The Carpe Diem Way of Life – To Invigorate Your Act 3

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For people in the Baby Boomer generation who want to live a vibrant, full and profound life, I recommend grasping the meaning of a Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) approach to living each day – by understanding how it contributes creatively and strategically to a Way of Life that delivers valuable holistic benefits.

In my own life since turning age 60, I’ve cultivated a carpe diem mentality to achieve greater wellness, purpose, passion and, in my opinion, the promise of longevity. Let’s face it, we Boomers are in the final stretch of our life’s journey, which Jane Fonda and others refer to as Act 3 – also called the wisdom years.

I believe it’s of immense value for us to seek, find and apply every great-living advantage we can get – to overcome what can go wrong during our advanced-aging years. Thus, the responsibility is on us seniors to take our best shot at living an enthusiastic and fulfilling life after age 60.

At my age of 80, I possess a post-retirement flexibility and powerful desire to pursue a purposeful and passionate life. Developing the Carpe Diem Way of Life has done marvels for my creating a multidimensional and high-quality life during my 60s and 70s. And now as I enter my 80s, I intent to go into an even-higher gear!

I want to share my perspective on Carpe Diem’s value for older people. We’re in life’s final phase, in which I believe we can still achieve our highest levels of inner love, joy and peace, and outer connection with other people and contribution to the world. I view Act 3 as a platinum opportunity to enjoy life’s best of times!

Getting Past the Old-Age Blues

I have observed and at times myself felt what I call the old-age blues, which seniors can feel chronically or during tough episodes. As they say, getting old is not for sissies! So, what is lacking in our 60+ years that diminishes or shreds our senior quality of life? And thus, sets us up for negative thinking and feeling about ourself and the world.

Modern society’s prevailing cultural way of looking at old age is that it’s life’s saddest time. For this is when senior people slow down, face declining physical and mental health, and may throw themselves into pleasurable activities (unconsciously) aimed at distracting them from the shadow of severe illnesses and impending death. I refer to pleasure pursuits such as shopping, television, golf, card-playing, and conversations about the good-old past.

Hey, if seniors desire to maximize their pleasure, they’ve earned the late-in-life right to live as they choose. While pleasure has been found by researchers in this field to be one of the two principal causes of happiness, the other one is life’s purpose – as in meaning, mission and legacy.

In my experience, it’s the synergy of pleasure and purpose that produces optimal happiness – which I regard as critical to living a life of wellness, quality and longevity. And I see this as a powerful way to shake off the old-age blues.

What’s the Carpe Diem Lifestyle?

For seniors who crave more than a conventional and vulnerable life, they’d do well to embrace a committed and vigorous Carpe Diem Way of Life. What would seizing the day, every day, look like? Based on my personal experience as a senior for two decades, I shall share my holistic approach to living a full-on Carpe Diem agenda, virtually every day.

Carpe Diem-infused activities can be the highlights of your day. They can engage and deepen who you are as a human being, and what you want to do with your precious senior days. In my life, I’ve welcomed getting these benefits:

  • Unleashing and expressing my creativity
  • Learning exhilarating and valuable knowledge
  • Discovering the wisdom in life’s lessons
  • Finding more ways to enjoy life to the max
  • Strengthening intellectual capability
  • Opening the heart to love, joy and empathy
  • Elevating consciousness to a higher level
  • Relating to fascinating individuals, groups and communities
  • Enhancing the inner world to thrive in the outer world.

Although the Carpe Diem Way of Life may seem demanding and highly energy-consuming, I’ve found it’s natural to balance spirited day-seizing and gentle down-time activities. Examples of down times include napping on a hammock, watching floating clouds or moving water, walking leisurely amid Nature, listening to soothing music, playing with children or pets, and sweet conversations with loved ones.

Infusing Carpe Diem into Act 3

Here are seven Carpe Diem Way of Life approaches I’ve used to help me live my best years in Act 3:

  • 1. Upgrade your mindscape for senior living. The mindscape concept recognizes the brain-mind’s plasticity for change, growth and excellence. And we’re its master designer and builder – with our thoughts and actions! To get through our final decades in good shape and spirits, I’ve realized it takes a transformed mindscape to thrive as a senior person. I’ve realized we have to know ourself, we need to be at our best, and make each day worthwhile and enjoyable –because we don’t know how many more we have. This is critical to living in the present, and being highly conscious of where we are, where we want to go, and what are promising ways to get there. It’s critical to be committed, open, resilient, creative, learning, confident, daring, loving, joyful and peaceful!

A senior’s Carpe Diem mindscape is at its best when we go within to know who we are and what we really want in Act 3; reconsider whether what worked in our younger years is right for us now; adopt new beliefs and habits for the key issues of our optimal wellness (body, mind, emotions and soul); take daily steps to stay vigorous (practicing Carpe Diem whenever possible); and remain focused on expressing our life’s meaning (values, purpose and mission).

  • 2. Declare everyday an extraordinary day. It’s ideal take up in the morning with the resolve of creating a wonder-filled day. I call such a day as holistically activated – physically robust, mentally exciting, emotionally positive, creatively flowing, socially engaging, and spiritually connected. I suggest looking in the mirror and making an agreement with the Self you see staring back – to be fully awake to the potential and possibilities of living today in a state of heightened awareness and aliveness. This is the opposite of the sleep-walking style of drifting through another humdrum day with its familiar thoughts, controlled feelings, recurring activities, and minimal consciousness.

Celebrate the seemingly ordinary. We all must do things considered to be routine – such as our brushing teeth, eating our breakfast, and taking out the trash. But even familiar activities can be viewed as invitations to be creative, delightful and uplifting. If life is in the details, then celebrating ordinary activities can serve to warm up, practice and polish one’s Carpe Diem approach to the day. Go ahead, find how to bring a smile to your face – as you play your favorite music and sway while brushing your teeth in a novel sequence; add new and exotic ingredients to your salad and granola; and toss a trash bag in a basketball or ballet manner.

  • 3. Identify your high-priority daring activities. Create a list of activities that would enhance your life with more meaning, love, joy, humor, relating, knowledge and wisdom. Next, make a to-do list of juicy adventures to enrich your day. For example, the list might include doing yoga or tai-chi, learning the polite words of a new foreign language, watching an inspirational video, researching a topic you are passionate about, writing an article or poem, getting together with lively people, meditating in a forest or on a beach, painting a picture, taking your dog to a waterfall, and dancing to music from your teen years. Each day chose one or more of these activities to jazz up and celebrate that you are awake and alive!
  • 4. Go outside your comfort zone. Immerse yourself in an activity you have been thinking about, but postponing. Consider meeting and interacting with people who are different than you. You could read or sing to people older than you, or those in a hospital or hospice; play with young children in an orphanage; tutor disadvantaged teens who aspire to college; give career coaching to prisoners about to be released; and participate in house construction for poorer people. Being used to shopping in a conventional supermarket, visit an ethnic specialty food store – such as Asian, Middle Eastern or Latin American. When shopping in them, take small risks by buying packaged, prepared and fresh foods that expand your repertoire for creative cooking and adventurous eating.
  • 5. Hang out with extremely creative people. Spend time with individuals, groups and communities known to be creatives and trailblazers – to whom Carpe Diem is a rallying cry. Become eager, open and curious to learn and explore new fields for lifelong learning courses and events in novel settings. These creative people might be retired teachers who are now feisty learners, seniors who are engaged in self-challenge and bar-raising physical or mental endeavors, and philosophical pioneers on the frontier of spirituality and consciousness expansion.
  • 6. Speak normally but sometimes sing. I grew up loving Broadway musical shows. On the stage, when the actors want to convey special ideas and emotions, they break into song and/or dance. So why can’t we non-actors do that in daily life, at least occasionally? This Carpe Diem practice heightens our self-expression, shares authentic feelings, and brightens the energy of everyone around us.

In an overly serious world, I may suddenly burst into song – either a popular one (such as You Are My Sunshine), or a familiar tune with words made-up on the spot and customized to the individual or group in front of me. I call this a spontaneous song. After two decades singing this way, I’ve found it welcomed by nearly all listeners. I enjoy it when people react with, “You made my day!”

I know most people are anxious about a spontaneous song – because of doubts regarding their singing ability and rhyming agility. My reply: Do your best and be sure to smile; it’s your enthusiasm to connect, rather than your voice’s quality, that the listeners will appreciate. While involving a learning curve, breaking into an actual or spontaneous song has increased my joy of life, and generated delight among listeners.

  • 7. Launch an innovative initiative for yourself. For seniors with an entrepreneurial spirit – either for most of their life, or discovered post age 60 – living Act 3 in the Carpe Diem mode can lead to revisioning, revising and rebooting their life in a new field or format. It could be in a business or nonprofit area; as a founder, executive, advisor or volunteer.

In my case, I had a five-decade career of change and renewal – as a marketing educator, management trainer, business consultant and coach, corporate communicator, and holistic healer. Then, at age 71, my cluster of talents and desired life mission coalesced to surprisingly transform me into an edutainer – the blending of educator and entertainer. I launched The Larry Show initiative ( This labor of love involved creating and performing several one-person musical-and-inspirational shows – based on my life’s gritty highs-and-lows and lessons learned. With renewed purpose and passion in my life, I could practice Carpe Diem on stage and off stage.

Wrap Up

Carpe Diem is an attitude and practices in the personal development field, which I’ve expanded into a philosophy and way of life to enable people 60+ to thrive during their final and vulnerable Act 3. But rather than face a life of sinking, sickness and sadness, the Carpe Diem Way of Life can support them to revitalize how they live, which has a positive effect on their quality and joy of life.

The Carpe Diem Way of Life can satisfy seniors’ desire for a good life – full of foundation attributes – wellness, family and friends, and enjoyment – as well as elevated attributes – meaning of life, purpose, inspiration and growth. Both these sets of attributes are necessary to generate the synergy that assures a complete, whole and fulfilling life during a challenging Act 3.

When Carpe Diem reshapes your life and enhance its quality, it’s likely the seniors around you will realize the positivity and vibrance of your enhanced life. Thus, you may well become a role model to those of your generation or older. Expect that some of them will want to follow your example and learn how to live their version of an invigorating life.

For people needing help to create and practice the Carpe Diem Way of Life, it may be useful to do a deep dive into why they aren’t comfortable and even are resisting this holistically beneficial approach to their 60+ life. This is where encouragement and support may be valuable in the form of Adventurous Aging coaching and workshops that help seniors:

  • Examine and release their limiting beliefs, philosophy and strategy that are undermining a strong Act 3.
  • Identify and access their untapped and incredible life experience, wisdom and superpowers to manifest their best life yet.

For seniors with an open and creative nature, I invite you to embrace a Carpe Diem Way of Life, to generate more fun and fulfillment – for your Self and everyone your life touches.

For a fuller description of Larry’s coaching approach, Adventurous Aging, visit; to discuss this coaching method with Larry, contact him at

I wish to express my gratitude to Andy Ferguson, friend and frequent co-author, for our valuable conversations about Capre Diem, and his astute contributions to this article.

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