Positive aging takes a different mindset – and a bolder one.
Carl Honoré is an award-winning journalist and author whose revolutionary first book, In Praise of Slowness, was an international bestseller and has been published in more than thirty languages. This excellent book can help you reframe how you think about getting older, learn how to retire well and enjoy life to its fullest.
Carl joins our retirement podcast from London to discuss the benefits positive aging, living more slowly against the cultural pressures for speed and youth – and his new book (B)OLDER: Making the Most of Our Longer Lives.
On the Advantages Older Workers Bring
“I think is quite surprising to people that – actually – in the workplace, people get more productive as they get older. There’s this awful toxic ageism – especially in the American workplace. But I think you find it all over the world too, this idea in Silicon Valley that they talk about being finished at forty, and anybody over forty gets passed over for interviews and shunted into less interesting work and all this sort of stuff. Yet, people are on an upward curve performance as they grow older. Productivity goes up in jobs that rely on social skills. People get better at dealing with customers and clients, better at things like collaboration, listening, seeing the big picture, creativity holds strong, and there’s a lot of research, in fact, that suggests that it gets better, we become more creative as we get older. We loosen up. We join the dots better.”
On the Power of Language and Aging
“I think so much of the problem with our attitude with aging is bound up with the poisonous language we use. It’s woven into our vernacular, that younger is better and older is worse. When we forget something we call it a senior moment. Or we use that phrase finished at forty, or you’re the wrong side of thirty or the wrong side of forty, or you say you’re feeling your age and that means you feel weak and feeble and inferior or sore. It’s just, every time we use that language, I think it’s reinforcing that stereotype. It’s reinforcing the caricature. It’s reinforcing the wrong idea of aging.
As we know from whether dealing with racism or sexism or any kind of social change, language is one the first steps towards changing how we feel about ourselves and our place in the world, and changing how we behave is the words we use. So I just recommend to people just push pause, think a little bit, check your language a little bit. Just don’t use phrases like a senior moment. Try and use phrases that are kind of neutral about aging, or upbeat about it. I think that can make a difference. There’s a lot of studies that show that if you have an upbeat view of aging you age better. You live longer, you better physically, cognitively, happier, et cetera. So language is a good way I think to do that.”
For More on Carl Honoré
Carl’s New Book:BOLDER is available on Amazon
Check out Carl Honore’s 12 Rules for Ageing Boldly
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