I’ve been a fan of Dick Van Dyke’s for many years and have enjoyed his versatile talent and skillful performances in his many roles in 'Mary Poppins,'I’ve been a fan of Dick Van Dyke’s for many years and have enjoyed his versatile talent and skillful performances in his many roles in 'Mary Poppins,' 'Diagnosis Murder,' 'Night at the Museum,' and the few episodes I’ve seen of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show.' No matter what role he portrays, his charming presence always shines through. His off-screen personality is equally mesmerizing if not more so. People often wonder how he continues to remain so energetic and jovial after nine decades. I must admit, I share their curiosity. Mr. Van Dyke was gracious and generous enough to provide the curious with his profound perspective and philosophy about not only aging with grace, dignity and enthusiasm, but approaching life in the same manner. It’s certainly something many could take a cue from, myself included.
In the span of 90 years, Mr. Van Dyke has seen the world evolve in a vast number of ways. Born during the prohibition era, just a few years before the Great Depression, he bore witness as the world was shaped by the darkest global and domestic conflicts including WWII, Vietnam, and the injustice that plagued the black population in America prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Yet, he’s also seen the flipside of humanity, the part that continues to drive the world forward and makes life worth living. It gives me great hope that despite the turbulence Van Dyke witnessed throughout his life, he managed to find happiness like a child unwrapping birthday gifts every day and eating ice cream every night—the latter is something Van Dyke swears by.
Although I’m decades away from my golden years, I got a lot out of Mr. Van Dyke’s humorous anecdotes and sage advice. I discovered there was quite a bit I never knew about him before reading his anecdotes and reflections—some poignant, some laugh-out-loud hilarious. For example, I learned that he’s an avid artist, a talented poet, and has a little bit of a salty side as evident in his limerick ‘A Separate Plot.’
I’ve often heard of the correlation between one’s state of mind and their longevity. Van Dyke has proven that a positive outlook on life—and its inevitable ups and downs—contributes to a longer, healthier life, at least in his case. And of course as the title of his book indicates, it’s crucial to Keep Moving! Not only that, but to keep mentally active as well. So often people give up at a certain age, placing themselves in pseudo-graves long before the body has exhaled its last breath. I know such people and I know for a fact how painful it is to watch them fade into faint whispers of their former selves, all the while, condemning those around them for still living as fully as they can. And by a twisted sense of obligation some loved ones relegate themselves to a spot in that pseudo-grave. I suppose just as living with the purpose of extracting as much joy and experience from life can be contagious, the contrary can be just as catching.
In an age where there is a ubiquitous dread for aging, Van Dyke also shares his refreshing perspective on embracing the later seasons of one’s life in defiance of the superficial preferences society has for chasing youth. Though the notion of relinquishing one’s fight against gravity is sweet and romantic, I can’t help but note how much more acceptable it is in society for men to age vs. women. This is something of which I’m sure Van Dyke is well aware since, particularly in the entertainment industry, there is a glaring double standard when it comes to aging. I wish there were more women to promote the idea that the female population can also remain vibrant, sharp, and desirable in their older years while embracing the later seasons of their lives; that there were more women like Helen Mirren, or as Van Dyke mentioned, Jane Fonda to flip off the notion that older women can’t be any of those things.
Keep Moving is much more than just a book with tips on aging and longevity, it’s interwoven with an autobiography of Dick Van Dyke’s fascinating life and illustrious career. It’s a captivating, well-written chronicle of his colorful journey through life and shows how he came to adopt such a positive attitude and how it has benefited his overall wellbeing in the long run. Keep Moving is written with such genuineness and candor that I almost felt as though I were reading the thoughts of a longtime friend. It’s a book I highly recommend to every adult. ...more
The path of a writer is often extraordinarily lonely and seemingly hopeless at times. This is one of the reasons why so many writers quit before theyThe path of a writer is often extraordinarily lonely and seemingly hopeless at times. This is one of the reasons why so many writers quit before they achieve success. Another reason is something Steven Pressfield calls the “Resistance.” Reading Pressfield’s philosophy in "The War of Art" has helped me not only recognize the Resistance when it appears in my own life, but also shift my perspective of it while strengthening my determination to overcome it. The following quotes are just a few of Pressfield's powerful observations that have resonated with me:
“Most of us live two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
“On the field of The Self stand a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.”
“The more important a call or action is to your soul’s evolution the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
Lately, that last quote has been demonstrating itself in spades. (I kid you not, I had to restart my computer since it froze after I wrote that last line.)
I highly recommend this book to anyone currently struggling to achieve their ambitions. Though geared towards people in the arts, "The War of Art" contains no-nonsense motivation anyone can use while chasing their dreams. Though I’ve always known in my mind I wasn’t alone in my predicament, this is one of the few books that moved me to tears as it expressed true understanding of the daily struggle experienced by many creative types. I plan on re-reading "The War of Art" in the future, particularly on days where the Resistance feels unbearably oppressive. ...more