As I venture ever closer to my 50th year I find I love, laugh and live more freely than ever. I feel all of my 50 years in some ways and very few of them in others. There will come a time when I want to slow down the bus I am sure but for now I am loving it. I feel as youthful and vibrant as I ever have. I have noticed a number of standard traits for my friends and acquaintances who have a youthful outlook. Here they are to do with as you will……
- Be present in the present – you have heard the saying “be a bit more dog”, this refers to the ability for our canine friends to appreciate the now! if you give them a treat, praise them or simply return home from time out a dog will be full of life’s joy at that moment, no care if the minute before it was cold or raining and after it may be hungry or tired it will make full use of the joy in a moment. For us this does not mean we forget or ignore the rest but appreciate and milk the now you are in. If it is good appreciate it don’t worry about what was or could be.
- Be a child or childlike – the term grown up instils an image of responsibility and weight and drudgery, although we have chores and things to do no-one says that this cannot be fun. Be childlike, be silly let yourself laugh and kid. Do not be embarrassed by being silly – a little let loose time is as good for me as mediation, to allow myself to be free to tease, be silly, look stupid is good for the soul.
- Be open to new things – you can teach and old dog new tricks and in fact you should. Travel, take part in new activities, read. There is nothing like opening up your mind to learning new things to make you feel alive and to inspire you to new achievements. Link this with be more childlike and be prepared to be embarrassed and you can undertake adventures you never knew possible.
- Meet new friends. Although they say you can count your true friends on one hand, you never know when you might meet them so always keep trying. Also we don’t need an abundance of true friends, those that will stand by you no matter what, we need an abundance of timely friends, those that appear when fate dictates and we learn from and as much as we influence them and their lives, they influence us and help us to grow and learn. Friends are fabulous and fortuitous, grab them, have fun with them and remember them. Old ones, young ones they all serve to widen your thinking, open your mind and provide you with a million possibilities for life.
- Smile – a smile is infectious. Only in my darkest moments and on my own will I let my smile drop. Try it, meet an angry person with a smile and positivity and they either get angrier (oops try something else) or you can break the spell and get them to join in. happiness is by far the preferential state of being for everyone so if you maintain your smile and happy demeanour it is a very very negative person that will not succumb to you charm. In turn, if you can encourage others to smile and appreciate the positive your bubble of effect becomes a better place to be.
- Avoid dementors, I have pinched this from Harry Potter and will gladly admit it – unless it will cost me then I made it all up myself :-). There are some people in life that are just plain negative, they suck the life blood out of you, as you try to be positive and give them positive options they counter with darkness and negativity. There are numerous good and worthy causes in the world and to these I give my time and myself openly but the dementors (and you will know who they are) are part of Voldemort’s army and just need to be avoided.
- Love the details – Nature, nature is the biggest inspiration of all, never lose the intrigue of youth, the ability to wonder why and to look at a fly or a fly for hours watching its every move and being in awe of the detail and intricacy of life.