In the beginning of our lives, we learn many things to grow into capable adults who are successful in their careers and their social lives. We’re very busy with this kind of self-development. But what happens when our careers have ended and our children have left home? On what should we base the last years of our lives? How should we develop ourselves?
I think self-development doesn’t end when we reach a particular age. If we give our lives a purpose and meaning, self-development becomes an important part of life regardless of our age. I think the grander purpose or goal we should all strive for in our development is completion. By completion, I’m referring to the completion of our lives and of our soul’s wishes. It is heartfelt satisfaction and fulfillment in the final moments of our lives, when we know that we have realized our highest values and we feel that we can leave this life in peace without regret.
When I’ve asked people what their wishes were, I’ve been given many answers. If you take a step back and look at all of them, you’ll notice the commonalities of wanting the feeling of loving and being loved, of their lives being precious and valuable, of living freely and independently, and of contributing to something larger than themselves. While the first half of our lives necessarily needs to be focused on material success, I think the second half can be devoted to these less tangible, more precious values.
How can we make these values manifest and achieve completion? Another word for completion is wholeness; it’s becoming whole. People are always seeking wholeness, actually. They may look for it by connecting with other people and having a sense of belonging, or they may become well-rounded intellectually through education. While these are important, the wholeness I am speaking of comes from connecting to the divine, the Source of the cosmos, and feeling unity with it. From this connection, we feel unconditional love and value, and we want to share that with others. So to complete our lives, we need to develop habits that allow us to establish, maintain, and strengthen that connection. Then we need to be of service to others and make choices that benefit the whole in addition to ourselves—what in Korean is called Hongik.
This process, depending on our starting point, can involve a complete transformation, like that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We need to change everything on the inside to the deepest part, as well as changing everything on the outside, so that it is in alignment with our highest values and life purpose.
The Brain Education methods I’ve developed and teach are designed to tap into that deepest part of ourselves and then connect to cosmic energy and cosmic consciousness. They can easily be shared with others to benefit them and help them transform their lives. Three simple exercises for completion that I write about in detail in my new book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, are Longevity Walking, Belly Button Healing, and One-Minute Exercise. These exercises bring connection and completion into our ordinary, daily lives. They make self-development and growth a habit and give us a constitution that allows us to do the things that give us the most joy and satisfaction.
Continuous self-development and living with purpose can be a part of our lives at any age, but when we reach our later years, we have more time and attention to devote to them. That’s why I believe the second half of our lives, the last sixty if you live to 120, is our chance to ensure we complete our lives with satisfaction and joy.
I write more about how to live a complete and whole life and what that means for our current times in I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.