Ten ways to live with purpose

Story by Liz Marchi

Ihave been following Marc Middleton’s initiative called “Growing Bolder” for the last few years. He made a huge career change in his 60s and has been an advocate for living with passion and purpose in your final years. I encourage you to read his book, Growing Bolder. It’s well-researched and edited and makes a compelling case for the cult of youth our culture promotes.

To me, these are rich years of deeper understanding. Living with intention matters. It’s more challenging as we age and experience loss on a regular basis: friends, family and health. Learning to live in the present while continuing to grow bears great reward.

Of particular interest to me is the chapter on the “Rock Stars of Aging.” Middleton spent extensive time with individuals aged 90-plus to learn about their life journeys and how they are living with purpose. I hope you find these traits as informative as I do. Intentionally, I read them every day. 

1. Mourn and move on: If we live long enough, we lose almost everything. Learn to have selective memory and let go of what’s lost and look for joy in the every day.

2. Have powerful sense of purpose and a positive attitude: Find purpose after your career. Anger is like a poison; train yourself to be positive.

3. Live in the present and have a sense of wonderment: As soon as you believe your life is behind you, it is!

4. Remain independent yet be social and active in all that you can:  Becoming a hermit causes you to lose your sense of gratitude and connection.

5. Keep moving and don’t overeat: You don’t see obese centenarians! Health is wealth and gives back to you every day.

6. Centenarians don’t smoke, drink heavily or take a lot of medications: Lifestyle choices pay big dividends.

7. Have few regrets: Find a way to live life on your own terms and know what those are.

8. Be a lifelong learner: Use it or lose it is absolutely true when it comes to our brains. Read, read, read.

9. Be kind, empathetic and spiritual: They believe in something. Believe in the Golden Rule!

10. Avoid debt and leverage the health-wealth connection: Few plan to live to 100. Staying healthy and debt free is a game changer.

With all credit to Marc Middleton, I read these every day and hope you will, too.

Liz is fascinated by the various approaches to aging — from denial, to plastic surgery, to running marathons, to depression. Given our current demographics, Liz thinks there is a lot to explore, celebrate and learn from those living and aging in the Flathead Valley. Contact her at liz@lizmarchi.com.