You are Too Old, So Why Bother?

Still Rocking

Still Rockin'!

We all have made the excuses before, we have talked ourselves out of all types of opportunities because we are “too ________”  or “not ________ enough”, insert your favorite adjective.

Too young
Too old
Too busy
Too tired
Too unlucky
Too ugly
Too pretty
Too fat

Not enough money
Not enough time
Not enough experience
Not enough connections

In fact, print this list out for the next time you consider acting on something that you really want to do in life. It will save you time from thinking of your own excuses and you can get back to watching television on the sofa.

For those of you still reading, we know that all obstacles are surmountable with persistence and a little ingenuity. People make excuses all their lives for not doing things. And unsurprisingly, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where nothing gets accomplished. Just because you are unwilling to work hard towards something, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Consider age, surely there is a limit to when you can change careers and gamble on your future. An 80 year-old may never become a gold-medal olympic athlete but that doesn’t mean that every goal is impossible. Many people get stuck in old limitations. For example, why is it assumed that 65 years-old is the retirement age? It is an old idea based on different types of work and a world with different life expectancies. Just one century ago, living to 65 years old was an extraordinary accomplishment. Work was very hard and took a huge toll on people’s lives. Access to a balanced diet and knowledge of nutrition were limited so people were less healthy. Medical care was also very poor so people didn’t live as long. 65 become the retirement age just because that was the end of most people’s lives.

Now, with advances in medicine and knowledge about health, life expectancies are above 80 and likely to continue increasing in most developed countries of the world. At a time when you began work at 16 or so and worked until 65, if you made it that far, the middle of your work career was around forty years-old. Now with people starting careers after traveling and second degrees, careers can take until about 30 years-old to get underway. With a life expectancy of 80+, that puts the middle of your work life at about 55 years old.

With demographics shifting toward an older population, governments around the world are scrambling for ways to prevent an implosion of our health care and pension systems. It is inevitable that retirement ages will gradually increase in coming decades. Retirement ages have to be increased just because countries can’t afford to have so many people collecting incomes for so long after they stop working and there are not enough younger workers entering the workforce to make up for those leaving. It is not all bad, work can be interesting and challenging. People live longer and happier lives if they have a purpose and are engaged in meaningful activities. Work sure beats afternoon TV dramas for twenty or more years.

Do not set limits on yourself based on old technologies and ideas of life. It is quite possible to reinvent yourself and start over well into your sixties. Even a sixty-year-old can potentially have twenty or more productive work years ahead of them. A lot can be accomplished with twenty years of focused effort.

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

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