You’re Not Too Old To Change

Do you use the phrase “I’m too old to….”? Do you know others who do? It always surprises me to hear that from someone, especially when they don’t seem old to me.

Ok. Old is subjective. I get that. Generally, the state of old is a reflection of how you feel. When did being old become an excuse to not change or learn new tricks? Or, maybe more accurately, why does being “old” justify not changing or learning new tricks?

Life is change. Living requires adaptability. You were able to grow older because of your adaptability to the changes life threw at you — or that you chose! By changing and learning new tricks you expanded your food choices, your language, your motor skills. When did you stop changing and adapting? Why did you stop?

Maybe you got stuck in an unchanging mindset because you developed a fear of being laughed at or ridiculed for not knowing how to do something, or do it perfectly right the first time you tried it. Too bad; that fear can be transformed — if you want it to be. Too bad; opportunity and advancement come mind struggle and challenge.

Would it be more accurate to say “I’m too lazy to…” or “I’m too stuck in my ways to…”? How does it sound to you when you excuse yourself for not changing or adapting by using those words? How does it feel?

When I was teaching deaf kids how to learn to cross-country ski, occasionally I’d have the pleasure of working with a blind skier or an older person who was recovering from knee or hip surgery. I was in awe of their willingness to get out there and learn new things, to adapt. I may have been their ski instructor, but I learned something about attitude and vibrancy from them.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve seen that in many older people and many differently-abled people. By watching their spirit help them overcome adversity, or challenges that would have slowed or stopped me at one time, I have learned we are never too old to change or learn new things.

It’s time to change your tune.

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