MORE IS POSSIBLE
Todd Dewett | May 3, 2015
It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. The implication is clear: you don’t appreciate what youth offers (e.g., energy, strength, optimism) until you’re older and it’s gone. Well, whoever said this is dead wrong.
The truth is that age is just a number, but youth is a state of mind. It’s a choice. To think youthfully is to think in terms of embracing possibilities, exploring new ideas, and believing in your capabilities. The opposite is to be unnecessarily risk averse, content with the status quo, and convinced the glass is half empty.
You have to remember that more is possible. This isn’t simple wishful thinking or self-help fluffery. It’s good logic and good science. People do not have to plateau so predictably halfway through the race. That’s a choice. People make that choice for many reasons. One, however, stands above the rest. They stop believing in possibilities.
Once we hit our 40’s too many of us start to feel for the first time that life is fleeting. Yes, life is finite for all of us. But it’s not over yet! When we feel mortal for the first time predictable things happen. We stop thinking far out in the future. We find it harder to imagine goals in 5, 10, and 20-year windows. We start accepting our current status in a way that would have been unthinkable in our 20’s. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Just do these three life-changing things:
First, make a real effort to add discipline to your diet and exercise. You don’t have to be a full-time vegan marathoner. You just have to stop being a full-time beer drinking sugar munching couch potato. Start with a simple change and do it with your best friend or partner to increase your odds. They say misery loves company? Success loves it even more.
Next, stop hanging around old people. I’m not referring to people of any particular age. “Old” here is defined as how someone thinks: negative, overly safe, unambitious, and stuck in the past. Who you hang around matters a great deal. You can improve yourself merely by sharing space with others who embody the ideals you cherish – and you might have to let a few people go.
Finally, seek inspiration regularly from others who have proven that youth is a state of mind. Check these out:
Vera Wang did not begin her career as a designer until she was 40.
Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at age 50.
Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T.
Charles Darwin was 50 when he made his biggest contribution with “On the Origin of Species.”
Tim and Nina Zagat were both 51 when they first produce their book of restaurant reviews.
Ray Kroc was a salesman until he bought McDonald’s at age 52.
The list is endless. Persistence pays off. Significant change is possible. Age is largely irrelevant. I do realize the first two changes I mentioned are very challenging. But you can win if you start small. I also know that you can’t win if you’re not in the race. In fact, winning becomes a certainty when you realize that what we believed as teenagers is still true every day: more is possible.
Ready. Set. Go!