Episode 4: The hidden gifts of aging with Ken Dychtwald
Play • 50 min

Growing older has been cast in a bad light in our society and this has led to many negative effects that aren’t only felt by older people. This is one of the issues that Ken Dychtwald tackles in his memoir, Radical Curiosity: One Man's Search for Cosmic Magic and a Purposeful Life. In this book, Ken compiles some of the most impactful life lessons he has learned from his greatest teachers, and today he joins us to share just a few of them. We begin our discussion on the theme of Ken’s lifelong curiosity that has seen him in search of the irregular, the extraordinary, the wild and crazy, and the meaning of a purposeful life. Along the way, Ken didn’t just hear the teachings of influential thought leaders, but also found mentors in many older people who taught him one of his biggest lessons: give life your best shot because before you know it, it will be too late! Over the years Ken interviewed many wise people who wrote on the subject of getting older, names like Dr. Robert Butler, Maggie Kuhn, Erik Erikson, and Betty Friedan. We take a deep dive into the lessons he learned from these voices about how our culture has missed the mark of what aging is supposed to be, to its own detriment. We talk about how aging should be seen as an ascent, not a descent, and the huge contributions that older people could make to society if their wisdom was seen as an asset, and so much more. So for an important conversation about getting back to the magic of aging, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Ken arrived at the title of his new book, Radical Curiosity.
  • Lessons from global leaders and what Ken hopes to achieve by writing his book.
  • Why Ken is so curious and the subjects he is most curious about.
  • Lessons about living without regrets and giving it your all Ken learned from older people.
  • Life lessons about self-improvement Ken has complied in his book.
  • The truest version of Ken Dychtwald: a man who loves his family!
  • Lessons about the problems of ageism Ken learned from Dr. Robert Butler.
  • The lack of representation of older adults in advertising and marketing efforts.
  • Lessons from Maggie Kuhn about how capitalism is giving old age a bad rap.
  • The value that elders can provide to their societies and how ageism is getting worse.
  • Examples of how the aging field itself is part of the problem.
  • Today’s low standards for wellness, financial responsibility, or purposeful aging.
  • Using our culture of innovation to reinvent what it means to age.
  • Rethinking the arc of life to see aging as an ascent as well as a descent.
  • Developing integrity in old age by integrating yourself and being valuable in society.
  • How Ken’s wife, kids, and parents influence his life and career.
  • The top ten lessons we learned from Ken today!

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Rethink Aging

Ken Dychtwald

Radical Curiosity: One Man's Search for Cosmic Magic and a Purposeful Life

Dr. Robert Butler

Why Survive?

Maggie Kuhn

Erik Erikson

Betty Friedan

Feminine Mystique

Nelson Mandela

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