Dilip Jeste, MD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences and director of the Center on Healthy Aging at UC San Diego made some very good points recently in the August 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry regarding recent findings when it comes to aging adults:
“Their improved sense of psychological well-being was linear and substantial. Participants reported that they felt better about themselves and their lives year upon year, decade after decade. Some investigators have reported a U-shaped curve of well-being across the lifespan, with declines from early adulthood to middle age followed by an improvement in later adulthood. The nadir of mental health in this model occurs during middle age, roughly 45 to 55. However, we did not find such a mid-life dip in well-being. The reasons for improved positive mental health in old age are not clear. Some previous research has shown older adults become more adept at coping with stressful changes. They learn not to sweat out the little things. And a lot of previously big things become little. Inadequate attention has been paid to mental health issues that continue or get exacerbated post-adolescence. We need to understand mechanisms underlying better mental health in older age in spite of more physical ailments. That would help develop broad-based interventions to promote mental health in all age groups, including youth.”
Other co-authors include: Christopher N. Kaufmann, Barton W. Palmer, Colin A. Depp, Averria Sirkin Martin, Danielle K. Glorioso, and Wesley K. Thompson, all at UC San Diego.
Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH019934, R01 MH099987, R01 MH094151, K23 MH102420) and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at UC San Diego
How many times have you been told that you would fail at something – once, twice, too many times to count? I would be more upset if I failed and didn’t try than if I tried and failed. Why would I make this statement? People often look at failure as an “end all.” We need to understand that sometimes we need to fail in order to succeed. Failure can give one a reality check on where they actually are in life. Sometimes we want something so bad and we know that this is what WE want; but the universe may have other plans for us, thus, we fail at OUR plan. That plan may not have been right for us even if we thought it was. So what do we do . . . brush it off and start again. That’s the beauty about failing; we get to start again, refocus, and start new.
I’ve often stated that failure builds character. It shows you just how strong or weak you really are. If you fail and give up, drown yourself in your favorite ice cream, or look down on yourself as a failure – you’ve demonstrated that you don’t have heart, the drive to get up and prove your critics wrong. Then on the other hand, if you look at your failure as a life’s lesson, you can clearly see where things went wrong which will help you to do things differently and better the next time. I’ve gotten to a point in my life when people tell me “you can’t do that”, “you may fail if you do”, or “others have failed, what makes you think you will succeed” I just smile and think “at least I’m not afraid to try.”
Sometimes the wrong people in your life can cause you to fail. Those are the ones who don’t want you to succeed because they are not in a place where they want to be in life; thus, stealing your joy or happiness for what you want to do. First order of business, get these people out of your life. It doesn’t matter how close of a friend they are to you, you don’t need nor deserve that kind of negative energy. You need friends and family that will build you up, not tear you down. My philosophy is; if Plan A fails – remember, there are 26 letters in the alphabet and I will use all 26 letters if I have to.
So ask yourself – would you rather try and fail, than to have to ponder . . . what if?