The Pains and Delights of Having Birthdays

Zig Ziglar on

As a "junior senior citizen," I frequently encounter some real delights at being a member of the fastest growing segment of our society. Since I'm 70, I've actually had enough birthdays to be classified as a full-fledged senior citizen, but I have a wrong "attitude," according to the way people generally think about senior citizens.

For example, I honestly believe that my career is in front of me, rather than behind me, and I have more energy at 70 than I did at 45. With this in mind, I share some thoughts from both sides of the perspective.

You know you're getting older when everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work. When you sit in a rocking chair and can't get the thing moving. And when your knees buckle, but your belt won't. When you burn the midnight oil until 9 p.m., you sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there, and you feel like "the morning after" even when you didn't go anywhere.

Having said all those things, let's take a look at some of the things senior citizens have done. Winston Churchill initiated his protest against Hitler as prime minister at 65, and on his 87th birthday a young reporter commented, "Sir Winston, I hope to wish you well on your 100th birthday." Churchill quickly replied: "You might do it. You look healthy!" Jack La Lanne celebrated his 70th birthday by towing 70 boats carrying 70 people for a mile across Long Beach Harbor, holding the rope in his teeth while handcuffed and wearing leg shackles.


As a group, the old codgers seem to do even better. Researchers studied the lives of 400 famous people and discovered that 66 percent of their major accomplishments occurred after age 60. Unfortunately, many people retire or are retired with their best years in front of them. Keep on working. You'll be healthier and happier, and you'll live longer. See you at the top!


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