Excerpt from my new book of Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging
Everyone talks about planning for the future. Financial advisors, funeral home directors, health, and life insurance companies are in the business of helping you plan. Physicians will predict your future health status based on your current physical indicators. If your A1C keeps going up, you’re headed towards diabetes. The hope is to tie up all the possible contingencies and create the most secure future possible. Actuary tables can predict for the masses, but there is no such thing as a certainty for an individual, so we educate ourselves about the odds and act accordingly. So much future planning for Seniors is based on adverse outcomes. Everyone is playing odds with the future, trying to avoid some kind of calamity. As they say in sports, we start playing not to lose instead of playing to win!
Another type of planning is much more significant. Preparing for the future is dramatically different than preparing for a future---what a difference a little word makes! With years of experience working with the Senior population, I see it over and over. Seniors quit preparing for the next chapter of life. They just stop thinking that there is a future, and consequently, they are on automatic pilot. All of our lives we plan for a future. We plan to go to school, to go to work, to get married, to have children and grandchildren. We plan to retire, and when that happens, often the planning stops. We slide into this phase of maintenance and hedging our bets against calamity without really thinking about it. Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Continuing to plan a future, looking for ways to keep growing, and playing to win are critical issues that we all face.