Pay no attention to the rest of the world, enamored with wrinkle creams and injections, fighting old age with all their might. They are missing out on the time of their lives.

Because the act of growing old, and everything that goes with it, may be the most important experience you have as a human being. Aging is how you sum up your life. It’s how you go deep to the essence of who you are. And the very process of getting older can actually make you happy.

This isn’t a New Age, pie-in-the-sky assessment of old age. These ideas are based on philosophies that are thousands of years old. They come from ancient Eastern, African and Native American cultures. And modern science agrees with much of what ancient philosophers preached: Our later years are not about trying to stay young, they are about experiencing the glorious process of growing old.

My book, Reclaim Your Right to Grow Old, is filled with blunt and startling advice on how to be an elder in today’s anti-aging culture:

  • Start telling people your age.
  • Stop trying to age gracefully.
  • Let go of youth-envy.
  • Learn to love your aging appearance.
  • Celebrate your eccentricities.
  • Expect younger people to respect you.
  • See time and death as your allies.
  • And remember, aging is supposed to be fun!

Your ancestors would be proud of you if they knew you were interested in following in their happy-aging path. Now just add the latest research on what makes for a satisfying elder life in other cultures around the world, and you have your new template for your own aging journey.

Aging can be the best thing that ever happened to you. You simply have to flip the anti-aging stereotype that weighs you down and start growing old the way you were meant to. After all, you’re not getting any younger.