Self

8 Tiny Traits Of People Who Age Incredibly Well

Photo: Olivia Hutcherson | Unsplash
Happy woman loving on her golden retriever

I see many people whose bitterness correlates directly to how many years they’ve been alive. If you plotted it on a map, it would be an upward-leaning line.

I sometimes catch myself getting tighter and angrier, and I see bitterness in many people I know. I don’t want to be that guy, and neither do you. You lose the most in the end, and your health will suffer.

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Here are 8 tiny traits of people who age incredibly well:

1. They refuse to blame other

Bitterness is a victim-mentality trait. You can’t see yourself at the mercy of the people and the world around you and be happy and optimistic simultaneously. It takes a concerted effort to take the ownership route and never blame your circumstances for your pains. Everything you have in your life results from a sequence of choices YOU made. It’s on you, so quit moaning. You’ll be so much happier when you quit blame like you quit nicotine.

   

   

2. They see how we’re all connected

The most bitter people I know all believe they’re different from others and, because of this, feel isolated. They’ll never be understood because they’re a special ‘unique’ case. My god — what a miserable way to live. You must find a way to see yourself in everyone, regardless of their politics, preferences, or hair color. Human suffering is primarily rooted in the idea that you are cut off from others. Depression is a symptom of the feeling of disconnection. And it’s in your head. See the spiritual connection we have to everything, and you’ll get younger as you age.

3. They maintain light-heartedness

A cheeky little secret lies partly obscured in your life-hacks toolbox. It’s called being light-hearted. Life gets more complicated if we push back against it. No matter what flies at you, you need to develop the skill of being loose and light with it ALL. No exceptions.


8 Traits Shared By Those Who Avoid Growing Bitter As They Get OlderPhoto: OtmarW / Shutterstock

This doesn’t necessarily mean being some comedian always coming out with the latest dad jokes. It means acceptance if it can’t be changed. It means smiling in the face of adversity. It means lifting those around you, even if crap gets real and tough. 

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4. They're intolerant of crappy thoughts

People who remain happy and healthy through life aren’t necessarily blessed with comfortable surroundings and few problems in their lives. This is a pipe dream. We all have problems, no matter how privileged we appear to be on the outside. What’s important is your relationship with your thoughts. Happy people understand the crippling power of our thoughts. They refuse to believe the ugly ones. They don’t bother with positive affirmations. They simply let thoughts come. And then they let those suckers go. That’s positivity. That’s happiness.

5. They remain curious

Imagine hitting 40 and seeing your Curiosity Meter on empty. Good luck with that. Forty years to go, and you’ve lost your soul. Humans with a sparkle in their eyes maintain a curiosity for life. This isn’t limited to their "specialty." They keep their childlike curiosity channels open and flowing for all things. They read widely. They ask questions. They watch documentaries. They talk to their perceived enemies. They breathe when triggered instead of immediately leaving or unfollowing. They give a crap about what’s going on around them and what’s causing things to happen the way they do.

   

   

Curiosity keeps your mind young and active. Thinking you know it all and being done with learning is a slow death.

6. They minimize judging

Some people will tell you to stop judging entirely. Uh, no. Judgment is an essential aspect of our humanity and our ability to survive. If I don’t judge, I can’t know if something is a threat, which is a valuable tool in our need to discern. But here’s where it begins to get soul-destroying: we get overly judgemental of things we need to let lie. If it isn’t a threat, and you can’t do anything about it, let go of your stewing judgments because it will only turn you bitter. Judge and either do something about it or let it go quickly.

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7. They see the lesson in all hardship

The most wound-up people I know accumulate hardships and setbacks in their lives — like everyone else — but they do one thing that ensures they develop increasing stress. They fail to see the lesson. They see the setback as further confirmation of a brutal existence. Good luck with that. You take on the immovable and concrete-like persona of someone who resists hardship, and this will destroy you. You must be fluid. To be like water means finding value in challenges. Ask: how can I use this? Instant life upgrade.

8. They've mastered their ego.

The big problem I see in many who get older is a build-up of resentment around the so-called injustices done to them by others. They have an unhealthy relationship with egos.

The ego is the idea we hold in our minds of who we think we are. It’s a picture we can hone over the years using memories, thoughts, and experiences. But the astute among us get that it’s just a picture. It’s not a real thing. We lose if we’re out here trying to protect a made-up concept to the point it affects our confidence and joy in life. The Ego is essential. It can fire us up and drive us to want to create magnificent things. It reminds us to take care of ourselves and look good. But we need to use it carefully. If we take our Ego too seriously and develop the belief that we have a "self" that needs protecting, we will struggle. We create our suffering because we make everything about ourselves.

Those who travel light, enjoy their lives, and rarely take things personally have mastered their egos. They know that it is just a tool. It’s not a physical thing. When you can be loose with Ego, you will go far.

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Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.