When I reached retirement age, seniors being neglected in nursing homes was all over the news. I felt so badly because most of them could be living happy, independent lives if they only knew how. It’s not their fault. They just didn’t know how.
And it’s not rocket science. It’s just doing a few things most people already know are good for them, but are slightly inconvenient, like a little daily exercise and stretches, trying to eat the right foods, doing your own cooking when you can, learning to look at the positive side of things, and trying to be responsible for yourself.
But there’s also an attitude, I call the joy of living the simple life, that brings it all together. Some people might call it living a spiritual life, the kind of spirituality you can have whether you’re religious or not. It starts with mindfulness, but don’t be put off by that word. It just means doing one thing at a time, and paying attention only to what you’re doing.
When you do that for a while you begin to understand what it means to be in the present moment, here and now. Some people say the only thing that really exists is the present moment. The past is gone. The future isn’t here yet. They’re just thoughts. The present moment is where we live, where we experience our life, so perhaps we should pay attention. Perhaps we should give it our full attention.
Einstein talked about pausing to stand rapt in wonder and awe. When you pay attention you start to notice the beauty and elegance of life. You develop a sense of gratitude for everything in the world. And gratitude brings joy.
Of course not everything in the world is wonderful, but we can choose to be around and part of the wonderful things. When you take responsibility for everything in your life you realize you can make it any way you want it. You can make it wonderful. It’s not always easy, but if you keep going and never give up your life will get better and better. It’s inevitable.
Failure is not failing. It’s only learning, learning to succeed in the future. Actually, failure is nothing. When you fall down you get up and keep going. You don’t need to feel bad about it, or about yourself. Who is born knowing everything?
When a baby learning to walk falls down they don’t think about giving up. They’re inspired by everyone around them who’s walking. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to do, who already have what you want.
No matter how much money you have, living the simple life will bring peace and contentment.
My video course is called “Retire on Social Security”. Watch a 6 minute introduction – www.retireonsocialsecurity.com