When we talk with an older person, in their 80s or 90s, they seem to be in the “I don’t give damn!” phase of life. The angry, “Don’t tell me what to do,” old man reached the point where he no longer cares what you think. His capabilities are limited, but if he wants a piece of cake, a second helping of bacon, or three fingers of bourbon, it’s wise not to get in his way.
Have you ever thought about why that guy seems so angry? Maybe it’s because he’s finally not afraid of being judged, and he’s pissed that it took him so long to figure it out. All those years of living for other people, and now it’s a little too late. “Why didn’t I decide to chase happiness earlier in life?”
Now that you’re 50 or maybe 60, is it time to make a change and finally pursue your own version of happiness, whatever it may be?
Too many of us hit 50 with a sense of dread. We fail to consider becoming older and wiser as a privilege. Today’s 50 isn’t that of our parent’s generation. We still have a lot of living to do and should expect to maintain our bodies and minds for decades. Maintenance being the key to unlocking that longevity, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.
Overcome Your Fear
The greatest obstacle to living our best life after 50 is fear. We’re afraid of what others will think, how we’ll pay for it all, or simply what could happen. “How will the world continue if I take two weeks off? Will my children survive? Shouldn’t I save more money, so I’m not living in the street at 80?” Well, here are your answers: Quite alright, yes, and you should be fine.
If you’re scared, say you’re scared and do it anyway. Get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping by standing up to your fears. We’re willing to bet that some of the greatest moments of your life happened when you were most nervous. Don’t you want more of those experiences?
“I would prefer to be a little nervous, because when you stop being nervous is kind of when you stop caring.” – Conor Oberst
The secret to living a better life is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We get it. You worked hard all these years to be able to live in comfort. These are a few synonyms for comfortable; complacent, soft, agreeable, content, and satisfactory. Is that how you want to define your life?
Not everybody wants to learn to skydive or run with the bulls in Pamplona, but not many people want to live in pajamas doing crossword puzzles in a La-Z-Boy all day, either. Find a challenge that you enjoy and friends with whom to participate. Do the things that make you nervous and give you butterflies.
If you’re not sure how to force yourself out of your comfort zone, use these steps as a guide:
- Decide – Don’t overthink it and just get started. Dreams become goals only through action. Take the first step by buying a ticket, booking a reservation, signing up for a class, or committing to friends.
- Show up – Half the battle is just showing up, and it’s probably the most challenging part.
- Don’t quit – Whenever we do something uncomfortable, our first instinct is to stop. Push past your desire to give up and venture further outside your comfort zone. Our greatest regrets in life are inaction and quitting.
- Accept limitations – It’s okay if you’re not Tiger Woods the first time you pick up a golf club, you hit a wrong key on the piano, or you’re voice cracks when speaking to that attractive person. Everybody starts at the beginning, and you can’t expect to be good right away. The important thing is that you’re doing it. You’ll get better.
Are we good at something because we enjoy it, or do we enjoy it because we’re good at it? The answer is “both.” If we enjoy an activity, we’ll naturally become good through repetition. The more we enjoy the practice, the better we’ll become at doing it. Rarely do you find someone who really has fun doing something they’re awful at performing.
Live with Confidence
Wait a minute! Didn’t we say it’s okay to have fear and make ourselves uncomfortable? Yes. Yes, we did.
Confidence, discomfort, and nervousness are different feelings that all work independently. You can have all the confidence in the world and still get nervous and uncomfortable. Frequently we experience nerves and discomfort in anticipation of a big event only to calm down once it begins.
Based on championship rings, the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in professional sports is Bill Russell. The Hall of Fame center was famous for tossing his cookies before every big game. Legend has it that his coach, Red Auerbach, considered his puking as a good luck charm and wouldn’t let the Celtics take the court until Bill rediscovered his lunch.
Remember the last time you had a big date with that special someone. It might’ve been twenty-five years ago or just yesterday, but you can probably recall how you felt before, during, and afterward. The butterflies may have been in peak flutter before sealing the deal that night.
Living with confidence is the result of preparation. It’s impossible to feel confident in something you haven’t done or didn’t prepare to do. Everything in life needs a semblance of confidence that you have the tools to succeed. Speeches require notes; we practice before games and take twice-daily Revactin for date nights.
Revactin helps you live with confidence.
Take care, even down there.
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