This is the greatest time in history to be over the age of 60. Or 80. Or even 100! We are on the cusp of a longevity revolution, and that’s why we’re so passionate about Rebranding Aging®. The opportunities are tremendous, and you don’t have to look very hard to see why:
- Modern man has been on the planet for 300,000 years. Through 99.9% of that time, the average lifespan was 35. In 1900, the average was 49. In 2015, it was 71*.
- 2/3 of people who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive right now.
- 25% of all women who are 65 today will live to see their 100th birthday.
- The number of nonagenarians — men and women in their 90s — has tripled in the last decade.
That’s the good news. But health and longevity take effort, and that’s where the bad news comes in. In 2016, the average life expectancy for Americans dropped for the first time in decades. And the suicide rate for older people, which had pretty much been stable since the 1950s, has skyrocketed in the last 15 years.
There are a number of contributing factors but there are three big ones.
#1: Low Social Interaction
We are social animals. When we find ourselves isolated, away from friends and family, left with nobody to engage with we decline — and do so very rapidly.
#2: Lack of Physical Activity
35% of U.S. adults don’t exercise at all, and lack of exercise is the primary cause of chronic disease.
It’s not just affecting our bodies, either. Our minds and souls take a hit when we don’t move. You must use it or lose it.
Here’s some inspiration from the Growing Bolder archives:
- A Masterclass in Active Longevity
- If a Good Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, What’s an Inspiring Video Worth?
- Ann Kahl: “You’ve Just Been Passed By an 86-Year-Old” and Meet the 87-Year-Old Pied Piper of Fitness
- Jumpin’ Joe and the Joe Dome
- Ruth Flowers aka DJ Mamy Rock
- Charles Eugster on Growing Bolder Radio
- Olga Kotelko on Growing Bolder Radio
- Greta Pontarelli on Growing Bolder Radio
- Orville Rogers and Dixon Hemphill at the 2017 Masters Indoor Track Championships
- Nola Ochs on Growing Bolder Radio
- Ida Keeling on Growing Bolder Radio
3: We’ve All Been Brainwashed
And this is where Growing Bolder comes in. We are Rebranding Aging®.
The brainwashing starts at birth. 11 separate studies of more than 650 books show that children’s literature has been filled with ageist, negative stereotypes for decades. Older people are non-existent in this world and where they do exist, they’re often shown as sick or dying.
TV is the worst offender — from its inception under representing and misrepresenting older people as frail, feeble and forgetful. And even worse than the programs themselves have been the sophisticated commercials and million dollar advertising campaigns, all designed to make us dread aging. The anti-aging, youth movement created by advertisers wants you to believe that there is something inherently wrong with being old.
And it doesn’t end there. Think about the over-the-hill greeting cards we see in stores, mandatory retirement ages, and doctors prescribing medication before lifestyle modification. All are examples of the ageist culture we live in and all conspire to reinforce the destructive messages fed to us incessantly for decades.
From the time you were born, our culture has been whispering demeaning, ageist propaganda to you. And now it’s not only in your mind, it’s been embraced by your soul. It’s a ticking time bomb that tells you age is a disease and you have it. We are literally killing ourselves with our belief system about aging.
Our mission is nothing sort of deprogramming the world from the insidious Cult of Youth, because we have been deceived by our culture. Aging is not a disease; it’s an opportunity.
So, help us be a part of the solution. If you haven’t yet signed up as a Growing Bolder Insider, please drop your information in the form at the bottom of this post.
I’ll send you a free copy of my ebook, Rock Stars of Aging, in which I share the secrets to a long, happy and healthy life straight from the men and women who have succeeded. It’s wisdom and insight from some of the world’s oldest people, most of whom I’ve had the great honor to speak with for Growing Bolder.
You can also watch my presentation “We’ve All Been Brainwashed” at MarcMiddleton.com, and if you’re interested, learn more about bringing me to your event or organization to share more of these powerful and positive messages.
Be sure to also follow Growing Bolder on Facebook, where you’ll find daily hope, inspiration and possibility.