Many women over 60 have secret dreams about what they would like to do with their lives. Some want to travel to exotic places and learn new things. Others dream of starting new business projects or exploring their passions. While there are many women who succeed in building their dream life after 60, still more never reach their potential.
The reasons for this are varied. With so many conflicting commitments, some women find their dreams being trapped in a perpetual “holding pattern.” Others are dissuaded by the voices of others – or even worse, by their own inner-voice – from giving their idea a shot. Still others feel trapped by more practical concerns such as a perceived lack of money, time or energy.
To help unravel the mystery of why some women get the most from life after 60, while others don’t, I sat down to interview Prill Boyle. Prill is an inspirational woman and the author of Defying Gravity. In her book, Prill highlights the lives of several women who have followed their dreams after 60. More importantly, she looks for the commonalities that tie these women together.
Through the stories in Defying Gravity, Prill hopes to show that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself, reignite your passions and achieve your dreams. In fact, with fewer responsibilities and a lifetime of wisdom to draw on, the years after 60 are a perfect time to get the most from life.
Prill’s overall message is this – if you want to get the most from life after 60 you need to learn to ignore fear, transcend your family history, challenge stereotypes and find the right mindset.
In her book, Prill interviews over 100 women who did not give up on their dreams. She describes them as “ordinary people, doing extraordinary things.” Here are a few of the qualities that tie these women together. As you will see, there is nothing to stop you from achieving your dreams too. All you need is a few qualities.
Successful people never give up. This is true of people of any age, but, it is especially true for women of our generation. The reason for this is that many women over 60 face isolation, financial problems and social stereotypes.
Despite facing many of the same challenges, the women that Prill profiled in her book fought back. They attacked life after 60 with determination and persistence. Every time they faced a new challenge, they were able to bounce back and keep trying.
To Prill, this is a foundational quality.
If you can’t stick with something, no matter what hardships you are facing, you will never reach your potential.
Women over 60 encounter aging stereotypes and other emotional blockers. Ironically, sometimes the people who tell us that we can’t do something are the ones that care about us the most. Have you ever had a close friend or family member tell you that you’re too old to do something or that something is too risky to try?
During our interview, Prill explained that the people that she profiled found the strength to follow their own voice and the confidence to stick with their plan to the end.
Prill explained that her interviewees “just went for it!” Every day, they exercised what she called their “brave, courage” muscles. She explained that, while following your passions sounds intimidating, it doesn’t have to be hard.
I personally like Prill’s description of boldness as a “muscle” that we can strengthen with practice. She explained that the more we face our fears, the stronger we will become. So, if you want to get the most from life after 60, get out there and start doing something that you love. Don’t listen to the “naysayers” – they will always be there in the background.
Live your passions and your passions will become your life.
To get the most from life, we need to learn to be more positive. Prill reminds us that many women are used to saying yes to others and no to themselves. Successful people learn how to say yes more – especially to themselves. If you are introverted, you may have to overcome your fears and learn to shine in social situations. It’s a bit of an act, but, everything is possible when you see the good in others and the world around you.
In our interview, Prill explained that starting a new business or project needs to be fuelled by passion. If you are not quite sure what your passions are, look back to your childhood for inspiration.
Prill tells the stories of a dentist who became a baker in his 60s and an accountant who became a flight attendant in her 70s. Never be afraid of or embarrassed about your passions. No one can tell you what is important, except for yourself. So follow your dreams with energy and passion!
There is a stereotype that older people are risk averse and don’t like change. This may be true in some cases, but, I have to say that I have found the opposite with the women in the Sixty and Me community. Most of the women that I know are excited to learn new things. This is a good thing, because getting the most from life after 60 requires us to be open to new ideas, technologies and people.
So, be open-minded and seek our interesting, dynamic people who are on the same journey as you. Prill suggested that we look for people who are vibrant, energetic and excited about exploring everything that life has to offer. I couldn’t agree more!
Prill’s advice was both inspirational and practical. Her mantra in life is beautifully simple. “Keep moving, keep working and keep connected!”
How are you finding meaning in your life after 60? Have you gone back to a dream that you had when you were younger? Please share your comments and experiences in the comment section below.