Here’s two worthwhile pieces on growing old:
This, Fighting against ageism and this, Aging is inevitable, so why not do it joyfully? Here’s how.
How we see growing old is a cultural thing. When I first went to pick out a photo, I decided on the first one of the man running. Because I am a product of my culture, as they say. I see being fit and young and productive as valuable. Especially in our culture, being able to produce is highly valued. That’s why ageism occurs. If you show signs of age, people assume you will produce less. So your value decreases to them.
Then I saw the picture below. In other cultures, being able to sit and converse with your friends is valuable. These people are not being productive. They are not trying to look young. They are being social. They are being human.
I think we have problems in our society because for many the chief purpose of humans is to produce, to be productive. As long as that is true, we will have problems with ageism. True, we need times of our life to be productive, but we also need times for growth, times for rest and reflection. To combine all those times effectively is to live a good life. A life where all humans at all times of their lives are valued.
(First Photo by Lisa Wall on Unsplash. Second Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash )
Do you wish you could give someone (or yourself) good advice at a particular age? Well now you can, if you go here: Select An Age – Hey From The Future
Good advice, whether you are 16 or 60.
(Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash)
Posted in advice
Tagged advice, age
Emma Thompson in the New York Times and Lesley Manville in the Guardian.
Interesting perspectives from them. Worth reading.
People who have high standards fear being mediocre. I thought of that when I read this: Opinion | I’ll Never Be Rachmaninoff – The New York Times.
People without high standards never worry about that. They do stuff, and the result is what it is. It comes with no judgment, for the most part.
Being fearful of being mediocre is twice cursed. First, if you fear that, you likely will not attempt things that could bring you joy and happiness due to your fearfulness. Second, you are already mediocre at some many things already, and yet you turn a blind eye to them, convinced that the few things you excel at removes the label of Mediocre from you. I have rarely met people who are great at one thing not be mediocre at many other things. There’s only so much time, and greatness comes with tradeoffs.
Don’t fear being mediocre. You already are! Go out and enjoy what you can. You may find the things you start off being mediocre in at first are things you end up being good at later. Not that you need to get good!
Here’s some things you can get better at: being stronger, writing a book, become an artist. Or get a partner and learn tai-chi.
An interesting article: Ben Schreckinger from Politico Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Workout. It Nearly Broke Him. If you want to see what the 80+ year old judge does to keep in shape, or be inspired to keep in shape yourself, I’d recommend reading it.
It can get too easy to forgo exercising when you get older. One reason people stop is because they think they are too old and cannot do it. Or if they do exercise, they will harm themselves. Her trainer cautions against that, and says:
“Do something. If you’re not doing anything then I advise you do something. It doesn’t matter what you do. You find out what is your niche and do something. Your body is made to move.”
Good advice. Maybe your fitness routine is long walks. Or cycling. Or yoga. Or benchpressing hundreds of pounds. Whatever you do, do something. And read the article. I hope it will inspire you to get fit. Whatever your age.
(Image linked to on Wikipedia)
Should you become an entrepreneur if you are older? If you are an entrepreneur, should you hire older workers despite worrying they won’t be a good fit? This piece, Don’t Let Your ‘Senior Citizen’ Status Kill Your Entrepreneurial Spirit, makes the case that the answer to both questions is yes. Well worth reading if you have been asking yourself these questions.
And why is Colonel Sanders shown here? The article will explain.
(Image linked to is on Wikimedia)
Here’s the curve (X is age, Y is a measure of one’s happiness)
As you can see, it is lowest for people in their 40s, then starts to improve past that point. To understand more about that and why you need to hang in there if you are in your 40s, read this: The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis in The Atlantic.
Two additional comments:
1) If you are in your 30s, you can expect this to happen, so take stock and think about ways to prepare for it.
2) Obviously this is a large generalization. Still, there is much merit in it, I believe.
On it’s own, this is a great piece:
Old Masters at the Top of Their Game – NYTimes.com. The woman above? 99. She sold her first painting at 89. She is now a world renowned artist. And there’s more great profiles of people in it. You should read it, and not just if you are older. I recommend it for any age. How you read it at 20 will be different than how you read it at 40 or 60. For me, I was struck by how many of those interviewed say that nothing surprises them. As I get older, I find this true too, though I am still surprised. The flip side of this is that anxiety and concern about many things in life decreases. You know how to handle things, and you spend less time worrying about the things you ought not to worry about.
Another thing I thought interesting is that they don’t necessarily think of themselves as old. This is something I also found true as I age. I know when I talk to the 20 year olds in my office they must look at me and think: man, he’s old. 🙂 But other than superficial things, I don’t find my thinking or my view on the world has diminished from when I was younger. I have more experience now, and I had more natural energy then, but I don’t think: wow I no longer get this IT stuff now that I am older.
I highly encourage you to read the article. Then check out Austin Kleon’s blog because I found it there a lot with many other good things.
Well, not exactly. But as this article in fivethirtyeight.com shows, if you do know someone’s name and that’s all you have to go on, you can go along way to guessing their age.