Intentional Ageing

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By Mike Milstein

Every new year many of us make resolutions that we hope will improve the quality of our lives. Too often these intentions are not pursued and, as a result, aren’t fulfilled. Wayne W. Dyer, in The Power of Intention (2004) argues persuasively that we can influence our lives positively if we are clear about our intentions and focus on making them our reality.

Over the past few years we have shared the stories of local folks who have found ways of living positive and meaningful lives as they age. Community members who have been the focus of the Conscious Ageing Corner vary greatly in the challenges they face as well as in their life experiences, but one commonality is their intentions as they age.

These intentions, as identified by Dyer, include the ability to:

  • Create what I want and know it will work out.
  • Focus on what I intend to create rather than waste time thinking about what I don’t want.
  • Refrain from debating and trying to win you over to my point of view.
  • Live in a state of gratitude, appreciation and bewilderment.
  • Attract cooperation and assistance of others in fulfilling my own intentions.
  • Have an uplifting effect on others.
  • Say to myself “I want to feel good” and then bring my thoughts into harmony with this desire.
  • Resist allowing my well-being to be contingent on anything external to myself.
  • Be exceptionally generous.
  • Be highly inspired.
  • Exhibit an exceptionally high level of energy.
  • Maintain a sense of responsibility for my community, country, and the planet.
  • Live passionately every day.
  • Stay away from loud, bellicose, opinionated people while sending them a silent blessing and then move on.
  • Be an exceptionally kind and loving person.
  • Never know enough, remain inquisitive about life, and attracted to every manner of activity.
  • Be energized, inspired, and unify people around me.

It has not been difficult to find and write about people who exhibit these characteristics as they meet the challenges of ageing. We are fortunate to live in a community that attracts people who are alive and well and that provides them with a stimulating environment that is supportive of fulfilling their life’s intentions. The more we connect with these people, more likely it is that our own intentionality characteristics will be strengthened.

Give it a try. Start by reviewing the intentionality items above. How well do you score yourself? Do you know others who are good intentionality role models? What can you learn from them? What can you teach them?

Note: This article appeared in The Leader, Nelson, NZ on January 15, 2009. If you want to share your thoughts with the Conscious Ageing Network (CAN) or wish to know when interviews will be aired, send an email to .