The idea that ageing is the enemy, has been woven through our vernacular and reinforced by popular culture and mainstream media.
We are constantly bombarded with images depicting middle age as a time of decline and decrepitude. But, for the record, I for one am not in the market for ‘sensible’, ‘beige’, ‘elasticised’ or ‘dependable’ anything! Nor do I want to consider funeral plans, rocking chairs or retirement villages!
The image of ageing that society reflects back is totally at odds with how most of us feel and there’s a reason for that. Over the last two centuries, our average life expectancy has grown by about fifty years, but we’re still referencing an old, outdated roadmap for life. It’s like mankind won the equivalent of the longevity lotto; we just haven’t worked out what to do with our winnings.
The truth is that the second half of life is as multifaceted, diverse, and colourful as the first and we need to move away from this out-dated binary view of young versus old. Chronological age is losing its power to define and constrain us. As a society, we need to ‘consciously uncouple’ our chronological age from socially prescribed life stages, meaningless generational labels and antiquated images of what aging ‘should’ look like and adopt a more free-range approach to ageing.
This sentiment was summed up perfectly by American entrepreneur, Gina Pell, who coined the term Perennial, to describe this curious, ever-blooming growth mindset shared by people of all ages who have a generationally blurred mindset and resist being categorised or defined by the date of their birth. People whom Pell describes as; “Ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident and global-minded risk takers who understand that age is not a limiting factor. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mind-set, not a divisive demographic. It is all about mindset and no longer about a one-dimensional timeline that runs from birth to death.”
The time has come to disrupt out-dated concepts of aging and to make it aspirational. Chip Conley, New York Time’s best-selling author and founder of the Modern Elder Academy believes that midlife isn’t a crisis, it’s a calling and he’s on a path to disrupt aging and to redefine midlife.
If you’d like to hear more about why the modern elder movement is gaining momentum, then register to attend a free, live online event – In Conversation with Chip Conley – hosted by the Modern Elder Academy (MEAx) on Sunday January 22 from 9am-10am AEDT. Reserve your free ticket here.