Thursday, December 15, 2011
I hate it when people make assumptions that everyone around them is just like them, or worse, thinks just like them. I'm not talking about politics, gay rights or healthcare issues. I'm talking about aging! Recently I eavesdropped on a group of late 50 year old guys where two of them were going on and on about their aches and pains. One went so far as to say..."We're all in the same boat, getting old and gray by the day!"
I couldn't believe that none of the other guys took him on and said, Hey! I'm not hurtin! In fact I'm feeling pretty good. A little earlier one of the guys had told me he was looking into doing the Iron Man. When I asked him later, why didn't you say something about it, he shrugged it off, but I couldn't.
The truth is I get really ticked when I hear an "older" person (and how we define that today is another great challenge!)making an assumption about a peer, regardless of what the subject. People have a tendency to lump people together especially as they age. They shouldn't. PEOPLE ARE NOT LUMPABLE! It bothers me when I hear people say they have an ache or pain and assume you do also, when not only do you not, but in reality you have just completed a mini marathon in record time! Why do people do that? To make themselves feel better---or do they want everyone in the same boat? Theirs!
When I hear friends or strangers say, older people are all alike, I want to slap them on the side of the head and say, no they aren't, and to continue by asking, why would you assume everyone else your age is like you? And I want to go further and ask, actually how old are these old people you refer to? As a simple test, ask yourself right now---how do you define older people? And even more importantly, how do you see yourself?
In my work I help people of all ages rewire, and I am always struck when an older individual, and older in this instance is referring to anyone over 50, as defined by AARP (not me),tells me they feel old. My natural response to them is keep it to yourself.If you see yourself as old, so will others, I guarantee it. And then you doom all of us Boomers,so don't do it! There are many people, 50,60, 70, even 80 year olds who are doing just fine and feeling great! In fact the man in the picture is Buster Martin who ran marathons until he was 102 years old. Is Buster unique? Yes and no. One thing for sure is that he isn't LUMPABLE!
Open your eyes and see how many people around you are rewiring into next great acts! They're excited about life and its possibilities; they are focusing on their functional age, not their chronological age! Make sure you are also.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I'm conflicted. I liked the movie, THE BUCKET LIST, but I'm not a fan of the term, "bucket list" because it evokes the idea of "end of life." But when my little sister called from San Antonio last July to say that her husband had told her that skating at Rockefeller Center was on his bucket list, I said what's stopping you? Not everyone has a sister living in New York City so get those plane tickets! And they did.
A big part of my work, and my philosophy is to challenge people to identify their dreams, then go for it and make them a reality. The Bucket List has two components. First you have to create your list, and that takes time and a lot of thinking. The second part is executing what you have out on your list. It's true, some Bucket List goals are bigger than others and take more planning not to mention money, to make happen. But once you put a dream down on your Bucket List accept that it's there because you really want to make it happen. Only the things that you really want to have happen in your life deserve a place on that list!
So now it's happened--my brother in law has successfully completed one of the key items on his Bucket List...he skated underneath the tree at Rockefeller Center and loved it! He hadn't skated in over 15 years and took to the ice like a duck takes to water. He whirled, he twirled..he pretended he was at the Olympics and lived in the moment. He purposely picked the 4:30pm session so he would experience the setting sun on the buildings surrounding the rink not to mention seeing the tree sparkling.
Skating wasn't on my sister's Bucket List but being a trooper she went out on the ice and proceeeded to fall and sprain her wrist! The point is...what's on your Bucket List should be personally yours. My sister was the conduit but my brother in law was the catalyst...he dared to tell her his dream.
My brother in law sure looks happy in that picture, doesn't he?...just imagine that could be you! Recent Bucket List ideas I have heard include bicycling through France, going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,visiting the Civil War battle fields,and going to Fashion Week at Lincoln Center...they sure cover a gamut of ideas, don't they?
So what's on your list? Do you even have a list? If not, why not? And if yes,how many of the activities on your Bucket List have you made a reality? Isn't it time to rewire your thinking about life..your dreams...and your list? I don't care what you call your list, I just care that you create one!