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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to Change Thinking and Behavior

Part four:  Eradicate irrational ideas to begin a wonderful new pathway ahead of you.

Another component of successful aging is based on Albert Ellis’s, Rational Emotive Therapy. Ellis states that our thinking is related to both emotion and behavior. For example, a negative thinking process results in emotional distress. Self defeating thoughts or negative thinking is based on irrational notions or ideas that we rehearse in our minds. To illustrate, Ellis identified, listed, and numbered many irrational ideas that people carry around in their head. His irrational idea number five simply stated “unhappiness is externally caused and we have little or no ability to control our sorrows or rid ourselves of our negative feelings.” Per Ellis, the individual in order to achieve a healthy mental state, must challenge and confront the negative idea that unhappiness is externally caused etc. That idea must be changed to we can control how we feel. And, we can adjust our behavior. Because, if we change our thinking we can change how we act. So, in order to change behavior, we have to examine our thoughts. We must eradicate the irrational thoughts and replace them with rational thinking. Only then and only then can we make the necessary behavioral changes to grow and develop a healthier and happier life style change.

Think of retirement and the aging process as a new beginning. Now, maybe for the first time in your life, you can be free to have the time to think about what you want to do with your time and how to spend your waking hours. It is not unlike the past when you might have gotten stuck. It might have been related to family responsibilities, working long hours, climbing the career ladder, going to school, or a whole host of other issues. Maybe we will have more time now and won't have to use the excuse that I'm too busy to have personal goals of my own. Let go of prior disappointments from the past. Now, you will have more time to think about present and future goals. Questions that could come in to play are: What do I want to be? What will help me be fulfilled? What do I really like? What might my legacy be? How do I want to be remembered? Do I have any unfulfilled dreams? The time is now and this is your opportunity. Don't blow it. There are no do- over’s.

How does one start to exercise? One might have to maintain a positive mindset through thinking differently. Some of us have negative thoughts: the” I can't,” have to be changed to.” I can”. The thought:” I'm too old to start” can be changed to: “Let's take one step at a time” and build on it. If we think exercise or training as” boring and hard “that can be changed to:” Just think of all the new people. I'm going to meet.” One other negative thought might be “I might get hurt,” that can be changed to” I'll check with my doctor and get his opinion.” It is clear that for many of us, we can learn new ways to think about ourselves and can challenge the self-defeating thoughts that have gotten ingrained in our lifestyle.

The theme of this book is that if you can find meaning in your life then the passion will follow. Both living life in a meaningful way and passion go hand-in-hand. In other words, if you are passionate about what you're doing then you have found meaning in your life.
The stories you are about to read are about men and women who are passionate about what they do, the obstacles they have overcome, their successes, their failures, and their underlying motivations. You will learn about play, games and activities that we did when we were children. You’ll learn about motivational drives, intrinsic, and extrinsic motivation, how to set goals, how to raise your level of aspiration, and use thinking about the future to your advantage. In learning about the 8 individuals and their stories, you will gain a clear understanding of how it is possible to make those necessary changes in your life. You will find their stories, both inspirational and compelling. This is an exciting journey, let’s begin.

On a side note, Secretariat and I ran a short 5 mile loop. The run was short today because his wife wishes to take him shopping. Secretariat also wanted to take it easy today so he would be ready for our next run with Chris Turney. I did not want to miss this opportunity so at the last furlong I went by him. He didn’t know what happened and thought maybe it was a wild deer. Needless to say he was momentarily frightened. I’m sorry that I frightened Secretariat. One never knows what to expect on the trails.


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