Age Is Just A Number
How To Live Your Best Life At Every Age
Written by Donna Cameron
Year by year, day by day, minute by minute, time keeps rolling on. We can easily get caught up in “groundhog day” - working in the same job, spending time with the same people, eating at the same restaurants. Life can be good but is it GREAT?
Do you remember the excitement of your younger years - the unknown, the undiscovered? There was a lot of uncertainty and maybe even some fear, but there was also anticipation, adventure and risk taking which led you to where you are today. The happiness that was released from your body when you achieved something new was exhilarating.
As we “grow up”, we seem to hold on tightly to our safety blanket. We have been through the hard yards, ticked the boxes, achieved the early dreams and, for some reason, this is where we stop.
Maybe this approach was ok for most people when our life span was a lot less. Today, the average adult lives until they are well into their 80s, so why do we settle into routines and habits in our 30s and 40s? The odds are that we will have double this time again so we can keep learning and evolving our whole life.
What can we do to ignite the passion back into our lives? We can’t just walk away from our stable careers and travel the world, as that isn’t going to help us pay the bills. Does it need to be this extreme to add some spark back into our lives? What does it take to get the juices flowing again?
I once had a client who was in his 80s when I met him. We had a conversation about ageing and his interpretation of it was very motivating. He made the decision during his first “ow my gosh I am getting old” freak out moment, (which usually happens around the end of your 20s) to see time like this; he was aiming to be around for 100 years, therefore he divided his life into quarters. He was 25 years young when he had this first ageing crisis so he thought, “one quarter is gone, but most of that was being an infant and a child, and look at what I was able to achieve, so this next 25 years as a grown adult is going to be amazing”. Once he hit 50 he thought, “I have had so much time and now I get all of that again, so what will I master next!”. This type of thinking really puts a different spin on ageing and the time we have in this world. Thinking like this keeps us active and reminds us that with time we have possibilities. We are never “too old” to change things up a bit.
As humans, we are always evolving and changing, but we often don’t take the time to sit and ask ourselves “what is it that I want to do now?” and “what do I enjoy?” We know our taste buds change as we mature, but we stick to the same rules of foods we like and dislike because we don’t risk trying things again. Our body changes and activities that were once good for us may now cause pain. We need to discover new activities to try.
We look at the 70-year-old gymnast or the 65-year-old weight lifter with envy and say “I wish I could still do this”, but we don’t make any changes in our life to go for it. These people we admire didn’t stick to the norm. They didn’t lose the passion and excitement in their lives. They kept going for it.
So what simple things can you do to jump off the hamster wheel, discover who you are again, and work out what you want to do with your life?
1. Try new things- this could be as simple as breaking the habit of going to the same coffee shop on a Sunday. It sounds very simple but even small new experiences can ignite the flame and leave you wanting to explore more.
2. Don’t use age as an excuse- if you want to try a new sport or hobby do it! There are so many options around, you are the only one holding you back.
3. Push your own personal boundaries- test your limits and see what you can achieve.
4. Appearance- change it if you want to. Dye your hair a crazy colour. Wear a new style of clothing. If you don’t like it, you can always revert to the original, but maybe a fresh look will be what you need to take some more risks in life.
5. Social – you are never too old to meet new friends. Put yourself out there. Talk to new people - you never know where these new friendships will lead you.
Give yourself permission to enjoy your life at all ages and stages, to have a life filled with happiness, excitement and new experiences. If repeating the same story every day is not the story you want for your life, get out there and try something new. You never know where it may lead.