Mission: One of the missions associated with my pushup project was demonstrating to people over 50 that extraordinary achievement was possible no matter what your age. Although I do not believe that “anything is possible”, I do believe that I have no idea what is possible for me. None of us does.
However, this weekend I realized something. Many of my clients are in their 20s and early 30s, what I would call young. They come to coaching wanting more or less of something and I work with them to create new perspectives and capabilities. I work to understand how they structure their experience, how they see time, their self-talk, how they think about their future and the past.
The process in usually enlightening, at least I would like to think so.
The interesting thing is the conversations I have with my young and older clients are very similar and inculcates discussion of temporal insights. Many young people have a view that they have time for almost anything. It might be called one of the blessings of youth. Anything seems possible and although time is considered, there is no pressing need to take action. Time is ignored . Conviction becomes a nice idea or thought, located in the head rather than the gut.
My older clients are just the opposite. The realization that time is in such a short supply can de-motivate them. They begin to think only in terms of limitation. There is not enough time to blossom, to expand their capabilities and interest.
It is as if we are all crucified between two time thieves. On the left is the folly of youth, where the sin is the arrogance of abundance. Time is not a precious commodity, but free like the air we breathe. There is the appearance that time moves slowly when we are young; a cruel illusion of sorts designed by the gods as some sort of joke. Tomorrow becomes a mantra…later becomes a habit.
On the right, the thief is old and the sin “understanding.” Time has become canonized by the men and women who came before. Time shows up as a limited resource. The belief systems and structures of our experience pre–suppose what is possible. The disappointments, injuries and “maturing” have slowed down our life; and with it, time begins to move even faster. There is the illusion that time has run out. It is time to retire, resign, let go, let life slow down and in a way get ready for dying – act our age.
Between these two thieves, we stand paralyzed, unable to move forward with any real conviction, confidence or empowerment. There is always time and there is always no-time.
Either direction is an illusion, a story you tell yourself and believe in. The content of your story is your responsibility.
IT IS JUST A STORY.