Living Your Golden Age | Inspirational Podcasts

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Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from Turn Back the Years by Harry J. Gardener, published in 1937.

In ancient history, the time when Pericles lived was called The Golden Age. But in in today’s talk, I am referring to something far different. I am applying the term Golden Age to that state in life (which can be any age), where you have reached complete control of your personality. In order to remain young, it is essential that you be young. And by that I mean, you must be adaptable.

You should be able to pick up and dash off to a concert or party at a moment’s notice, not hem and haw about how you’re going to arrive late or that you’re really too tired to go, or what you’ll wear. You should have the capability to go away for a weekend the moment you get a sudden, unexpected invitation, or you should be able to adapt yourself immediately in event of a surprise meeting with some old friend.

Spontaneity is one of the prime points in being youthful. The minute you settle permanently into the same easy chair to watch the same TV show, wearing the same pajamas and pair of slippers, the same lamp over your shoulder, from that moment on you are doomed to old age just as surely as if all your friends had uttered the sentence themselves and as if Time were your executioner.

So be alive, be joyful, and if you can’t be happy, at least never show your unhappiness, or wear it like a bleeding heart on your sleeve. People don’t want to hear your troubles any more than you want to hear theirs. Change your events in your social calendar from week to week. Try to see lots of different people, and never go the same places with the same faces week after week if you can possibly avoid it.

Routine can soon get a strangle hold on your youth and is certain death for youngness. I know an elderly gentleman who is retired, but only in the technical sense of the word. He has a moderate income, and at a time in life when most people have given up the ghost and settled into a petrified state of unchanging dullness, he’s up and about, dignified and charming, interesting and delightful.

And why? Because he knows the importance of change and spontaneous living. I called him up one afternoon, on a moment’s notice, and asked him if he could come to dinner that evening. I started to apologize for giving him short notice, as it was a rather formal dinner and most people who attend formal dinner parties like to be warned several days in advance.

But he cut me short in the middle of my apology saying: “Oh, don’t apologize! I like short notice — it keeps me on my toes!” And it does. He can react to any situation with unlimited poise and assurance. Where most people would have arrived feeling sloppy and unprepared, he got there two hours later faultlessly dressed and radiant.

Adaptability is one of the least difficult qualities to achieve and one of the most important to possess. Success of any sort is so often dependent upon it that I wonder more people aren’t prepared for sudden change. I myself have always believed in it thoroughly. I’m constantly changing objects about in my house. I believe firmly in changes of all types.



The Living Hour