By Ruth Palombo, Senior Health Policy Officer, Tufts Health Plan Foundation
I just got back from a wonderful conference on positive aging sponsored by the Institute for the Ages in Sarasota, FL. My mind is still swirling. One theme that so many of the speakers addressed was purpose – having a reason to get up every day. It seems so simple, but often we become very distracted and lose sight of what is important and what matters most in our lives.
Purpose seems to me to be the core of positive aging, in our own lives and in the lives of the people we serve. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What is our own path and how can we make that path more intentional?”
With such a big question, it’s often hard to know where to start. AARP has recently developed an online resource called Life Reimagined. This exciting new tool helps people explore new possibilities and ideas for change in their work, health, relationships – and finally in thinking about how they can pursue their passions.
Personally, I find that as I age, I am getting more spiritual and focusing more on the heart than my head, and embracing the journey of life. How about you? What do you dream of doing? If you died tomorrow, what would you regret not doing? What is holding you back?
Some of the sessions opened my eyes to the concept of “self-limiting stories” – basically, these are preconceived beliefs we all hold about ourselves which keep us from embracing our full potential. What are the self-limiting stories you tell yourself? If you could let go of those self-limiting stories, what would your future path look like?
I find that the more I open myself up to life, and the more I surrender and try not to control things, the more I get back. I hope you’ll set some time aside this year to think about your hopes and dreams as well. Let’s do it together. Share your story so we can continue this conversation. I believe it will help all of us as we engage the older adults with whom we work to think about their own path.