Posted by Katie Sack on Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We often think that because we get older, we can’t do the things we once did when we were younger. We just wouldn’t because…well, let’s face it, as one gets older things just start to fall apart. Broken parts don’t work as well and sometimes they just don’t work at all. Getting older is similar in a sense because we just stop doing what we used to do like exercising, playing sports, eating well, participating in community service, raising children, etc. due to a variety of physical reasons.

As a result of aging, we try to fix the things that are most visible to the eye like our hair, nails, teeth, and stomach. We think we can reverse wrinkles in our face by using anti-wrinkle cream or that drugs will make us live longer or that the ab cruncher will get us skinny, rock hard abs. Focusing on these superficial things will still not help you grow any younger nor will it help you to continue to reach your full potential.

We must first accept the idea of senescence or biologically aging. This process of deterioration of function and characteristics takes place among all living things, but may occur at different times. After cellular development has reached its’ peak, called biological maturation, the body begins to slowly die from the organism all the way down to its’ cellular level.

Even though your body begins to die after physical maturation, your intellectual, volitional, emotional and spiritual maturation do not. Your mind and spirit should never stop growing. Humans are not meant to let life pass them by, they’re meant to live and living means taking a look inside ourselves, considering our needs, and serving to make the world a better place.

All humans have the same basic needs and this does not differ across the lifespan. Aside from physical needs, which are crucial for survival, all humans have the need to be safe and protected, loved and included and to feel good about who they are. To a certain degree, self-actualizing needs such as spontaneity, creativity, meaning, and acceptance vary from person to person based on personal values and beliefs.

Mind and soul growth is about discovering new physical capabilities and feeling good about discovering your full potential. It’s about staying young.

There are objective mental marks you can use to compare your own current position of spiritual, volitional, emotional, and intellectual maturity. You should consider your needs based on these mental marks if you want to continue to grow.

Take some time to answer the following mental mark questions and reflect how your life does or does not meet your basic human needs.

  • How is your ability to keep long-term commitments?
  • Does flattery or criticism cause you to get distressed?
  • Are you always looking to get ahead of someone else?
  • Are you living a life in alignment with your personal values?