Stay Young in Heart and Mind

I’m honoured to publish an article by Al Weatherhead on how to stay young in heart and mind. Al is chairman and CEO of multi-million dollar company Weatherchem, a private manufacturer of plastic closures for food, spice, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products.

He has survived arthritis, heart disease, depression, and alcoholism. At age 84, he is healthy and happily married. He is a proud father and grandfather, and a thoughtful philanthropist. In this article he shares his thoughts on maximising life.

How to stay young in heart and mind

— by Al Weatherhead

I’ll begin by stating an absolute truth: age is a state of mind. You may dismiss my declaration as a cliché, but I’m here to tell you that it’s an invaluable secret.

If you embrace the wisdom at its core, you’ll discover a personal fountain of youth. This will provide you with the physical, spiritual and emotional energy to experience the world with a child’s wonder and delight.

It may sound like a lot to promise, especially if you’re currently in the grip of a serious and chronic illness. But as readers of my book, The Power of Adversity know, I too have struggled to conquer serious illness and regain my youthful vigor.

I’ve endured – and surmounted – terrible arthritis, serious heart disease and major depression. What’s more I’m a recovering alcoholic. Today, at age 84, I’m healthy, and happily married to the woman of my dreams. I’m a proud father and grandfather, CEO of a multi-million dollar company, and a thoughtful philanthropist.

The rules I share with you today on how to stay young at heart and mind have stood the test of time. In fact they’ve helped me beat Father Time and stay young. And they can do the same for you!

Rule #1: Attitude and the Mind – The power of positive imagery

The number one factor to maintaining your youth is to develop a youthful perspective – by keeping a positive mindset.

You will go a long way toward overcoming your adversities when you avail yourself of the power of positive thinking. I know this to be true because it enabled me to control my alcoholism, beat arthritis and accomplish what was once considered impossible: total reversal of heart disease.

Start now to put positive imagery to work for you. One powerful technique to help you do so is to not think when facing a life-challenge: “I have to do it.” Instead, think: “I have it to do.” This will help you take control of your adversity – and your life.

Rule #2: Meditation – The art of letting go

Practice meditation to create and sustain your positive mindset. Our heads are filled with an endless loop of the same thoughts formed over our lives. They drive us to distraction and often plunge us into anxiety. This mental stress and strain becomes physical stress, which greatly contributes to our aging.

Meditation helps alleviate mental stress, short-circuiting the aging process. Far from being a mystical art, meditation is as down to earth and results-oriented as physical exercise. I meditate in the pool, by concentrating on my breathing while swimming laps.

Rule #3: Communication — Articulating the speech of the heart

My rheumatoid arthritis shoved me stumbling along the first few steps of the communication path. Before that bout of suffering, I had barricaded myself from the world. I struggled with the relentless pain, depression and a lack of certainty about the future.

Then I was granted the gift of a lifetime: the opportunity to relearn how to trust others. I also re-learned that trying to get through life alone wears away one’s youth, both inside and out. Reaching out to others will go a long way to help you stay young in heart and mind.

I still revel in going to my office each day to chat with my employees and feel the surge of human connection. I also look forward to opening a letter from one of the many philanthropic causes I support.

And I end each day talking to my beloved wife, Celia. We exchange words and touches, sharing all that has passed between us and anticipating all that is yet to come.

You, too, can recharge and replenish your body, mind and spirit. Take the first steps to maximize your life right now by following these powerful and liberating rules to stay forever young!

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26 replies on “Stay Young in Heart and Mind”

Thank you for such a beautiful and meaning post. I just turned forty and have a female friend who is 96. She is a pillar of Sydney society, responsible for founding one of Australia’s oldest charities and living through a life-time of lifes, deaths, wars and laughs. Her sparkle and seasoned wit are refreshing and she enriches my life. (She credits yoga and her faith in God for her length of days) Thank you for adding value to the internet with your sharing. It reminded me to call her…

God Bless

Hi Daphne

Always a pleasure to drop by and never miss your posts in my Google Reader! You sound like life is busy busy, which I hope is great for you, and that you’re also getting a little time for you too!

All the best for now


@ Tamsin,

You’re so good for my ego! Thanks for never missing a post, though I have to confess I have posted a lot less lately as I have been busily and happily active in other areas of my life. Will try to keep in touch better.

@ Stephenie,

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, and such a generous and warm-hearted comment at that. Glad you liked the article, and I’m very happy that it reminded you to call your old friend, who sounds like an amazing person and I’m sure she was delighted to hear from you!

Hi, Al and Daphne –

I so enjoyed the energy and joy I felt while reading this post! What great advice . . . thank you for sharing your timeless wisdom, Al!

– Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

Very inspiring article, Daphne. I like when he said “Staying young is all about choice. So choose to be young.”
Thank you so much for sharing this great article. 🙂

@ JD,

Sorry for this late reply. Thanks so much for your comment, and “speech of the heart” is indeed a beautiful phrase and thought!

@ Tamsin,

So good to see you again here, just that I’ve been too busy to reply until now. Perpetual curiosity is a great attribute and sometimes we need a person like Al to personify this and so re-inspire us. Thanks for dropping by!

@ Arswino,

A lot of life is about choice, including whether we feel young or old… and sometimes I need to remind myself that I’m still very young! 😉 Thanks for your comment and sorry for the late reply.

@ Marie,

Thanks so much for your comment. Isn’t it wonderful when Al’s energy comes across just from his writing alone?

@ Sunny,

Thanks for dropping by, and hope all is well in your world.

@ Jonathan,

Your words of encouragement are much appreciated. Thank you!

Hi Daphne

I loved this post and Al definitely personifies that 85 is the new 65! I esp liked the whole uplifting tone and style of his writing – it made me feel good reading it as it clearly did your other readers too!

I agree with JD Meier’s comment above that having perpetual curiosity – as well as a propensity to look forward rather than back – is a great recipe for a long life.

I hope all’s going great in your world and thanks for sharing this lovely post.

All the best


@ Carla,

My heart goes out to you. It must be difficult to wake up in the mornings sometimes, knowing that just making it through the day can be so challenging. Hope the article and book helps – wish I could help more. Sending you lots of love and positive vibes today…

@ Hilary,

So sorry to hear about your uncle. When my dad died, someone told me something which gave me great consolation: matter cannot be created nor destroyed, but merely changes form. So your uncle is still around, just in a different way.

You certainly made his transition a lot easier by being there and doing so much for him, including keeping your blog going under so much time constraint and emotional pressure. You’re an incredible woman. Thank you for taking the time to comment here. I’m rooting for you and your mum all the way.

Hi Al and Daphne ..
I agree that age is totally as you feel it and react to what’s going on around you – be prepared to try things and accept change. As you say keeping a positive mind is essential and brings you back to earth as necessary, or helps others look at things in a different light.

Giving people something to live for is so essential – I’ve just found that with my uncle .. we had projects going, and my blog seemed to give him something to live for, kept his interest at a different perspective, sadly he’s just died. But my mother too, though bedridden with 3 major strokes, nil by mouth, is amazing so positive and won’t be down .. thank goodness – it is a lesson to all, as it makes my life so much easier. She too loves my blog, and has embraced the iphone as she can see the pictures and as she says she’s stimulated!

Meditation is something I would like to get into – and as my mother becomes sleepier I am sure I can start to learn about meditation, or the learning process. Is there a podcast – do you know, by chance? Thanks!

Communication is so important – you reach the parts others don’t always reach .. and that is an essential of life for some. I absolutely agree having a reitrement project up and running that, if you need to retire from your job, gives you a sense of purpose .. and good for you still keeping an eye on and running your business – as you say you have a future ahead.

Look after others .. our actions be they small or large – be used to benefit all.

Thank you – great to meet you ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

That is one book I know I will benefit from. It is difficult to “keep your chin up” when facing an incurable, chronic illness. Its also to the point that I sometimes wish it was something that it would either kill me or eventually I would fight it and be done with it like many forms of cancer. I know it sounds horrible, but that is the space I am right now.

Thank you so much for this post and book. Its something I definitely need right now.

My gosh, I can’t believe this but I just shared that on Twitter. It’s perhaps my first post shared that way (I’m new to Tweeting!). That was phenomenal, and I’m sending it to others I know. Thank you so much for having Al guest post here. Absolutely riveting topic, with great, easy-to-remember key points.

@ Barbara,

I’m so glad you like the post enough to re-read it and perhaps read Al’s book. I too sometimes fall into the trap of thinking I’m old just because of a number rather than how I feel. This is a great reminder!

@ Megan,

Congrats on your first tweet! I’m so honoured that your very first tweet is a Joyful Days post, and have to thank Al for inspiring you enough to give it a go. Those are great key points and I’m happy that your Twitter followers will get the link to read it for themselves. Thank you!

Hi Daphne,

What a wonderful post. I love Al’s attitude and how he is teaching it to others.

What he says is spot on. So many people get hung up on the age number and before they know it, they’re complaining about the aches and pains someone of that age is suppose to have. So sad.

I’m going to bookmark this post, check out his book and learn to live like Al does.

I’m hoping that 120 turns out to be the new 80 (both my parents are over 80). I’m now 50 so half way there – I hope ’til 80 will be my most productive years and those from 81-120 will be more focused on just enjoying and playing.

I really love the three points.

@ Julie,

Glad you like Al and his wisdom 🙂 Yes it’s so nice to hear this sort of advice from someone who’s lived through it and can speak from personal experience. The value is in knowing that all this can be done, because someone has already done it. I like your description of the three points as a three-tiered fountain of youth!

@ Vered,

I didn’t realise you feared aging, and am glad this helped.

@ Evan,

Great vision there, and yes perhaps we’re all too short-sighted about life. If we took care of our physical, emotional and mental health (and not just we as individuals but as a race with pollution and global warming etc) we could all naturally live to a much older age, and reach our most productive years in our 80s… compared to which we’re mere children now who are growing up and gaining experiences that will make us more useful later.

Daphne, this was wonderful! A man after my own heart! I swear, this message can’t be shared enough. …but when passed along by someone like Al, who’s had plenty of experience and days “under his belt,” the world would do well to sit up and take notice.

It all comes from within. As Al states,

(1) choosing optimism
(2) relinguishing accumulated stress, and
(3) opening our hearts

is the three-tiered fountain of youth! By acknowledging this—what we already intuitively know and understand—we can remain as young, energetic, and vibrant as we want. This is how we arrived in this world; it’s up to us to remain that way. And we CAN do it! It’s all in our hearts and minds. 🙂

I agree with Evita: Celebrate every moment, in every way, and you’ll remain connected to your inner child, drinking from that youthful fountain every day.

Hello Daphne

Thank you so much for publishing this – it is sooo, sooo true!

I wholeheartedly preach this and believe it with all my heart. Age is just a number and it is up to us to determine how young or old we really feel.

I love the ideas Al presented and even top scientists today are praising things like meditation and heart-centered living.

On this note though, I think many of us should re-consider the whole idea of birthdays. Why be special and celebrate only one day of the year? And why let society and a calendar lock you into a certain age, and thus mind set?

Celebrate life everyday is my mantra and feel special everyday – life is a gift and there is no reason we cannot stay on this planet as long as we desire in great health!

@ Jennifer,

It’s great that you’re able to discern what you’re good at and what areas need work. Such clarity is essential for personal growth, I find, and sometimes I have it and sometimes not. Meditation does work, doesn’t it? Yet I too find myself needing a push now and then to actually do it. Thanks for your comment!

@ Evelyn,

I was so sure it was you until I saw your new website address and did a double-take. Then I realised it really was you after all when I popped by there. Your latest post certainly makes the point about imagery and your seeing visions during meditation. I love learning from your personal experiences.

@ Tess,

You’re a mere girl at 55! They say men reach their prime in their 60s and women in their 50s. Kathleen Turner’s book (Send Yourself Roses) is all about life beginning at 50 – she says the best part of life for her is in her 50s. Glad you like Al’s outlook!

@ Evita,

Wow I feel so boosted by your enthusiastic reply. Age is just a number… you’re right about that, and so is time. It’s just something we humans invented to help us make sense of things, but these don’t really exist as scientists are starting to find out with the space-time continuum and all that. Celebrating life everyday is the best advice you could give anyone, and I’m glad you said it here!

I definitely second all three rules. Imagery works especially well for me. I find it helpful to continue to reaffirm a positive self-image. What I experience in my reality is a result of what I can picture in my mind.

Thanks for sharing about Al Weatherhead. I find it inspirational that he has managed to overcome many ailments with body-mind-spirit measures.

This is an excellent post. I myself am working on the positive imagery and meditation. I have always been good a communicating, but the other areas need some work. I am a firm beleiver in positive imagery and meditation and can attest to the fact that they work. Even with this knowledge, I have to work on being consistent in these areas. Such a wonderful story and all the best.


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