Been thinking about aging. Partly, I suppose, because I'm developing a course on the true potential and promise of aging, and partly because, well, I'll be 79 soon (and JoAnn will be 80, though she tries not to think about it, and hates it when I remind her).
Aging is a strange thing. Our bodies get old, of course. But the unconquerable spirit that is in us all -- the truth of you and the truth of me -- doesn't get old, does it?
I'm sure you were as touched as I was by the courage of Kirk Douglas as he came on stage at the Oscars and showed how nothing can take away that unconquerable spirit that is in him. It's unborn, and undying, the truth of who we all are.
The remarkable story of Frank Buckles
Consider the remarkable story of Frank Buckles, who died of natural causes at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia, on Sunday at the age of 110. Mr. Buckles enlisted for World War I at the age of 16 , after being less than truthful about his age.
A man with a truly unconquerable spirit, wouldn't you say?
How can we connect more deeply with this unconquerable spirit we saw in Kirk Douglas and that Mr. Buckles surely revealed in his life?
Here are some thoughts.
How to be true to our own unconquerable spirit:
1. Be true to your integrity
It doesn't matter what situation we find ourselves in – or whether it's large or small -- there is always the right thing. We only have to listen to our heart, and the right thing, whatever it may be, makes itself apparent to us.
Whenever I think of integrity, or the unconquerable spirit, I think of my Dad, who lived until he was 95, and liked to say you could put his medical history on the back of a postage stamp.
Dad was a reporter all his life on big British newspapers, and on one famous occasion, was ordered by a government spy tribunal to disclose the sources he had used in a story.
As he told the court, he would be untrue to himself and to his journalistic ethics to comply with the court's request. Dad was sent to prison for six months – but it was a small price to pay for being true to his own integrity – his own unconquerable spirit.
2. Learn to walk the middle way
The unconquerable spirit loves balance. Sometimes, of course, finding the right balance in our lives can be quite a trick.
I love my blog, for example. I love writing a new post, and sharing the truth of my life as best I can. I love the opportunity to meet new friends that blogging provides.
But as much as I love my blog, and would like to see it succeed -- and make a little extra money for JoAnn and me to supplement our fixed income -- I can't be hostage to my blog.
I know that quite a few bloggers deal with this issue. But ultimately our own integrity and balance is more important than any external activity or goal.
3. Find a compass in life
Finding a compass in life is essential to knowing our own unconquerable spirit and essence.
For me, that compass comes down to stillness. Because it's when I am still -- perhaps right now, or maybe this afternoon for a few precious moments in a coffee shop -- that I sense the presence of what is eternal in myself. What is untouched -- amazingly -- by any of the turmoil of the world or the aches and pains of my body.
Love and blessings. May peace be with you.
It's Boot Camp Time at the A-list blogger club
By the way, the A-list blogger club, to which I belong, and which is such a tremendous resource and help in my blogging life, will be running a new boot camp from March 6 to April 2.
The boot camp is entitled: the Art of Blog Seduction: How to Attract Subscribers to Your Awesome Blog. Mary Jaksch, co-founder of the Club with Leo Babauta, tells me participants will learn such things as:
- The crucial must-know design elements of an attractive blog;
- How to create supreme usability on your blog;
- The art of creating an irresistible brand;
- How to use videos and podcasts to attract readers; and much more...
I took part in on of the A-List Blogging Bootcampa not too long ago and it was terrific. The value that Mary and Leo offered in the boot camp was truly exceptional, as is their follow-through. As I mentioned last week, Mary is one of the most genuinely helpful people I have ever met.
Note: I'm an enthusiastic affiliate of A-List Blogging Bootcamps