I feel old.
Never have I had this feeling before. I suppose I first felt this way while I was shopping. “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam came on the radio and naturally I began to bob my head to the music. Little did I know but at my side stood the world’s smallest critic. I looked down at her and she politely told me that this song is “old” and that only “old” people like it.
I looked over at my wife who couldn’t help but laugh while pointing out the gray hairs in my beard.
That evening I cried worse than my 15-month-old.
And this ladies and gentlemen is what my life has become. I am considered old.
It wasn’t as though I didn’t know that it was coming. I know that you are going to age, however, I just never saw it happening to me so. I figured I’d be fortunate to be, as Rod Stewart so eloquently put it, “Forever Young.” (Sigh. Just reading and writing that confirms my age).
Maybe, I’ve been too busy to see it?
The signs were there.
- I became a father.
- I’ve been out of school practically as long as I was in it.
- Y2K seemed like a lifetime ago.
- The falling of the World Trade Towers, although not forgotten, has been written about in the history books and kids are being taught about it in school.
I just never thought it would find me.
Alas, it did.
Have you ever stopped to think that being considered old isn’t that bad?
There are some pretty cool things to aging.
- Education (not the school kind)
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There’s the other stuff too.
- Stepping into the person you were meant to be
- Seeing the world with eyes open
- Embracing opportunities as they come
Yeah, that stuff.
Before I got “old” I always had myself pegged for stardom.
Strike it rich, retire at 25 and live out my life on an island in the middle of the ocean. When I was young and asked, “What would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?” I always responded…
“Stranded? It’s impossible to be stranded on an island that I own.”
I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to get there but I knew that I had time. Just look at these guys…
- Stan Lee – Created “The Fantastic Four” just before his 38th birthday
- Samuel L. Jackson – Didn’t catch his big break until he was 43
- Henry Ford – Created the Model T at the age of 45
- Ray Kroc – Bought McDonalds at 52
What I didn’t know was where to start, so I asked someone.
Here’s what they said.
Create a map
Have you ever sailed a boat, or taken a drive in a new city without a map? No, that would be stupid.
Don’t try to tackle life this way either. Create map for it. Sit down and figure out exactly where you are, where you want to be, and how you plan on getting there.
Really put some time into thinking about it. Don’t take shortcuts.
Write down your intentions
Writing down anything and everything that you aim to do strongly increases the chance that you will actually do it. Although, this is true only if you look at it more than the one time that you wrote it.
There is a study by The British Journal of Healthy and Psychology that found that an astounding 91% of people of wrote down their intention to exercise each week actually followed through.
This is in comparison to those that did nothing or were merely motivated to do it. Those two came in at 38% and a 35% success rate respectively.
Make sure you write it down.
Reverse Engineering is a method of “copying” another’s work. To do that you must figure out what their product is and how it works. At this point, your only job is to find a way to achieve the exact same result without infringing any patents or copyright laws.
To begin this process, find someone who has done something that you wish to do. Follow them like your shadow follows you and pay attention to what they are doing. Watch every step they take, successful and unsuccessful.
Take note of the successful steps and steer clear of the unsuccessful ones. Finally, implement what you have learned.
Get a mentor
Understand that you are not the first person to want to do whatever you want to do. High on your priority list needs to be finding someone who can teach you how to do it.
Some may be reluctant to “educate” you because they are too busy and that’s ok. You can persuade them in any of these ways:
- Help them for free
- Do moral things for them that are “below” you
- Pay them
- Offer trades for your services
After they’ve agreed to help you, study, learn, ask questions, and pay attention. Oh, and leave your ego at the door. There’s no room for it here.
Work like you’ve never worked
4 simple words…Work your ass off.
And don’t forget Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”. According to this old guy you aren’t considered old if you listen to it.
Cheers to your success,
Photo by ijclark