When Are You too Old?
The average life expectancy for women here in the US is 86 years. Yet one of the most frequent things I hear when talking with clients about dreams and goals is I’m forty or fifty something I cant’ really do that.
Why not? Is my typical response. Again I get some form of the age response – too old, that’s for young people, my habits are too established, my hair is gray (yes someone actually said that).
Now if your wanting to dye your hair pink, wear a micro mini, and do back flips…. well perhaps that ship has sailed.
But reaching for a dream, you’re never too old for that. It’s all in the art of remembering who you are. For so many of us we’ve forgotten. The many roles and expectations we experience erode our sense of self and we get lost along the way.
What I know to be true is at midlife there is a convergence of wisdom, experience, and desire that has the potential for greatness like no other time in your life.
The ability to utilize the entirety of who you are to make a difference, your unique difference is knocking at your door. Answering the door and replying ‘Sorry I’m too old’ is an excuse. Don’t want to, got better things to do, choosing a different path are all viable choices. But too old…it’s a cop out.
It’s true aging does have its physiological changes. Hair greys, muscles have less mass, and skin is less elastic. But we have far more control than previously believed. Both lifestyle and mindset have a direct impact on our lives and we do have a good deal of control over them. New breakthroughs in brain science are shifting what we thought we knew about aging.
The age bias impacts us in so many ways. One of the most dramatic are your thoughts on aging. How you perceive aging has a dramatic impact on your experience. Our brains are wired to perceive patterns. If you believe that another year on the calendar means less function mentally, physically, or socially your brain will actively seek out matches to that thought pattern thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I had a delightful conversation a couple of weeks ago with an 80 year old gentleman who had just returned from a trip to Africa, it was a birthday trip with his 79 year old wife. He gave me insight and tips for the trip I’m planning for 2017 and told me he would likely be returning then as well. This was about as far from the traditional image of an elderly man sitting in a rocking chair as you could get, I liked it – a lot and it inspired me.
Each of us is born to create.
What we create is up to us.
What are you choosing to create?