Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 65 To our clients and friends November 8, 2005
Happy Birthday To Me
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Age is a state of mind!

November 8, 2005 – Welcome to this weeks’ Turbo Charger, an E-publication designed to provide insight and inspiration. We began in May of 1992 writing a 500-word weekly column, “Empowering Leadership,” in the Daily Journal of Commerce. After 12 years and over 620 columns, we decided to reach out to a more diversified audience. The Turbo Charger goes out to an internationally growing subscriber list of thousands. Since today is my birthday, forgive me if I am a little self-indulging, reflective and projective.

People I meet socially sometimes ask, “Are you retired?” It is a perfectly legitimate inquiry. Let me say here and now that I am not retired and have no plans for retirement.

Our oldest son, Larry Jr.’s wife, Heidi, two weeks ago delivered us a new grandson, Colin, and our youngest son, Loren’s wife Karina, delivered us a new grandson, Dustin, three months ago. I’ve learned a new term, “40 – 20’s, 40-year olds who, in lots of ways, look, act and feel like 20-year olds. We had our last child when I was 29. Well, if these 40-year olds can be “40 – 20’s”, I guess I can be a “60 – 40’s”.

We realize today more than ever in the past that youth is a state of mind. In 1994 in my book How To Turbo Charge You, I wrote about the “young / olds”.

In 1991, Stanford reported the results of an eighteen-year study of what they called the “young olds”: people who have reached what is commonly referred to as “old age” but who are youthful in appearance, health, demeanor and brightness.

In 1513, Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer, drank water from a spring on a peninsula of the North American coast, which he called Florida (meaning “covered with flowers”), hoping he’s discovered the Fountain of Youth. Some people are still looking for that fountain of youth. Do you remember the old Geritol ads? They promised rejuvenation, invigoration, stimulation – an elixir of youth. But you can’t buy youth any more than you can buy a mental attitude.

The “young olds” seem to have drunk from the fountain of youth, but what they’ve really ingested is a youthful attitude. Stanford’s research revealed that what will keep you alive all of your life, what will help you be one of the “young olds” instead of one of the “old youngs” are three attitudes.

The first is pure optimism – the determination to see opportunities in difficulties. Albert Hubbard said, “Optimism is a kind of heart

stimulant – the digitalis of failure.” Optimism is characterized by cheerfulness, which is a happy, warm, positive attitude; by expectancy, which enables the optimist to look forward instead of backward; and by hopefulness, which is a belief in a better day. Hope colors everything with a broad, bright hue. Color your life with the broad brush of optimism. Drink the elixir of optimism, see through the rose-colored glasses of optimism, and you’ll be young all of your life.

Attitude number two of the “young olds” is an attitude of forgiveness. They seem to have even developed the ability to be thankful for trials, difficulties and challenges. Pure optimism is the attitude of gratitude. Researchers concluded that the cells of our body respond, dance with delight, to the music of gratitude. To practice forgiveness unloads our burdens, makes us lighter.

If you would like to lose some weight real fast, just forgive and accept forgiveness. The lightness you receive when you release grudges that you might hold, when you forgive, will make you young all of your life.

Guess what the third attitude to life is that the Stanford study noted? The “young olds” are risk takers! They are willing to try the new, the unusual; they’re willing to take chances – to jump out of their comfort zone, to push the envelope.

These three attributes, optimism, forgiveness, and risk-taking, will help you keep young all of your life. They will help you be one of the “young olds.”

There’s no better day for you to embrace these three attitudes of optimism, forgiveness and risk-taking than today. What do you have to lose besides boredom and placid complacency? What do you have to gain? For starters, the ability to become one of the “young olds.” You can be young all of your life and, in the process, you will be turbo-charged.

So what is ahead for me in the next 20 years? I have five more books to write and five more continents to visit. I may ride my motorcycle back to Alaska with one of my grandchildren. I am committed to an optimistic approach which forgives more quickly and embraces change more easily. I look forward to continuing in my personal mission of “helping people live richer, fuller, more productive lives”, a mission I committed to in my early 20’s, watching my children experience fulfillment in their lives, and my grandchildren grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and men.