been blessed to have enjoyed the company of dozens of nonagenarians and even some centenarians.

Some of these people were my grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives. Some were neighbors or friends at church and some were just acquaintances I met during my normal daily activities.  From what I have observed, the folks who have lived for at least ninety years all share many of the same attitudes, beliefs and habits. Below is a list of some of the qualities common among nearly all of these amazing people.

  1. They have firm beliefs. They have developed these beliefs over many years and are not likely to change. Although some my view this as stubbornness, others see how these beliefs allow them to make decisions quickly and change those decisions slowly.
  2. They focus their attention on what they want. Like a magnifying glass focusing the power of the sun, they will focus their attention on a what needs to be changed in their life and they seldom divert their attention until that change is accomplished.
  3. They strive for independence. They don’t want to be a burden on anyone and prefer to live in their own home or living area if at all possible. They want to perform tasks themselves if they can.
  4. They are helpful and giving to others. They are glad to help others in any way they can. They may volunteer or even donate money if they are able.Grandmothers
  5. They are open to new experiences, tools and ideas. They have lived through significant changes in their lifetimes and they are open to embracing changes as long as it fits into their beliefs (see  #1 above).
  6. They know their limits. They know what they can do and they know what they can no longer do. Although they have a strong sense of independence (see #3), they recognize when assistance or a team effort is needed.
  7. They have developed a reliable support group. Through phone calls greeting cards, receiving visitors and even texts and emails, they keep in touch with others who love and care for them. They know they can reach out to this group for assistance if needed.
  8. They are thankful: Thankful for what others do for them. Thankful for memories of the past. Thankful for what each new day brings. Thankful for life’s many blessings.
  9. They enjoy life. As they go about their day, it is fun to watch as smiles, laughter and even tears come into their experience. They seem to enjoy it all.
  10. They have love in their heart: This seems to sum it all up. They love the people around them, they love the world around them. They love the experiences that life brings.

So what do you think?

  • Have you met many 90-year-olds with most of these qualities?
  • Would these qualities be beneficial to anyone’s life?
  • Which of these qualities do you possess?
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5 thoughts on “Master Key Week 6: Are You Behaving Like a 90-Year-Old?

  1. Hi Dan, enjoyed the read. I could use a few more of these 90 year old traits. Love Florida… Spent some time there in Tampa / St. Pete area in the late 70’s early 80’s. Keep doing the exercises!

  2. This was a kinda ‘humbling’ read!! From the vantage point of my mere sixty-plus years, this sorta puts things in perspective. You are quite correct. These ninety-plus year olds have lived through some earth-shaking events, and have still held on to their sanity !! We do indeed still have much to learn from them, and the example that they have set before us…..

  3. The concept of focus for me is more relatable to new things rather than the patterns of habit that are not malleable. Still, if cognitively intact, I agree that they can evidence dogged focus on tasks at hand.

  4. I was privileged to have my Great-Grandfather as a best friend growing up. Getting to know both was truly a blessing that cannot compare. The stability, wisdom, humor and love was strongly felt and appreciated.

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