Age is nothing but the ultimate excuse.
Without even blinking, people use their age as an excuse every day. This excuse pops up in many different shapes and forms, but ultimately it is based around age & time. “I wish I could lose 20 lbs, but my body isn’t what it used to be”, “I would love to be a video game programmer, but my degree and experience is as an accountant”, “My dream was always to own my own company, but I’m almost retired.”
As the saying goes “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." You live life once. If you’re genuinely interested in pursuing a goal, now is the best time to begin. This action doesn’t need to be drastic, because small steps will begin leading you in the right direction.
Is Your Career Fulfilling?
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. -Mark Twain
One of the biggest areas where I see this excuse is within people’s careers. For many of us, we were told to pick a career path at 18 years old. Whether this was going straight into a job out of high school, or choosing your major in college. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that an 18 year old should know what they want to do for the rest of their life. But too often, people get stuck in this situation. The more years that pass, the more imaginary barriers people set for themselves as to why they can’t try something new.
Often we get bogged down with the idea of starting fresh. We view the change in its entirety and it seems impossible. The change could take a few years. And so we stick with what we know, the job we currently have, despite the fact that we no longer enjoy it. However, what is a few years in the big picture? The picture to the right is a graph that shows you how many years you have until retirement. Many people I know in their late twenties seem resigned to their current fate, because the change seems daunting. In reality, those same people have more years of work remaining than all of the years they’ve ever lived.
Would you rather be stuck in your current position until retirement or would you rather invest in yourself? Change doesn’t have to be drastic. Break down what it will take to make the change into smaller pieces and take a few steps towards your dream position.
Start Getting Back In Shape.
Another area where people resign themselves to their fate is with physical fitness. People use their age as a deterrent for going to the gym. Age should never be a determining factor for exercise. Even into your 90’s and beyond, you should stay active. Even if that is nothing more than walking every day.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are three examples:
- Diana Nyad - Swam from Cuba to Florida at age 64
- Gladys Burrill - Ran a marathon at age 92
- Teiichi Igarashi - Climbed Mt. Fuji at age 100
Those three individuals (along with countless others if you look for them) should show you that age is truly just a number. Using the saying from above again “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can add physical fitness to your journey. Not only are there physical benefits, but mental and stress relieving benefits as well.
Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. -Edward Stanley
Start Taking Action
As you read this article, you are the youngest you will ever be in your life. Period. There’s no going back in time. There’s no redo. You are where you are. The only thing you can impact is your future. Don’t dwell on the past and what could have been. Start making things happen for what can be when you put thoughts into action. Take the time right now to reflect on any goals in your life where you continue to make excuses. Determine if you actually want to achieve these goals in your lifetime and start putting a plan together to achieve them.
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