Life begins at “Life begins after 55: SA seniors redefining what it means to age”Life begins at

I was recently asked to participate in an interview for an article in the Daily Maverick: “Life begins after 55: redefining what it means to age.”

Naturally, there’s a nod to the ego when you’re asked to share your thoughts in an article of this nature. The interview got the juices flowing, and I wanted to share some ideas with you.

I live by the mantra that creativity is a superpower. What stimulates creativity? Curiosity. Which we are born with. In abundance. Until it’s (mostly) schooled out of us.

And we can find ourselves following in the societal expectations of chronological and material achievements.

The measure of success. Who gets to define it? What does it look like? Can it lie in charting your own path and following your passions, or do we mostly feel like we’ve achieved when we’ve “delivered” on a societal norm?

When we measure success in societal achievements and indeed in age-related “milestones,” we limit the possibilities that the determination of your own path provides. We study,  get a job, travel, marry, raise families, buy houses, cars, get promoted, go on holidays, save for your pension, etc.

While there is no doubt joy and fulfilment to be had in all these things, exploring the myriad of options that are available to us outside of traditional age-related milestones, releases us from the bonds that invisibly tie us to this more traditional story.

It is in this territory of subjective, or “felt” age is where harnessing the magic of child-like curiosity lies.

When we ask questions of ourselves again. When we know better what fuels our passion, and, we have the space to explore, and, play and, re-direct ourselves with challenges that offer both growth and reward.

There’s a freedom, and a joy, in realising that self-determination is so much more influential in creating the life you want to live, rather than the one society expects you to live.

65 is an age where some people feel very far from stopping in their careers. Exploring passions later in life means that you could easily be making money for far longer than if you worked to “retirement age.” Society is starting to recognise that there is much value to be found in “white hair.”

Changing lanes in how we earn an income at 55, might be something that either terrifies or inspires. When we open ourselves to learning, diversity, and curiosity, we expand our world view and life becomes so much juicier.

Taking advantage of newer fluidity in career development that our modern world presents us with, is a brave step, not without risks or rewards. And if you can lead with your passion, your offering to the world really has no time limit, or date to finish by.

A re-evaluation about our quality of life will no doubt emerge when we look at what really adds value in life. Financial and material wealth might be measured against the possibilities of self-determination and pursuit of a passion. What’s more important?  The years we really live, or the years we save before we start to live?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on maturing; following your passion and really living life, before it runs out. Should we wait one more minute before doing what we love, what is important to us? Or should it be every day? Fully. And much more on our own terms. Hopefully, life gives us the opportunity & wisdom to choose the path of joy, & fulfilment.

I wish you open eyes as you consider the worlds of possibility that lie ahead.