Measure Your Happy Aging Quotient

Read the quotes about aging below.  Reflect on their substance and meaning.  Do you agree or disagree with these statements?  Write “Y” for yes, if you agree.  Write “N” for no, if you disagree.

Quotes on Happy Aging
  • The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.”  ~ Frank Lloyd Wright (American architect)
  • “In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber.  So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage – so long are you young.  When the wires are all down and our heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old.”  ~Douglas MacArthur (American five-star general)
  • “For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest.”   ~Hasidic saying
  • “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~Mark Twain

  • “I suppose real old age begins when one looks backward rather than forward.” ~ Mary Sarton (American poet and novelist)
  • “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.”  ~Louise Hay (motivational author)
  • “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” ~George Bernard Shaw (Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist)
  • “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” ~Franz Kafka (Bohemian novelist)
  • “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” ~Pearl S. Buck (American Novelist)
  • “The trouble is, when a number—your age—becomes your identity, you’ve given away your power to choose your future.”  ~Richard J. Leider (chief curator of content for AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute)
  • “I’ve always said that I will never let an old person into my body. That is, I don’t believe in ‘thinking’ old. Don’t program yourself to break down as you age with thoughts that decline is inevitable.”  ~Wayne Dyer (self-help author and motivational speaker)
  • “Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”  ~Ben Franklin (one of the founding fathers of the United States)
  • “Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week.” ~Maggie Kuhn – Founder of Gray Panthers
  • “A human being would certainly not grow to be 70 or 80 years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species to which he belongs. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning.”  ~Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist)
  • “If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.” ~ Margaret Mead (American cultural anthropologist)
  • “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.”  ~Henry David Thoreau (American essayist, poet and philosopher)
  • “The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” ~ William Wordsworth (British poet)
  • “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” ~Robert Browning (British poet)
  • “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~Henry Ford

  • You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” ~ George Burns (comedian, actor, singer, writer)
  • “Relish love in our old age! Aged love is like aged wine; it becomes more satisfying, more refreshing, more valuable, more appreciated and more intoxicating.” ~Leo Buscaglia (author and motivational speaker)
  • “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.”  ~Abraham Lincoln (American president)
  • “Count your age by friends, not years.  Count your life by smiles, not tears.  ~John Lennon (co-founder of The Beatles

  • “Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.”   ~Albert Einstein (physicist)
  • “In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”  ~Edith Wharton (Pulitzer Prize winning novelist)
  • “It’s like you trade the virility of the body for the agility of the spirit.”  – Elizabeth Lesser (co-founder of the Omega Institute)
  • “Aging happy and well, instead of sad and sick, is at least under some personal control. We have considerable control over our weight, our exercise, our education, and our abuse of cigarettes and alcohol. With hard work and/or therapy, our relationships with our spouses and our coping styles can be changed for the better. A successful old age may lie not so much in our stars and genes as in ourselves.” ~George E. Vaillant (American psychiatrist)
  • “With age comes the inner, the higher life. Who would be forever young, to dwell always in externals?”   ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton (suffragist)
  • “The great thing about getting older is that you become more mellow. Things aren’t as black and white, and you become much more tolerant. You can see the good in things much more easily rather than getting enraged as you used to do when you were young.”    ~Maeve Binchy (author)
  • “We don’t grow older, we grow riper.” ~Pablo Picasso (artist)


Count up your Y’s (yeses) and score accordingly to find your happiness quotient.

25-30 = Pollyanna – “My cup runneth over.”

20-24 = Blissful Bill – “My glass is half full.”

15-19 = Cynical Cindy – “My glass is half empty.”

Below 15 = Curmudgeon Curt – “My tank is empty – fill me up.”


By reflecting on these quotes about aging, and thinking through how they might change your point of view, you can share in the human effort to live happily.  And remember – you are what you think!


For more information on positive aging:

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