I have always subscribed to the saying “age is just a number”. In fact, I have thought about this more recently, as I reminded myself about two things. Don’t let my age define or limit me, and fully leverage the fact I have life experience to share with others.
During a conversation I was having this week with a friend, they were noting that they were regretful about waiting so long to do a project they are currently working on. For context, it happens to be an artistic type of project. I asked them why they waited to do the project until now, and it turns out they simply were not ready to take the project on before. Although from their perspective, their timing on completing the project isn’t ideal for them, the fact they are working on and will complete it is actually what matters.
This person was hyper focused on their age as being the reason they were regretful of not having completed the project before. I asked them if this project brought energy and joy into their life? I also asked them if they were proud of what they were working on? They confirmed that this project did bring them energy, joy and pride, and most importantly to them, it would provide them with a tangible legacy.
As I was thinking about both my age, and the person I referenced, I realized that I have a different approach to how I see the world. Not one that is based on accomplishing certain milestones at a particular age or decade, but one that is based on doing things when you are ready to do them, and have the confidence to accomplish them. This thinking has given me great personal comfort, as the type of professional work I am pursuing is taking me into unchartered territories and waters. Both of which I’m extremely excited about pursuing.
Will going forward into the unchartered waters and without any role models to look towards be easy? Of course not, but I am confident and know I have what it takes to be the pioneer and role model for others. This isn’t a description I might have embraced a decade ago, but as I have shed self-imposed restrictions which would have limited my thinking to pursue what I am going to be doing, it’s an incredibly freeing feeling!
One of the things I also realized from the conversation I was having this week with my friend, was that by placing self-imposed, or societal restrictions on ourselves in terms of when it is the “right time” to do or accomplish something made zero sense. That’s when the concept of wrapping my brain around being ageless, or what I referred to as being agenostic came about. My definition of agenostic is that you do not subscribe to defining yourself by your chronological age, and that you act and do things that provide your mind with motivation based on not having imposed limitations on what and when you can accomplish them.
My entire life people have always told me I had a certain positive energy and vibe that was refreshing, and my kids always joke with me that they never think of me as being a particular age. I attribute this mainly to the fact my outlook on life is so positive and filled with enthusiasm. This is also despite many of the obstacles I have encountered. In fact, I do my best to look at obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow from, which I believe helps to contribute to my agenostic approach to life.
Is being agenostic for everyone? It can be, but, it’s really a mindset you decide to embrace. I fully embrace it, because of the benefits I find it offers me on a daily basis, and which fuels my desire to continue to think this way.
Since by nature I am highly motivated to help others, and have a heightened sense of empathy for those who need additional support in their life, I also need to take the time to remain focused on aspects which positively contribute to my agenostic thinking. So, I do have to be mindful of actions which I could take that would not contribute to supporting how I think. This includes pruning people from my personal and professional circles who are not supportive. It also includes making sure I have a strong balance in my life, and am focused on including doing things that support good health and well-being.
I have been privileged to work and be engaged with some of the most inspirational people in our society. All of these people have one thing in common, and it is that they do not allow others to put restrictions on what they are capable of accomplishing. In fact, when people place restrictions on them, they are more inclined to go well beyond and accomplish far greater things in these scenarios.
Some would say these people are highly achievement or competitively oriented, and they may be, but it’s actually more than this. It comes down to the fact they also live their life without self-imposed limiting accomplishment or experience restrictions.
If you are a leader, sports coach, trusted advisor or someone who simply wants to subscribe to benefitting from adopting an agenostic approach, here are some suggestions to help you to do so.
- Make a list of all of the reasons or excuses you can come up with about why you can’t do or accomplish something.
- For every item on your list, come up with at least one solution that could eliminate your reasons or excuses for not being able to accomplish something.
- If there are reasons or excuses on your list that you cannot come up with a solution for, who could you share them with that could help you to find a solution?
- Are you ready to free yourself from self-imposed age restrictions? What will it take for you to confidently say yes to this?
- Besides excuses and reasons, come up with another list of how you imagine you will feel, and what your life will be like when age related restrictions are eliminated.
- Create a list of the things you will be accomplishing, looking forward to doing and that will be bringing both energy, joy and greater satisfaction into your life when you begin experiencing doing things you restricted yourself from doing before.
- Visualize how you will feel, and where you will be mentally and physically when you consider adopting the concept of being agenostic.
If and when you decide to adopt the concept of embracing being age-nostic, let me know, as I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you, and hearing about all of the exciting things you have to look forward to, and that you are going to be doing in your life!
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