The first coolest thing was when our ages hit double digits. Then, something else new and exciting was always around the bend. At 13, it was my Bar Mitzvah. Sixteen brought a driver’s license; 18 ushered in the newly earned right to vote; 21 celebrated with (too much) champagne. There was always another reason to move on to the next year. Bring ‘em on. Line ‘em up! Don’t stop!
However as John Mellencamp lamented in, “The Real Life,”
It’s a lonely proposition when you realize/That there’s less days in front of the horse/Than riding in the back of this cart.
Aside from the fact that it should be “fewer days,” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) the concept is spot on. It’s macabrely humorous that as soon as one begins to realize he’s on the downward slope of the hill, vainly pumping the brakes, the calendar’s pages flip ever faster. When we were young and immortal, time crawled at a fossil’s pace. As the clock ticks louder, it also accelerates.
The result is many of us begin to poorly affirm what aging is about, viewing it negatively.
I mean, yeah, sure, there’s that “death thing” looming out there, which does cast a pallid gloom on post-middle-age. Yet, spending my remaining (hopefully) many years bemoaning a natural and unavoidable process seems a pretty rotten way to appreciate those very years, wouldn’t you say? Therefore, I thought it would be good to wrap my brain around the cool things about getting older so whenever yanked to the getting-older-sucks magnet, I can repel easier.
First, the hastening stride of time allows a much richer appreciation of “smaller moments.”
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You’re always only one step from getting back on track.
As the expression goes, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
So, when we slip up, we – with great intention – say, “I can start again tomorrow.” Yet, how often does that pattern repeat, leaving us over and over and over again, “starting tomorrow.”
That’s why it’s important to remember that you’re always only one step away from getting back on track.
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What would it be like if you expected success?
Thousands and thousands of years ago, our ancestors entered a wooded valley with a river.
The optimists said, “This will be wonderful! We can build shelter by the river using the wood that surrounds us; surviving on the abundant fish living within our grasp. Life will be wonderful!”
On the other hand, the pessimists reply, “Are you crazy! If we live down here in the forest, animals might eat us or the river will could flood, or lighting could set fire to the trees and kill us all. We have to live at the top of the mountain where the animals won’t come, there’s no chance of a flood, and fires are less likely.”
Optimists: “You’re nuts! We have everything here at our fingertips. Why would be purposely make life more harsh?”
Pessimists: “A harsh life is better than no life.”
Finding no resolution, the tribe splits with pessimists moving to the mountain and optimists chillin’ by the river. Of course, what happens? [Read more…]
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Giving up a habit can feel like a major sacrifice.
Therefore, our inner cranky child emerges and we grumble and complain, dragging our feet, resisting what we know has to be done. Like a small child, we wail and moan, crossing our arms in a huff, stamping our feet, and resisting vehemently.
“I don’t wanna eat less!”“I hate exercise! Do I hafta?”
“Do I really have to organize my house?”
What would it be like if – instead of focusing on what we have give up – we looked at it as how excited we’re going to feel once we do it?
Instead of looking at it as a sacrifice, we focus on how good we’re going to feel when we drop those few pounds, or when the house is organized, or when we can enjoy a walk on a sunny day.
The amount of work won’t change, but our attitude sure will.
And that’s definitely worth a lot.