I wanna be forever young… – sang Bob Dylan, Alphaville, and thousand others who covered this famous song. The motive of beating time and never growing old is known since the beginning of mankind. Is it then possible to bend nature and stay young – forever?
Talking about biology – who knows? – there are people who seem to be immortal. Talking about mentality – the answer is yes. What’s more, the secret of the eternal youth is not complicated. Take a look at those 8 simple habits of people who seem to be forever young – no matter their age.
- Go for it
Who says you have a limited time to start making your dreams come true? It is never too late to embrace your intuition. It’s the society which tells us that by the age of 30 we need to achieve most of the successes like a stable job, good relationship, perhaps also an owned car or a flat. What if it didn’t happen and we already passed 30?
The same goes for following your dreams. Alan Rickman, a brilliant British actor, got his first major role at the age of 46. When Judi Dench, the famous M from James Bond movies, got her life-changing role, she was 61. Those people, and many more who pursue their dreams no matter their age, always seem happier, more attractive, and younger. That’s why the next time you’d feel like you are too old to take that trip to Costa Rica, or participate in ballet classes, think about J.K. Rowling who published Harry Potter “only” at the age of 32.
- Get ridiculous
Nobody is too old to laugh at themselves. Laughter is good especially when you think there’s nothing funny around (for example when it hits you’re not in your 20s anymore). People who keep a healthy distance about themselves seem happier, more confident, more attractive, and obviously, younger.
Just look at Richard Branson – one of the most successful people on Earth, a crazy-smart entrepreneur and an experienced leader whose Virgin Group controls more than 400 companies. He is also a 67-year-old, professional businessman who surely has to deal with lots of unpleasant situations and dilemmas every day. But does he behave like he is the wisest person in the world? No. He is actually known for making tons of fun of himself and always has a very good time. This attitude makes him look younger and nicer in front of his partners and employees.
- Stay curious
Stay hungry, stay curious, said Steve Jobs during his memorable speech for the freshly graduated Stanford students. When we keep being interested in learning new things, learning about the world, and learning about ourselves, we never get bored. Young people, no matter of their age, are always willing to find out about some new things that happened. Even just for the sake of knowing what’s up.
Quite often, on the other hand, people who seem older suddenly stop being curious about anything. It looks like they already know everything and not acknowledge the fact that there are things that could still amaze them. If you want to stay forever young, just keep digging deeper, keep asking questions. Remember when you were a kid and always wanted to know why the moon gets up at night or how come the cars drive, or why some people have blue eyes, and others have brown eyes? You still have it in you. Go for a walk and get into the skin of a child who just continues to ask questions about the world. Stay hungry and look for answers.
- Take fitness seriously
The keys to life are running and reading, said actor Will Smith. Sure, it’s nice and motivating once you are young and beautiful, and those butt workouts actually bring fast results. But what, when you get older, and carving the dream body starts to get way harder? Don’t fall into that trap. Taking good care of your body in terms of daily physical exercise is another crucial thing to stay young – both physically and mentally.
Just look at Tao Porchon-Lynch, an absolutely inspirational woman, a yoga master and a dancer, who is still practicing and teaching yoga at the age of 99. Her life motto is There is nothing you cannot do. The happy smile on her face and the brilliant life she’s had proves that you can still be young and live long years; if your body and mind get a habit of a regular sports activity. Yoga, or any other discipline, can take you no longer than 10-15 minutes per day. How about starting this evening?
- Don’t be afraid of change
Have you heard that old saying Old trees shouldn’t be moved? It means that once we grow older, we’re not supposed to change too much in our lives. I dare to say that this is a brule (=bullshit rule). Why shouldn’t we change? Of course, it’s amazing to feel like you have ‘the’ place on Earth, your own spot; your home. But when the time comes, even despite your will, you may need to move. You may need to change your place on Earth to somewhere else.
The ones who are very resilient to any type of change (be it a new country to live, a new set of books, or a new, healthier, relationship) seem a bit “heavier”; older. Once you’re not afraid of new challenges, of new things in your life, you’re gaining more freedom. You’ll be independent and, simply, “lighter” in a way that makes you open the possibilities of life with the open arms.
- Keep learning
When do you stop studying? For many people, education is this sad duty that we are obliged to do in our first 20 years of life. After that, you have your diploma, your profession, and you don’t need to study anymore. Right? Wrong. Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself, said American psychologist and educational reformer, John Dewey.
Young people never stop learning. They treat educating themselves as fun, a privilege, and a duty at the same time. One of the most brilliant people in the world are known to read several books at the same time. Robin Sharma, a great leadership speaker and writer, encourages everybody to invest 60 minutes every day to learn something. It can be a new language, graphic design course, or watching videos about modern geopolitics. Just one hour per day, instead of watching a tv show before you go to sleep. You’ll feel younger, happier, and more energetic about your life.
- Have some new goals to accomplish
Imagine a life when you don’t have any new goals to achieve. Nothing in front of you to keep you going, no big aspiration or mission that makes you want to get up from the bed each morning. This situation can happen to anybody. No matter their age. Losing the sense of journey impacts us destructively.
A simple idea would be to follow Japanese philosophy of happiness. It’s called ikigai and can be translated as ‘happiness coming from being constantly occupied’. No matter what it is, try to keep yourself busy. It doesn’t have to be flying helicopters or bungee jumping but a simple dream that you are going to work on. You’ll feel hope and excitement that comes from being busy in doing what makes you happy. And that is working like a magical, age-slowing medicine.
- Stick with the young-minded
Surround yourself with the ones who you admire, who make you more energetic, and younger. Be it your close family, a group of friends, a beloved pet, your children, your parents, spouse, flatmates, people from the community… whoever gets you this chill of excitement or a nice warm feeling around the heart.
Spend time with the young-minded around you (and if you don’t have them, look for them). Why? Because science proves it’s a key to long and happy life. The famous Harvard study revealed that, among so many hacks, theories, and methods, there is one simple explanation. It’s in our social connections. When people are surrounded by their loved ones until they die – they live a good and very long life. Conclusion? Invest your time in healthy relationships. It can save your life – literally.
Start with 8 habits
The key to success is to start small. Baby steps, one habit at a time. Because habits are exactly the thing that will help you win the game of slow aging. Simply apply those 8 little actions per day and you will start feeling the breeze of youth in no time.
1. Take chances every day.
Is it signing up for a new e-learning course? Volunteering for a challenge at work? Answering yes when a friend asks you go for a run together? Just some small actions that will make you go out of your comfort zone. No worries, every day is full of those opportunities.
2. Laugh at yourself.
Ever looked in the mirror and thought ugh, today is my bad hair day? Here’s your reason to smile. Did something awkward at the office, unconsciously? Just laugh about it; laughter is contagious. And makes you younger.
3. Ask a child-like question.
Use your commuting time to look around and ask about something “silly”. Why do people never talk at the metro? Why are leaves green? Since you’re standing or sitting still anyway in your bus, metro, or tram, just reach out to your phone and google the answer.
4. Exercise daily.
There are thousands of mobile apps, youtube tutorials, and guides online. Just pick one and commit even 4 minutes (tabata is your keyword here) every day to an honest workout.
5. Do one thing from your daily routine, differently.
Pick another route to work, cook something uncommon, drink a new tea. Possibilities are endless.
6. Invest at least 30 min daily for self-education.
Again; there are so many ways to learn for free, that it’s just stupid to complain about lack of money. Pick something for you and follow up with the course for even 5 minutes every day.
7. Do something every day to achieve one of your biggest dreams.
When you don’t know what are your plans for life, do this small exercise. Then pick one goal and start working on it. Do you want to travel around Asia? Then pick a blog or get a book about the region and read one piece of content every day. Look up cheap flights on your phone before going to sleep. And so on.
8. Talk with somebody or watch somebody who is young-minded.
Close your eyes and think who do you know that seems like is forever young. Then reach out to this person. Or read about them. Get to know them and learn from their lifestyle.
The wonderful thing about habits is that it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on it. What matters is that you do it DAILY. That’s the only condition. After a month or so, you won’t even notice that you’re doing it anymore. It’ll just feel natural, obvious, and needed; just as taking a shower. One habit at a time, you’ll feel younger and… happier. Isn’t that the ultimate point anyway?