Do you want to live a long life? Living long is a worthy goal, but does living long really mean much, if you’re not living well? If you aren’t useful, productive, and fruitful?
Do you believe that being useful matters no matter how old you are? I do. I believe that we all have a responsibility to be useful all the days of our lives. Regardless of your age, you can contribute. We can all make a difference. We can bear fruit- even in our senior years — and we can make life better for the people around us. And, for ourselves.
So, what are the essential ingredients when it comes to remaining useful?
1. Be a Lifelong Learner.
When we keep learning, we keep growing. A lazy brain is an aging brain, so keep your brain young. Try new things. Read. Take a class. Travel. Make new friends. Keep your mind open to new ideas and enjoy new experiences. An active brain is a useful brain. As an active, life-long learner, you will be in a good position to be helpful. Your keen mind, know-how and zest for learning will translate in unimaginable ways. You’ll naturally contribute to those around you just by being a better version of you. You’ll be more equipped to help, give, mentor, and to serve those around you, and you’ll be more useful.
2. Be Someone Who Loves!
Love is more than a feeling. It’s a choice. A choice you make every day of your life. Loving yourself and others promotes good health — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It also enables you to have a positive impact on the people around you. Wake up every day with the intent to love others and commit to showing your love through acts of service. When you love others through acts of service, you contribute to their lives and you make yourself useful because your love shows up in your actions.
3. Be Someone Who Labors.
Tony Robbins said, “Aside from your love, the most sacred gift you have to give is your labor.” You don’t have to be a wage earner to be a laborer, but you do have to work. When you give yourself to the shared mission of work, you add value — value to people, organizations, and to society. So, work part-time, serve on a board, consult, coach, teach or volunteer, and give the gift of your labor.
The desire to feel useful and valued by others is an important component of older adults’ mental and physical well-being. When you purpose to become a life-long learner, when you wake up every day with a commitment to love others through your actions, and when you give the sacred gift of your labor, you will be useful. No.Matter.Your.Age.