I’m getting older.
Yes, the shocking truth has finally hit me.
Note that I didn’t say “old”. And I’m also not aging. Of course not.
But as the days and weeks roll on, I am more aware of this fact. In a good way.
Sure there are some side effects to getting older. I no longer have a natural tree trunk between my belly button and my ribs. And the long flowing locks from childhood aren’t long and don’t flow much these days.
But that’s OK. I still look like the photo I took three years ago and I’m a pretty healthy guy.
So getting older hasn’t been too much of a burden. Yet.
In fact, getting older brings all sorts of benefits. If you care to look at things that way.
Benefits that help you relax a bit in your career and life. Seeing things with perspective.
Here are five great things I can credit to getting older:
1. I understand myself better
Many years ago, I thought I would be President of Pepsi. I was going to be the big executive who managed thousands of people and made lots of money. And as my own experiences, successes, failures and jobs slowly began to provide a backdrop, I eventually saw that for what it was: a popular but inaccurate view of what I was best suited to do in life. After 20+ years toward (then away) from that goal, I now know that my role is not as head of that big organization.
2. I know what I like
I like helping people, quick decisions, positive attitudes and innovation. I like people who are open to new ideas, willing to take small risks and people who pay attention to small wins in life. I like to read inspirational stories and share them with others. I like being a part of and influencing the lives of people. And I like the variety of clients and projects that make up my portfolio career.
3. I recognize the environments where I can succeed
It’s not that I can’t adapt. I can. But after 25 years in business, it is much easier to recognize a good fit. Once recognized, I can decide whether adapting makes sense. Or if it really means a sacrifice that I should avoid. I like flexibility and a good amount of openness to my ideas playing a leadership role.
4. I listen to myself more
As I read this title again, this one sounds a bit funny. But it’s true. I trust myself. I have better judgment. More ability to discern and recognize the value in people, events and situations. My reactions are educated not just spontaneous. And that feels good. I also know when to light a fire under myself to get moving on a project and when I can back off a bit. There’s a calm that comes with knowing how to pace yourself.
5. I am able to manage my emotions
I’ve never been overly emotional. In fact, I don’t tend to show a lot of outward emotion (joy, anger or frustration). Like many, I’ve always held it inside. And, in the past, that practice was not healthy as the emotions bounced around and caused stress in my younger years. But today, with more perspective, the emotions are mixed with experience and understanding. Allowing me to process it all before reacting. And that feels good.
How about for you?
No matter your actual age, are you experiencing a lighter mental load these days vs. in your younger years? Are you better able to process your life and keep things in perspective?
Tell me your experience. I told you mine.
Thanks born1945 for the photo via Flickr
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: age | aging | awareness | Career | experience | getting older | helping people | ideas | perspective | self aware | side effects
Categories: Career And Life Development