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10 great ways for growing old gracefully : Ageing Vs growing old

By :  Swati Chauhan 

There is clearly more to growing old than walking sticks, hearing aids, canes, Alzheimer’s and therapists.

Going beyond the fears of growing old here’s a positive outlook on defying the horrors associated with old age, growing old gracefully and all the fun things you can explore instead of feeling useless, helpless , lost and grumpy! 

Here’s a fresh take on growing old by Ankur Gupta, the author of Seed of Genius. Here is what he suggests:

growing old is fun


1. Do not retire.


If you’re over-aged, retire and get all the benefits but find another income-generating job or open a business that will keep you active physically and mentally. Travel and bond with true friends, play a sport, learn a new hobby and volunteer in your community or parish. Don’t loaf around. Your spouse will hate you because you’ve become a sloppy, listless bum with nothing good to say about the household and things that you never bothered about before. Solve crossword puzzles, play Scrabble, write your memoirs, and above all, read …this will keep you alert and keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

2. Live in your own place :


To enjoy independence, privacy and a solo life. If you move in with your children, your rank or degree of importance is reduced to that of a bed spacer who has no place of honour or, worse, like crumbling furniture merely displayed with no added value. Might you kowtow to conform to their own rules that are not kind, considerate or mindful of you? If you witness your children engaged in a war of will and wits with your grandchildren, whom will you side with? Will they even appreciate your arbitration? Remind your children that silence is not a sign of weakness; you are merely processing data that is taking longer to complete.

3. Hold on to your nest egg, bank deposits and assets.


 If you want to help your children, do give, but not to the extent that you wipe out your life’s earnings, singing heroically not a shirt on my back nor a penny to my name. Staying solvent and in the black is a good hedge against all kinds of tempests. You will sleep better, you will not be afraid to express your opinion and you will be confident about yourself.

4. Don’t believe your children’s promise to care for you when you grow old priorities change.


Many children are not guilt-ridden or filled with a sense of moral obligation when the wife and offspring take top billing in their lives. There are still children who would consider it a privilege to show compassion, genuine love and deep concern for their parents but be warned that not all children think alike.


5. Expand your circle of friends to include young ones who will definitely outlive your old BFFs:


Keep up with new inventions, trends, music and lifestyle including all the scams and schemes you should guard against. Remember that when you mix with the young, you also open a fresh avenue to channel your thoughts, experiences and values through so that the lessons you learned are not lost, forgotten or buried with you.


6. Be well groomed and smelling fresh of spring water all the time:


There’s nothing more depressing than seeing people exhale when you walk by because you reek of baul (camphor chest) or lupa (dirt). Old age or bust, don’t look and smell like a corpse when you’re not one yet.


7. Do not meddle in the life of your children:


If they ask for your counsel, give it, but be ready to accept that they may not take it. Their situations in life cannot be compared to the situations that you experienced in your life. The playing field has changed and they need to develop their own set of survival skills. If you raised them to be street smart, they can handle themselves in tough situations and be able to read people. Champion and encourage their dreams and desires but on their own terms.


8. Do not use old age as your shield and justification for turning grumpy:


There’s nothing more annoying than an arrogant, old fool. Welcome each day as another chance to be kind and forgiving, to yourself and to others.


9. Listen to what others may say:


 Do not throw your weight around just because you are a septuagenarian or a nonagenarian. You are not a depository of knowledge. Even if the roles have been reversed, make growing old a fun -filled, pleasant experience for you and your brood.

10. Pray always and focus on your eternal life:


You will definitely leave everything behind, a final journey detached from burden and care. Be more accepting that, sooner, not later, you will croak. Prepare your swan song with a humble and contrite heart. If you believe in a merciful and loving God, there is no need to strut like a star. Nobody is. 


This is a guest post by Ankur Gupta, the author of Seed of Genius, a alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad & BITS-Pilani, the author shares his vast knowledge, experience & learnings from his Mind Management workshops. He firmly believes that each individual is a Seed of Genius, waiting to sprout her/his true inner potential. Self-awareness is the key towards triggering this process. Presently spearheading a major initiative powered by Accenture towards opening up the minds of educators in Maharashtra by creating a team of 1000 Master Trainers using Tablets.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Fayaz Pasha says: January 11, 2014

    Very well said Ankur and thanks to Swati for providing an opportunity for this wonderful post. The first point itself struck beautifully. There’s no RETIREMENT. I do not know why this word itself has been coined. Many people are afraid of this word as they complete their years of service. This word should be replaced with “End of Contract”. The person is healthy and strong at 60. He’s just completed a contract with a company till he reached 60. However, he can still work and enjoy his life.

    I fully agree with rest of the points.

    • swatic12 says: January 11, 2014

      HI Fayaz,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. A person should be able to work as long as he wants to without any limits or restrictions. I too feelthe word retirement holds no constructive meaning and shouldn’t be used in general parlance.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  2. Rinzu Rajan says: January 11, 2014

    This is the greatest feat I suffer from. Quite insightful!
    I write here

    • swatic12 says: January 11, 2014

      HI Rinzu,
      I aM glad you found the post helpful.

  3. paresh Kale says: January 12, 2014

    Kudos to the topic u have chosen. Great and must follow list !

    • swatic12 says: January 15, 2014

      Thanks Paresh for your lovely comments!

  4. vijai says: January 26, 2014

    Hi Swati,you deserve full points.You have simply set an ignition of thoughts.The people have accepted word ‘retirement’ as start of rest period which helps them to grow aged [ not old] at a faster rate.In a contradictory instance,my uncle after retirement from service,joined an orphan home as manager,teaching orphans Vedic Shastra also and today even at the age of 83 he is very active right from 8 am to 8 pm daily.Most of resident orphans recite Vedic mantras so beautifully.
    He is an inspiration for me and so many others.Further i am sure going to follow suggestions routed through you.
    I am already active at point 5 by adding younger bloggers to my network while waiting for some to reciprocate!


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