That IS the question!
What does it mean to get old, really? A lot has been written and is still being studied about aging. Most of us would like to know how to slow down this “getting old” thing somehow, some way, right? While we can’t always change the physical dynamics, let’s explore another aspect of what getting old really means. We might get a clue as to why aging shows up so differently on different people, regardless of their chronological years, diet or racial origin.
While I was spending time with the late Henry Conyers, during one of my private life coaching sessions with him several years ago, he informed me of a new way he’d found to look at this word called OLD. Henry said, “Old means someone who is Obstructing Learning Daily.” Wow, what an appropriate acronym, I thought at the time!
Consider this. Are there a few folks in your organization who are slow to change, or who’re seen as stuck in their ways? They might stay with old technology and old habits, defending their rationale all the while the organization starts easing them out in favor of ‘younger’ folks. Sometimes ‘younger’ just means willing to embrace the new with joy! When we’re willing to do that, we become vibrant and exude youthfulness!
Look around. Who seems ‘old’ to you? We all know people in their 70’s and 80’s who neither look nor act that age. They’re learning and doing and enjoying life. Conversely, we’ve seen folks in their 40’s and 50’s who look and sound worn out, with lots of “tire treads” in their expression! If for any reason they’ve given up on the magic of life and stopped learning and exploring, I’ve noticed that those same people often start having health problems, even in middle age.
If you’re one of those folks who is a bit reluctant to change (at the rate being asked of you), consider the impact on your life. Observe how far our world has progressed in just the few short years that the internet has boomed. If you reflect on how you got things done 15 or 20 years ago, well, what a difference, huh?
The speed of change is not slowing down, in fact, it’s increasing. If we want to stay relevant versus stale, it’s essential to remain curious, open to learn and explore more. If you’ve looked at updating your habits or technology and simply groaned or procrastinated, you might want to consider an attitude adjustment unless, of course, you do prefer to retire sooner rather than later.
Time for a life and career self-check? Ask yourself this: what am I doing or thinking, or not doing, that makes me look or feel old – whether to myself or others? Where am I falling behind the times? In what areas might I be Obstructing Learning Daily (or on an ongoing basis)? Where am I resisting or procrastinating? Might I require a little kick somewhere? If yes, go ahead and kick yourself. It’s likely to hurt a lot less than being left behind!
Here in my blog, I like to pass along some of the self-management tools I learned from Henry. He would often suggest a specific “Focus Tool” to a client to assist them to strengthen in an area where they might be lagging. A tool that he gave me for keeping up with the times was this Acknowledgement, which I would repeat to myself often: “I am embracing the new with glee and glory!” Give that a try and see if it gives you a boost too!
©2018 Marie Moran