What keeps us in suspense when we read a good book or watch a movie? The story gradually increases the tension, constantly progressing towards its climax, reaching a peak right before the end of the film – which is when the so-called catharsis happens, the release of emotions. A moment later, we only see the inscription, “The End” and so we can argue that a work of art dies in the same way that every human story must eventually come to an end.
The problem is that for many people, their own lives reach their climax very early on. Suppose we are convinced that we can achieve the most in life when young and fit, at the age of thirty or forty, and from this point onwards our possibilities gradually fade. In this case, we naturally set our life’s climax very early, and the process of inner dying therefore also begins very early, as soon as this point is reached. All life processes, whether mental or physical, go hand-in-hand with this decision. Therefore, we should have an idea of how to consciously push this “apogee” of our life ahead and make life flourish with age, giving us more and more opportunities to experience it. Otherwise, we accelerate our aging processes.
Let’s look at patterns we can find in the real world. Many actors, especially action movie stars, keep themselves in excellent shape. They do not shy away from imposing this internal pressure on themselves, maintaining excellent physical condition and appearance for much longer than the average person. Tom Cruise is a great example of a man who challenges himself on many levels. Politicians are also motivated by a constant desire to compete and fight for power, they are motivated by the need to stay in the game. They have a lot of strength to remain in top mental shape for as long as possible. Imagine if they combined this with physical stimuli.
Donald Trump may not lead the healthiest lifestyle, according to his daughter the only time he’s in nature is when he’s playing golf, but despite his lack of attention towards a healthy lifestyle, sports, or diet, seventy-four-year-old Trump is more vigorous and charismatic than many are at fifty, and looks much younger than his age might suggest. With this charisma, he dominates his interlocutors and conquers the world of business. Regardless of personal opinion, it is worth separating our feelings from the objective facts related to his vitality. When we compare him with the average representative of his age, the difference in energy levels is striking. Imagine what would happen if he took care of his condition and diet.
We often go through life unconsciously, which is why as an athlete, we would naturally care about physicality, and as an engineer we would care about our intellect. As a human resource manager, we would be more focused on developing our emotional and spiritual attributes. Nevertheless, the true strength of a man lies in sustainable development, only then can the strongest level of vitality be achieved.
Returning to the concept of the climax, let’s remember what keeps us excited while watching the movie is the awareness that something amazing is going to happen, something bigger than has happened so far, and each of us intuitively senses that all the events observed in the movie are leading to this next, more significant, moment worth waiting for. It is this waiting that keeps our entire body alive. If the film is good, we do not fall asleep during it, even when tired after a hard day’s work. Likewise, our body, mind, and spirit do not fall asleep in our own life if we still expect that remarkable things are ahead.
Translating this dramatic structure into real life may result in an increase in vitality with age. When we are seventy or eighty years old, let’s allow ourselves to believe that something more spectacular and more significant than ever will happen and is worth waiting for. It is not easy to imagine, and nobody said it was easy to stay in shape when we’re eighty, but this can be done consciously.
If, for example, you pursue a sports career up until the age of thirty but do not find another, ideally even more fulfilling, path of development, it may be the beginning of your end. That’s why many successful sportsmen don’t just have fun spending money on parties after their “retirement,” they start businesses, or they become coaches, and sometimes get even more fame and appreciation than before. Their energy continues to grow, and what’s more, they keep their personality traits. If you train in wrestling, which demands being tough, brave, and aggressive, and then after retiring you work in a shop, having to be nice and submissive to your customers, it may be devastating to your mindset. The same problem may occur if a famous piano player becomes just a regular piano teacher in a local school. If you don’t redirect your energy in a proper way, you will start to weaken on both mental and biological levels. If you had fire in young age, you need to keep that fire alive ‘till your last day.
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