After 2 1/2 years of interviewing women over 70 for our podcast, Women Over 70-Aging Reimagined, it has become eminently clear that these 2 attributes, Gratitude and Purpose, are major drivers in creating and maintaining a vital, vibrant life as we age.
And this is not only true for older women. Look around you. At every stage of life, there are women who literally seem to shine when they enter a room. It isn’t only their smile you notice, or their clothes. It’s their whole way of being. Every person they encounter feels they have been singled out for special notice by this woman. When asked, “What are you up to?”, the answer is always full of excitement, verve and importance. They exude purpose and gratitude is a natural part of their vocabulary.
In the August, 2021 issue of Harvard Health, the author states: In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
In November, Jackie Camacho, member of our online Wonder Women Mastermind Club, spoke to us on how piloting skills mirror business tools. A certified pilot, Jackie is one of those people who easily aligns everything she does to success in business. I’ve never had a single conversation with her that does not reflect her constant gratitude towards life, the people she knows and her business. Her hand is the first one up when opportunity comes her way. And the excitement in her voice when she is speaking is unforgettable. Jackie is a perfect example of what I mean in a recent blog, How to Build Inner Strength to Stand in Your Own Power.
As I left California after spending 2 weeks with my children and grandchildren over Thanksgiving, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. How fortunate I am to have a son and daughter-in-law who welcome me into their home to stay with them whenever I wish. They share their cars, unlimited time with my grandchildren, and their kitchen to bake in and cook (!)
Soon I will celebrate a milestone birthday. I think how grateful I am to be able to visit them, to travel worldwide and to live life to the fullest, knowing full well that at any moment all that could change. I am grateful for my health, sound mind (mostly!), friends and family who sustain me. I am super grateful for living my purpose – coaching women to find clarity in their path and develop the tools they need to succeed in business or in reimagining their own aging. At every age, women seek answers, and whether it’s for business or personal growth, we offer new perspectives and shifts in thinking that make life work better.
The Importance of Purpose
The University of Minnesota, Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing, writes in its newsletter that “living on purpose feels alive, clear, and authentic. You may also experience “flow,” which is a state of total absorption in which time seems to disappear and you feel content and fulfilled. In short, purpose offers definite emotional and psychological benefits!“
For many years I have been writing about ‘flow’ and the importance of finding your passion, and living it, as essential guideposts for happiness in life and in business. You can’t ignore those feelings in your gut that tell you something is not right. You deserve to spend your time working and playing purposefully.
Ed Diener’s extensive research on the science of wellbeing has found that people with a strong sense of purpose are better able to handle the ups and downs of life. Purpose can offer a psychological buffer against obstacles—thus, a person with a strong sense of purpose remains satisfied with life even while experiencing a difficult day. According to Barbara Fredrickson, this kind of long-term resilience can lead to better cardiovascular health, less worry, and greater happiness over time.
3 ways to unlock GAP in your life
The research is clear: a life without gratitude and purpose results in poorer health, less fulfillment and dissatisfaction, and the inability to recover when things go wrong. What would it take for you to up your gratitude and purpose quotient?
- Gratitude is perhaps, easiest. Like a habit it can take hold after conducting a daily practice. This might be a daily gratitude moment, writing daily in a journal or finding gratitude during meditation. I’d like to hear from you – how do you capture gratitude on a daily basis?
- Purpose is a bit trickier. If you are stuck in a state of discontent, you need help in unlocking the underlying reason. You can do this on your own. Perhaps it’s time to investigate new pursuits as hobbies first. Art, writing, dance are possibilities. What social causes excite you? Volunteering your services is an easy way to try on different ideas. When you encounter one that sticks, see if you can work it into your life. Using wisdom gained while still working, or in later years, is a solid way to feel purposeful when you share it with others in your field or those following in your path. Mentoring opportunities abound. None of this will walk up to you. In order to find your purpose you must be pro-active.
- Unlock GAP by deliberately focusing on gratitude and purpose separately. Ask yourself, “Is my life aligned personally and professionally? Is there a disconnect between the work I do and my personal values and interests? Do I feel a persistent knot in my gut telling me to pay attention?” If you need a nudge to become clearer and unlock GAP, we are here to help you.
My life, as you know, has had its share of lemons. My ability to turn them into lemonade is a process I’ve learned and would love to teach you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get the conversation started.
Wonder Women Mastermind Club: Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021 from 1:00-2:30 CT. Go here to Register . Open to all women business owners. Meets monthly online.
Ask Us Beauty Magazine Holiday Issue feature: 2 Timeless Beauties: Catherine Marienau and Gail Zelitzky, Women over 70. Read Ask Us Beauty Here pp. 114-116
Women Over 70 Aging Reimagined Circle: Podcast Discussion, January 4. Sign up for our newsletter and receive program updates and latest releases.
Unique Book Gifts for the Holidays
These simple books are packed with time-tested solutions and exercises. They make great stocking stuffers. Click on the title to purchase.
Taming Time – Tools, Techniques & Tips to Increase Productivity
Learning Leadership – Tools, Techniques & Tips to Become the Best Boss You Can Be!
Sales Simplified – Tools, Techniques and Tips to Increase Revenue
Patches – Patches, the perfect protector, is a plush playmate befriended by Cindy (for children 0-5yrs). Illustrated by George Berlin
Connect With Gail