5 Great Things About Growing Older

Aging experts agree that these are some of the best reasons why you should look forward to getting older.

1. Wisdom and Intelligence

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." -Albert Einstein

Despite dated research to the contrary, intelligence remains stable, and in some ways gets sharper, as we age. Older adults have had more practice solving social and practical problems. Furthermore, they have a type of intelligence that comes from experiences and knowledge earned over many years. This intelligence seems to peak in a person's 50s and may even hold stable in their 60s and 70s.

2. Self-Acceptance

"This above all: to thine own self be true." -William Shakespeare

Eighty-year old Emily Kimball, aka the Aging Adventurer, agrees with Shakespeare. "One of the best things about aging is the opportunity to give up any falseness in your life and become your most authentic self," she says.

Psychologist Vivian Diller writes that self-knowledge, acquired through aging, brings confidence. We appreciate how much experience has taught us and therefore make better decisions.

3. Freedom

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." -George Bernard Shaw

When she was in her 60s, Kimball realized she had the freedom to create the life she dreamed of. She left the comfort of a corporate job and began hiking and biking around the world, activities she still does today. At about the same time, she started her own business, Make it Happen, which allows her to speak to audiences nationwide about successful aging and achieving your dreams.

"Another one of the best things about aging is the total sense of freedom to plan your own life and do your own thing," she says. "Perhaps you'll go for some of the passions you put aside in your busy middle years."

4. Connection

"I was always taught to respect my elders and I've now reached the age when I don't have anybody to respect." -George Burns

Aging is a time when we connect to extended family and deepen friendships. Diller says we become more forgiving and are willing to overcome grudges as we accept limitations—our own and others'.

Perspective: Relishing the Here and Now

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes." -Frank Lloyd Wright

Diller says by the time we reach our 50s, we begin to let go of unrealistic expectations and prioritize our life goals. We can look back, appreciate our accomplishments, and feel less compelled to push for more.




Diller, Vivian, Ph.D. "8 Ways We Improve With Age." Huffington Post. Web. 24 October 2011.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vivian-diller-phd/midlife-replacing-dread-w_b_1011433.html

The Australian. "Wisdom really does increase with age." Web. 7 January 2008.

Huffington Post. "New Study: Baby Boomers Approach 65... Glumly." Web. 20 December 2010. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/20/baby-boomers-approach-65-_n_799198.html

Diller, Vivian Ph.D. "Midlife: What Goes Down Must Come Up." Huffington Post. Web. 17 August 2011.

The Aging Adventurer. Web. http://www.theagingadventurer.com/