B is for Beliefs

In modeling vital centenarians and studying the best psychology research, Brickey came up with 36 beliefs that foster living longer, healthier and happier. Hopefully, Brickey will discover even more. Let’s consider four of the 40 beliefs:

Belief: #1. I am many ages.

A librarian told him that she happened to mention to her staff that she was over 50. Suddenly they started treating her differently. “Brittney Spears, oh I’m sorry, you wouldn’t know who she is would you?” They started leaving her off committees. She was young at heart. They had arteriosclerosis of the attitudes.

When you tell someone your age, they pull out their stereotypes for that age and expect you to “Act your age.” Worse yet those stereotypes are based on how your parents’ and grandparents’ generations aged. So what should you say?

I think the best answer came from comedian Bob Hope. He describes himself as “many ages.” There are times when you want to get down on the floor and play with little kids like you are a little kid yourself. There are times when you want to have a teenage rhythm to relate well to teens or just to have fun. And there are times when you want to draw upon your years of experience for sagely wisdom. The trick is time traveling to whatever the occasion calls for. The beauty is that the older you get, the richer your repertoire becomes.

There is an interesting bonus benefit. When you meet new people you often get routine questions such as “What do you do for a living?” Often they get to the end of their list, don’t know what more to say, and move on. Tell someone you are many ages and you not only avoid being stereotyped, you get an interesting conversation that goes deeper than the usual questions and answers.


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