“The great tragedy of life is not death, but what dies inside of us while we live.”
— Norman Cousins
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it took to blossom.”
— Anais Nin
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild
and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” Alan Cohen
Thinking it Through…
Have you ever noticed how often people over forty talk about old age? When I really started listening, old-age conversations were everywhere! For example, I was at my son’s Taekwondo school talking to one of the mom’s. She told me that she had always wanted to take Taekwando but now she was too old. Had she ever noticed the couple attending the same school , in their 70’s, enthusiastically earning their black-belts? She had not, because her beliefs about what you can and can’t do after age forty were blinding her. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that someone was too old to start a business or a new career I would be a very rich woman. I was completely shocked as I had a conversation with a healthy, 40ish woman who said that although she would love to travel she was too old to take those kinds of risks! I’ve heard all kinds of “too old” beliefs… I’m too old to fall in love, enjoy amusement parks, learn a new sport, exercise, go back to school… the list goes on. How sad. It is like dieing before you’re dead!
The truth is as a generation we are living longer. Many of us will live to be well into our 90’s. Do we really want to start playing it small and safe when we have fifty more years of life to go?! The way some people are headed by the time they are in their 60’s they won’t leave their houses. I think it is past time to take a look at our beliefs about aging and get clear on how we wish to use the next 50 years. It is so sad to see people shrink and play it safe at the very time when their lives are full of such potential. Usually during the second half of our lives we have more freedom. Our families are almost raised and on their own, we have a wealth of life experience, we know more about ourselves and the world. This is the time to really come into our own and play big. We need to have adventures, take risks that are meaningful to us, and grow, grow, grow. Live while you’re alive!
1. Where in your life are you playing small?
2. What are your beliefs about getting older?
3. Are your beliefs growing or shrinking you?
4. What new beliefs do you need to adopt in order to live a big, meaningful life ?