RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center was filled recently to hear a lecture from the bestselling author of “Courageous Aging: Your Best Years Ever, Reimagined.” Dr. Ken Druck decided to do away with a PowerPoint presentation and instead have a more casual discussion with attendees on Jan. 3.
Executive Director Terrie Litwin introduced Druck and mentioned that he was one of the guest speakers at the center’s annual Healthy Aging Conference at Fairbanks Ranch.
Druck, a Del Mar resident, said he wanted guests to look inward. With all the aches and pains that comes with age, how does one become smarter and more courageous and compassionate, he asked.
“How do we become the better version of us?” Druck asked, adding that it was OK to bring up something emotional that may be moving. “That to me means that we’re alive and that something has touched our heart for what we’re talking about today.”
Druck then cited civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou, who said that courage is the greatest virtue.
Building courage helps people face and tackle many common issues they have as they age, he said. For some, it may be family challenges that weigh heavily, the loss of loved ones and friends or even a health crisis.
Druck then explained the steps that one can take toward courageous aging. The first he mentioned was how to self-audit.
“A self-audit is a reflection — that look in the mirror to see and to take inventory of where the hot spots are,” he said.
From there, the next steps are to address the hot spots either through talking, thinking out loud or other avenues toward self-improvement. It’s about solving these things, even if they trigger an emotional discomfort at first, he said.
“When we put these things out on the table, the things that are weighing on us, things that are hurting, frustrating, scaring us, then we have a chance to really address them, right?” he asked. “If it’s under the table, then we don’t get to any of that.”
Druck calls taking a self-inventory the first step.
The second level is clearing the slate for the best possible future. Doing this means not having “things or emotions” holding someone back, he said.
“Am I still holding onto that old picture of myself and expecting myself to be that younger version of me?” he asked the audience. “Am I beating myself up because I’m not that person in the picture anymore, I don’t run a company anymore, or I’ve suffered losses?”
Starting anew is another step Druck discussed.
Reimagining one’s potential for happiness is another part of the equation. Visualize being more at peace and figure out how to be a happier version of oneself and unburden the sadness and sorrow that so many people carry every day, he advised.
“Process No. 4 is putting our houses in order” he said. “Putting our houses in order means not just putting our financial and legal houses in order, but it means we (are) OK to go.”
When one passes on, they have an opportunity to leave what Druck called a legacy of love. It’s about paying it forward to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and to charities so that future generations can benefit he said.
“Putting our houses in order is not just a personal thing, it’s a family thing, it’s a community thing, it’s a world thing,” he said.