Aging Or Ageless? You Get to Decide What Your Age Means
Over the past several weeks I’ve been asked, “How does it feel to be turning 30 soon?” I never know how to answer this. How should I feel? Never in my life have I placed any significance on my age and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon. Why should it? To me, age has always been a number. Outside of reminding me the number of years, months, and days that I’ve been alive, it serves no particular purpose. It’s not a measure of my personality or my character. It’s not a measure of my accomplishments or achievements. It’s not a measure of who I was, who I am or who I will be. It’s just a number. Therefore, I am surprised at the number of people that let their age define them, their ability and their capabilities.
Since my early twenties, I had always been warned that it’s all downhill from [insert age]. I never understood what this meant. I’m not skiing nor am I driving. Why does grade of the road ahead matter? Why downhill and not uphill? I just never understood. However, if I truly understand the nature of people the way that I think I do, the warning that is being issued is this: prepare for the worst because the best years of your life are over. If this truly is the correct interpretation, then wow, how bleak!
Your Thoughts and Your Reality… Are They Synonymous?
I am a learner. I love to learn. I never want to stop learning.
Of all of the lessons that life has instilled in me, the greatest lesson that I’ve learned is this: it's your mind and not a date on the calendar that dictates your age. What you believe to be the truth is as good as the truth (even if it’s not). What you believe to be reality is as good as reality (even if it’s not). So, with that said, why would I believe that the best years of my life are behind me? I don’t. In fact, as the days, weeks, months, and years pass, I believe that I get better. I get smarter. I get stronger. To build on the metaphor, it’s all uphill from here. At least it is for me.
Compared to my neighbors, my circumstances are not extraordinary. I’m not particularly privileged. We have similar means. We live in the same communities. So why is it all ‘downhill’ for them but all ‘uphill’ for me? Without inquiring too much about their circumstances, I have to believe that the biggest difference lives within our minds. You can choose to believe that life gets worse or you can choose to believe that life gets better. Why wouldn’t you choose the latter?
Don’t Let Age Get the Best of You
I scoff at ‘age’ and aging. Although I’m not old, I’m still at the age where my mind and body can deteriorate if I don’t take proper care of them. Beyond keeping that positive mindset, I’ve also trained myself to only be in conditions and atmospheres where I’m likely to succeed. If you’re feeling like age is getting the best of you, here are 6 things that I do daily to keep my mind and body young:
1) Read – I can’t stress this enough. Reading is food for your mind.
2) Exercise – The endorphins released when you are active just make you feel good. It’s also a reliever of stress. Everyone needs that!
3) Stretch – I’ve been guilty of not stretching in the past and my body paid dearly for it. Keep your muscles loose and your joints mobile. You’ll be happy you did.
4) Cook and Eat Healthy – The foods that you put into your body is just as, if not more, important than physical activity.
5) Find Your Passion – Comic genius Jim Carrey said it best… “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
6) Surround Yourself with Great People – More on this below.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
They say “you are what you eat”. I believe this to be true. Metaphorically of course. I also believe that you are who you spend the majority of your time with. According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If this is true, why not spend your time with good people. Positive people. Those who enable, encourage, and challenge you to be better. Those who help instill and enforce the notion that life is good and that it only gets better.
As ruthless as it may seem, over the course of my life, I have abolished or have made my best efforts to abolish negativity; people, situations and environments. At the same time, I’ve learned to embrace and amplify sources of positivity.
Over the years I’ve come across too many people in their mid-twenties who complain about back issues, lack of energy, lethargy, etc. Two of my closest friends, both of whom are in my five (no… not the calling plan!), are older than I am and, with the notion that life is a “downhill” battle, have certainly defied father time. My friends, in comparison to the aforementioned mid-twentiers, are ageless. They lift as they’ve always lifted. They’re as effective and efficient as they’ve ever been. They get better with age. I forgot to mention that one is in his mid-30s and one just turned 40. I thought it was all downhill after 25?! After 30?! Both have 2 kids. Both run their own businesses (multiple). Both have an array of hobbies and interests. One powerlifts at 2 in the morning and one runs circles around his (younger) competitors on the football field. It’s inspiring. They’re inspiring. And that’s why they are both in my five. Go and find good people to surround yourself with.
30 and Many More Good Years
By the time I wrap up, edit and publish this blog, I will be thirty years of age. For many, this is the age when problems accumulate and amplify. For me, it’s another year for progress, development, and learning… Come to think of it, maybe they are right! Maybe it is all downhill! And if it is, I must be a snowball. Growing each and every day and gaining momentum along the way.