Reasons Being Creative Will Make You Happier As You Grow Older
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Millard Kaufman wrote his first novel, Bowl of Cherries, at the age of 90. Benjamin Franklin was 78 when he invented the bifocal lens. Clearly, creativity and aging aren’t always mutually exclusive.
Award-winning author and poet Piero Rivolta, 77, enjoyed successful careers in car manufacturing, commercial building and sailing before re-dedicating himself as a writer the last few years. Being creative as one gets older, he says, brings more enjoyment of life by putting us more in touch with our authentic selves as well as with the outside world. And he wishes more people took that approach sooner.“
People need to adapt a creative, poetic way of living,” says Rivolta (www.pierorivolta.com), whose ninth and most recent book is Bridge Through The Stars: A Novel of Desire and Destiny. He elaborates, “That starts with what is inside of them and letting it out. Today, too many people don’t see too far away from their nose. Money has become too important. We need a poetic sense of life, following our intuition, nurturing our curiosity and engaging in the world around us. Let the mind wander and become absorbed in a vibrant, creative process, leading to discoveries that can influence your future or even humanity.”
Rivolta gives reasons creativity can bring more happiness later in life:
It adds self-esteem. New creative outlets later in life can remove any identity crisis one is feeling in retirement. “You really need a sense of purpose as you get older with seemingly less to do,” Rivolta says. “Creatively doing things you always wanted to do gives you immense satisfaction and more happiness.”
It expands your social world. Studies have shown many aging people feel isolated. Creative pursuits such as art classes are a great way to connect socially. “It’s so important in older age to connect with others and not go it alone,” Rivolta says. “And whether you’re sharing ideas, the gift of your talents or just time together, it makes for a much happier existence.”
It drives brain growth. Research shows creativity fires neurons that create connections in the brain, essentially making the brain grow as it gets older. And, Rivolta says, a mentally active person with an open, curious mind tends to stay inspired and be happier.