What do you wish you knew at age 50 that you know now?
I wish I knew how precious time is. I wish I knew to eliminate distractions and noise and instead spend more time cherishing those and embracing those close to you and those that matter to you. This starts with family obviously, but even if you’re having friends over to your house invite people that really matter to you.
Focus on the things that matter most. What do you take joy in? For me, it’s spending time with my family, working, and eliminating a lot of the noise and formalities of the world. Use your time right. The older I get the more I see what a marvel creation is. My worry is that I don’t spend enough time being grateful for all the blessings I have and cherishing them with the ones I love.
What about this life stage (50 plus) came as the biggest surprise to you?
The first surprise was that my interest in work quickened and increased. My horizons have broadened. I’m interested in more things than I was at 40 and I’m busier now than I was at 40.
The second surprise was aging. Doctors tell you a lot of things about anti-aging treatments and programs, but you don’t realize the toll aging actually takes until you start to lose a step or two. We should all do more to stay healthy and prevent what aging we can.
If you could recommend only one thing for a person 50 plus to do to enhance their quality of life, what would it be?
My advice would be to not think about retirement unless you really want to. Boredom and idleness kill more hearts of men than does work. You have powers, skills, and abilities you didn’t have when you were younger. Find other things and hobbies to do. I’ve had more opportunities in my 60s than I’ve ever had in my life. You accumulate work and projects you didn’t even know you knew or were interested in. Also, don’t pursue happiness directly. Pursue faith, family, work, knowledge, and understanding and happiness will come.
Bill Bennett can be heard weekdays on his radio program, Bill Bennett’s Morning in America.
Dr. Bennett is a frequent CNN contributor and just published his 16th book,
THE BOOK OF MAN, Readings on the Path to Manhood.
To learn about Dr. Bennett’s myriad activities, visit his website www.billbennett.com.
Dr. Bennett is 69.