Can You

Think Yourself Young?

By Chip Conley of Wisdom Well 

I’m looking forward to reading David Robson’s new book, “The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life,” that he excerpted in a recent The Guardian article. This book follows ample research done by well-respected academics like Ellen Langer and Becca Levy, demonstrating how reframing from a negative to a positive can add more than a half-dozen years to your life. For the record, those are happy years, given the mindset shift.   

This article was sent to me by one of our two-time MEA alums who suggested this article highlights “the science that supports your teachings and your mission.” That alum, Kathy Smith, has sold more than 16 million fitness videos during the past 40 years. Of course, what’s obvious about Kathy is that she’s in great shape and is very healthy. But what’s less noticeable, until you’ve spent personal time with her, is that happiness and freedom are her ultimate cosmetics of choice. Her great health comes from within.

As the article says, “People who see the aging process as a potential for personal growth tend to enjoy much better health into their 70s, 80s, and 90s than people who associate aging with helplessness and decline, differences that are reflected in their cells’ biological aging and their overall life span.” As Kathy added in her note to me, “Rarely have I read a mainstream media article that touts MEA’s POV as well as this one does. Feel free to share it with your friends.” I agree and am doing just that. 

Studies have shown that changing your perspective on aging is even more effective in prolonging longevity than stopping smoking or taking up exercise in midlife. I know that’s an unbelievable finding. We’ve had decades of public health announcements focused on changing our smoking and exercise habits. Still, the Mad Men who delivered those creative PSA’s are the same ones who’ve stoked our sense of internal ageism based upon the history of advertising’s reverence for the cult of youth.

If you’re looking at how you can make the most of your longer life and you’re an Anglophile (reading The Guardian et al.), you’d likely love our Mastery faculty member Carl Honoré and his upcoming workshop that I’m co-leading: Bolder: Making the Most of our Longer Lives. The workshop is from January 31 – February 5. We have a couple of spaces left. 

As a total aside, if you love The Guardian (and Brit humor), here’s a fun article on positive words that you’ve never heard of and are incredibly enjoyable to say (can you say  “respair” and “cacklefart”).