Alan Alda's Secret To Life, In 3 Words
In a conversation with Alan Alda, Considerable – a new media brand for people who are redefining what it means to grow older – asked the award-winning actor, director, screenwriter, and author, what wisdom he’d impart to his 50- or 60-year-old self. This was Alda’s response:
“I was in Dundee, Scotland, where they were giving me an honorary degree at the university. They told me that I would have three minutes to speak. Three minutes isn’t very long!
“When I got up to speak, I said, ‘I only have three minutes, so I thought I’d give the secret to life. It’s three words: Adapt, Adjust, and Revise.’
“That’s the advice I’d give my 50-year-old self, and it’s the advice that I followed myself. It’s the way I adjusted to getting older than 50.
“It’s especially useful when you’re in the second half of your life. The longer we live, the more we have to adjust to the fact that things may start to rust and fall off. Every time we lose a capacity like hearing, smelling, or the sense of touch, we have to adapt to a new way of handling those functions.
“We have to respond to changes that make life difficult. And we have to keep revising the way we think about these things. If you can’t be agile physically, you hope you can be agile from your thinking.
“The challenges that come our way as we get older are just reality, and reality isn’t fixed by wishing it away or hoping it won’t continue. Reality is just what it is. And I find it more fun to cope with reality than to wish it wasn’t.”