People who remain flexible and open to change as they get older usually adopt these 8 behaviors

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But I’m here to tell you, that’s not entirely true.

Growing older doesn’t have to mean becoming rigid and unyielding. In fact, some of the happiest and most successful people I know are those who’ve managed to stay flexible, adaptable and open to change as they’ve grown older.

Sometimes it’s not about making grand, sweeping changes. It could be as simple as tweaking your morning routine, or choosing to see things from a different perspective.

I’m about to share with you 8 behaviors that those who remain flexible and open to change as they get older usually adopt. And no, it’s not about doing yoga or learning a new language (though those certainly won’t hurt!).

1) They embrace a growth mindset

This isn’t some fancy phrase, it’s all about how you approach life. People who remain flexible and open to change as they age understand that learning is a lifelong process and that it’s never too late to learn something new.

These individuals see challenges as opportunities, not obstacles. They are not afraid of making mistakes and see them as part of their growth journey. Instead of saying “I’m too old for this”, they say “Why not give it a try?”

They actively seek out new experiences, approaches, and perspectives. They understand that the world is constantly changing and they can’t afford to be left behind. They are always curious, always questioning, always growing.

2) They’re not afraid to step out of their comfort zone

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone is not as scary as it seems. In fact, it’s liberating. It opens up a world of possibilities that I would never have discovered otherwise.

I remember this one time when I had the chance to jet off on a solo adventure abroad. The mere thought of navigating foreign streets all by my lonesome sent shivers down my spine. But you know what? I said to myself, “Why not?” And let me tell you, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I met incredible folks, soaked in diverse cultures, and perhaps most importantly, I unearthed layers of myself I never knew existed.

Here’s the thing about those who age gracefully: they’re not afraid to throw caution to the wind every once in a while. They’re the ones who dare to take a leap, to dance on the edge of the unknown. Because they get it—they understand that life’s richest experiences often lie just beyond the borders of our comfort zones.

Now, stepping out of that cozy bubble of familiarity doesn’t have to mean skydiving into the Grand Canyon or anything wild like that (although, hey, if that’s your thing, more power to you!). It could be as simple as sampling a new cuisine, dabbling in a fresh skill, or striking up a chat with that intriguing stranger at the café.

3) They understand the value of failure

I’ve failed more times than I can count. I’ve stumbled, tripped, and fallen flat on my face – both literally and metaphorically. But every time I fell, I got back up.

One example that sticks out in my mind was a business venture I started in my early 30s. I poured my heart and soul into it, only to watch it crumble. It was devastating. But looking back now, I realize that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Let me tell you, that stumble taught me some serious life lessons. It was like a crash course in resilience, patience, and the importance of always having a backup plan. Suddenly, success looked different—it wasn’t just about reaching the top, but about the journey and the lessons learned along the way. That fall forced me to hit pause, reassess my priorities, and rethink my game plan.

Here’s the thing about those who age with ease: they have this uncanny ability to roll with the punches.

You won’t catch them throwing in the towel at the first sign of defeat. Oh no, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and dive right back in. Because they know deep down that it’s those tough moments that sculpt us into the resilient forces we were always meant to be.

4) They cultivate a habit of gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Did you know that people who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve made it a point to cultivate a habit of gratitude. Every night before I go to sleep, I think about three things I’m grateful for. It could be something as simple as a good cup of coffee in the morning or as profound as the love and support of my family.

Those who stay adaptable and receptive to change as they grow older grasp the significance of gratitude. They recognize that happiness isn’t the catalyst for gratitude; rather, it’s gratitude that serves as the gateway to happiness.

That’s why they don’t take things for granted. They appreciate what they have while they have it. They find joy in the little things and see beauty in everyday life.

5) They keep their curiosity alive

Curiosity isn’t just a trait; it’s the spark that ignites our journey through life. It’s the force that propels us forward, urging us to delve deeper, reach higher, and uncover the wonders that await. Without it, our existence would lack the vibrancy and excitement that make every day an adventure worth embracing.

Now, here’s the kicker: Those who remain nimble and adaptable in the face of change, they’re the ones who never let that flame of curiosity flicker out. They’re perpetual students of life, thirsty for knowledge and eager to explore every nook and cranny of this vast, enigmatic world.

For them, the world isn’t just a place to exist—it’s a playground teeming with mysteries waiting to be unraveled, lessons waiting to be learned, and experiences waiting to be savored. And it’s that insatiable curiosity, that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding, that keeps them forever young at heart and infinitely open-minded.

6) They stay connected with others

Those who embrace flexibility and adaptability as they journey through life swear by the significance of maintaining connections. Through engaging with others, sharing their stories, and absorbing the wisdom of those around them, they enrich their own lives and contribute to the collective growth of their communities.

For them, it’s crystal clear: Shared experiences serve as the glue that binds individuals together, forging bonds that transcend mere acquaintance. Whether it’s a heart-to-heart conversation with a trusted friend or a chance encounter with a stranger, they approach each moment with an open mind and a hunger for knowledge.

Now, let’s set the record straight: Being connected doesn’t necessitate being the life of the party or maintaining an extensive social circle. It’s about the quality, not the quantity, of interactions. It’s about cultivating empathy, fostering understanding, and fostering a culture of mutual respect in every interaction, no matter how fleeting.

For them, staying connected isn’t just a choice—it’s a way of life.

7) They practice self-care

For those who gracefully navigate the twists and turns of life, self-care isn’t just a luxury—it’s a non-negotiable. They get that in order to be there for others, they have to first show up for themselves. It’s about flipping the script on that old saying: you can’t pour from an empty cup, right?

Here’s the deal: Self-care is about treating yourself with the same level of compassion and kindness you’d offer to your closest friend. It’s about tuning in to your body’s whispers and honoring those needs with unwavering dedication.

So listen up: Prioritize yourself. Honor those needs. Because when you take care of numero uno, you’re not just doing yourself a favor—you’re setting the stage for a life that’s rich, vibrant, and overflowing with love.

8) They live in the present

Living in the present doesn’t mean forgetting about the past or ignoring the future. It means being fully engaged in the here and now. It means appreciating the moment, savoring the experience, and making the most of every day.

Individuals who handle aging with sophistication get the gist of living in the present. They know that life is not about getting to some destination; it’s about enjoying the journey. They don’t waste time dwelling on past blunders or losing sleep over what tomorrow might bring. 

Sure, living in the present isn’t a walk in the park. It takes mindfulness, it takes awareness, and it takes practice. But let me tell you something—it’s worth every ounce of effort. Because when you’re truly living in the present, you’re not just going through the motions; you’re grabbing life by the horns and riding that wild, wonderful wave with everything you’ve got.

Flexibility, connection, self-care: Your keys to thriving!

Embracing the journey of aging is like diving into an ocean of endless possibilities—a voyage ripe with chances to blossom and thrive. It’s not about being chained to the past or sweating bullets over what’s to come. It’s about seizing the here and now, soaking in every lesson, and sculpting ourselves into the best versions possible.

Now, let’s talk about those behaviors we’ve been raving about—they’re like the bricks paving the road to a life of flexibility and boundless potential.

They arm us with the tools to dance with change, learn from our stumbles, count our blessings, stay insatiably curious, keep our connections aflame, put ourselves first when needed, and dive deep into the richness of the present moment.

Now, let’s keep it real: This journey ain’t no sprint—it’s a marathon.

So cut yourself some slack, amigo. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow burn, demanding consistency and unwavering dedication. So lace up those boots and let’s hit the road, one step at a time.

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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