BY RAMONA OLIVER
Publisher: BookBaby Publication Date: July 24, 2020 Pages: 246 Pages Categories: Nonfiction / Positive Aging
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THIS BOOK WILL BE INVALUABLE IF YOU:
· Have a desire to continue living a purposeful life, no matter what your age.
· Are interested in learning how to maintain a positive attitude from adulthood to elderhood.
· Want to learn how to create a living legacy and serve as a role model for future generations.
WHY EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF INCLINE?
For the first time in history we are not only living longer, everyone has an important choice to make: commit to a meaningful, purposeful life of “Incline” as we get older or believe that a new stage – one of steady “decline” – is inevitable. What is not helping is that in the media and society in general there continues the somewhat negative connotation surrounding the concept of aging. And while, at least not now, we cannot do anything about the chronological process of becoming 60, 70, 80 years and beyond, we can change the mindset for it. Embracing change and looking at life with a keener sense of curiosity will lead to living with increased courage to live life to its fullest.
Inclined Elders is a call to action for you to opt for Incline. Not only for your personal fulfillment, but also to help fuel a social “legacy” that increases the number of positive older role models in everyday life. I have written this book to inspire, inform, and challenge you. By the time you reach the last page, I hope you will have made a new choice: to become an inspiring example of a life of Incline so our society relinquishes – once and for all – the notion that aging is synonymous with “decline,” “decrepit,” “senile,” and “over-the-hill.”
In this book over 50 men and women ranging in age from 40 to 100 share their tips and techniques on how to live a life of Incline. Their strategies are supported by scientific evidence from the fields of Positive Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology.
WHO ARE INCLINED ELDERS?
We are the women and men who have made a conscious choice to ignore society’s negative mindset of “decline” and “over-the-hill” as we age. Instead we embrace a positive mindset of continuing to Incline and climb ever upwards.
Serving as vibrant role models, the Inclined Elders I spoke to for this book are leaving their own unique legacies of wisdom and inspiration for future generations. There needs to be more of us like them to effect real social change. So why not Incline too? There’s an amazing view from up here. Come with us and see for yourself.
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Ramona Oliver has long been a passionate educator with former roles as a human resource manager/director, career coach, and director of outreach for St. Edward’s University. As a human resource director for many years, she championed the professional development of employees. While serving as president of the Austin Human Resource Management Association, she led a team that designed, developed, and implemented an award-wining leadership program. In addition, she launched a workforce readiness committee that partnered with community organizations to implement workforce readiness initiatives. At St. Edward’s University, she promoted lifelong learning and the adult undergraduate and graduate programs to older adults in the Austin community. Ramona currently serves as an advocate of positive aging. Rather than accepting a mindset of decline, she is passionate about living life with an attitude of Incline. Ramona has been published on the Changing Aging website, offering posts with titles such as “Can We Please Stop Calling It Aging,” “What Are We Missing When We Settle for Life Stages?” and “Leave a Legacy and Live It Now!” Ramona is a recipient of a Book Excellence Award for her current book, INCLINED ELDERS: How to rebrand aging for self and society. It has been recognized for high-quality writing style, book design, and overall marketing appeal. She earned her Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University. Ramona lives in Austin, Texas where she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and Nia and participating in various community groups.
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THE AMAZING MISS LEE
Several years ago, I had the good fortune of being introduced to, whom I call, The Amazing Miss Lee. She agreed to be interviewed for my upcoming book, Inclined Elders, as a featured “elder.” Following are some of the pearls of wisdom she shared with me. They and more are included in Inclined Elders.
As a young girl growing up in Palestine, Texas, what was your greatest aspiration?
I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and entered college with high hopes of accomplishing that goal. While the other students completed assigned art projects quickly, I toiled for hours, sometimes days, to finish my work. I began to think that, because it took me so much longer, I didn’t have the talent. After graduation, I sadly decided I would never be a designer. I gave up on my dream and instead settled for a job as a secretary for a large oil company where I worked for many years.
When did this all change and how?
At the age of fifty, I overheard someone make a comment that turned my thinking upside down. The individual mentioned that Beethoven rewrote his Fifth Symphony thirty-one times before it was completed. In fact, he rewrote all his symphonies many times over. Could that be true? Beethoven! Presumably a genius?
I had an awakening in my soul. If it took someone like Beethoven thirty-one rewrites to complete a masterpiece, perhaps talent was more than just a God-given gift. I realized that while talent may come easily to some, perhaps genius level, for others fulfilling a goal may require more work. I had incorrectly assumed that if I had talent, I wouldn’t have to work so hard. I realized that talent plus hard work equals success. I had turned my thinking upside down.
I went on to fulfill a dream. In my sixties, I began a successful career as an inspiring motivational speaker and I’m now the oldest living member of the National Speakers Association. In 2013 I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Speakers Association Austin Chapter.
You are now 95. What is your “Recipe for Living to 95 and Beyond”?
Like all great recipes, mine includes several ingredients:
Genes: they are important, but they can only carry you so far.
Positive Attitude: this is the key to the kingdom. It’s not genes, it’s positive attitude.
Love: this is the most powerful – it is in every recipe of how to make it into the later ages of life. Love people and be with people. Have a circle of friends and keep in touch often.
Lifelong Learning: I just love learning. That’s key. It’s a big one.
Sense of Community/Socializing with People: being with people of all ages is also key – both young and old.
Spirit: have an anchor in God, but for people who don’t believe in a superior being, I recommend calling it hope.
How do You Keep Your Inner Child Alive?
When people ask me why I seem so happy and find it so easy to laugh, I tells them, “My inner child is working overtime!” That belief has been with me for my entire adult life. Many times throughout the years, friends and relatives have remarked to me, in a not-so-kindly manner: “Lee, you’re the biggest kid I know! Aren’t you ever going to grow up?” But they’re all dead now and I’m still here.
My mantra is: “Keep your mind on what you want and off what you don’t want. It works.” Keep your inner child alive always – with curiosity, inspiration, laughter, and learning. While we have only limited control over what happens to us in life, we have 100% control over how we react. Therefore, older people who have learned to keep their sense of humor, think positively, and remain active, and who genuinely care about other people, continue to learn, and are interested in life in general truly are “young at heart” forever and die young even at 110.
The 18th Century poet, William Wordsworth, once wrote: “The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” What would you most like to jettison, in order to feel lighter and free, as you learn how best to live YOUR life of Incline?
What I think about Wordsworth’s statement is: I partially agree with him. I have come to realize that old age can be a series of losing people and things most dear to us. It can be a horrible trap for those who suffer from physical or mental ailments that cannot be healed, leaving a huge, empty hole. And a multitude of negative things can happen to us about which we have no control. Losing a loved one can be devastating! It is true: “Old age is not for sissies!” I have come to realize that the only thing we do have control over is how we think! Therefore, older people who have learned to keep their sense of humor, to think positively, who genuinely care for other people and REMAIN ACTIVE, who continue to learn and are still interested in life in general, who do not let their INNER CHILD fade away, definitely can “mourn less for what age takes away then what it leaves behind”!
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FOUR WINNERS: 2 winners: autographed copies of Inclined Elders. 2 winners: Kindle copies of Inclined Elders. Giveaway ends midnight, CDT, 7/17/21; US only.
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