As it was my birthday early in the week, it has got me thinking about the process of aging gracefully and living with a purpose and a spring in our step in our autumn and golden years.
The Mahathir Model
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who returned to the office of prime minister in May, at 93 is a prime example of living life with a purpose even in our golden years. He has tireless energy especially during the historic May 2018 election campaign – standing up for hours when giving press conferences and interviews graced by his sharp wit and eloquence.
His secret to aging is being active and eating only half potion of rice with a balanced moderate diet.
Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy
The Singapore legendary former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew was 91 when he died. He once said “to the young and to the not so old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it”.
In his later years, PM Lee gave advise on aging well. To him the most important advice he gave was to stay active – body, mind and spirit. “The human being is a social animal – he needs stimuli, he needs to meet people, to catch up with the world,” he explained.
He was determined until the end of his life to expand his horizon daily with new hobbies, exercise and challenges: “The biggest punishment a man can receive is total isolation in a dungeon, black and complete withdrawal of all stimuli, that’s real torture. If you want to see sunrise tomorrow or sunset, you must have a reason, you must have the stimuli to keep going.”
My own age-old philosophy
I totally agree that age is just a physical statistic. Our quality of life while we grow older should purpose-driven, hope-filled and positive life.
The world as we know it is changing rapidly and the only constant now ironically is “change”. However, nation’s history has withstood time and is standing on the values, virtues and resilience of the founding fathers like Dr. Mahathir and PM Lee above who overcame adversity and contributed their talents even in their old age.
Likewise, I also want to embody the same values and “can do” positive spirit as we springboard into our autumn season where I am still actively involved in my corporate and social enterprises which give me much meaning in life and keep me on my toes.