Does Age Matter?

I was watching TV and saw a commercial for a Nerf sword. "Ooh," I said. My friend who saw my reaction said,"How old are you?"

What does that matter?

The lead character of my book has defied age and experience.  Part of moving up the military echelon requires the dueling of more experienced, higher ranking warriors.  Being a tenderwing, a term used for a child or inexperience, the hero never let that get in his way.  Not that he wasn't intimidated or ever scared.  But his father taught him that whatever you think you are.  Therefore, he never thought about his inexperience.  He only focused on his skills.

In Eastern philosophy any change must start from the inside, in particular the mind.  It's the mind that leads and the body must follow.  Think about this.  You're thirsty.  Your mind commands your hand to pick up that beer.  Then it commands your arm to bring that frosty drink to your mouth, etc.

So why is it when both men and women want to look younger do they start from the outside?  Worse yet, they don't even go to the inside.  Women tend to use more make up, wear their daughter's clothes.  Men date younger women, drive expensive sport cars.  None communicates youth but communicates, "I'M STILL YOUNG DAMMIT!"

My excitement of the Nerf sword was truly my excitement for a kid's toy.  Inside I feel young as if I was still twelve.  I love to play.  I love fun.  I wonder about our world and ask questions every day.  Isn't that what kids do?

"Why is the sky blue?"

"Why does that fat man eat so much?"

"Where do babies come from?"

"Why were you praying to dad last night?"

At first I thought my immaturity was my rebelling against growing up.  But the things I've accomplished in my life have required the maturity of an adult.  I just go back to playing whenever I can.  Most of nature is this way.  Lions lounge around all day, except when it's time to hunt and eat.  Dog's love to play ball, have their ears scratched, their bellies rubbed.  Dolphins leap into the air cause it's fun.  Why else would they do it?  It doesn't serve any other purpose.

Every day take a moment to have a little fun, or a lot.  It may serve a purpose, but definitely doesn't have to.

Have fun.  Have the wonderment of children.

Throw Out Your Goals

Brad Pitt. A friend on mine told me a story about him. We were talking about how we’re surrounded by people who’ve not only chased their dreams, but have achieved them. What most people don’t see is their perseverance. Pitt had dropped out of college, moved to the city of angels, did a lot of odd jobs like wearing a chicken suit to promote El Pollo Loco for years, before he landed his first major roll in Thelma & Louise. Now he’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

There was a study done on a high school class. The study followed late into their adult lives. It found those who stuck to one career path had earned and attained more than their combined classmates who didn’t. This story has floated around the self-help industry for many years, and is rumored to be just a folk tale. But its prevalence tells us a truth.

I was talking to a friend, and she’d reconnected with one of her long time classmates who works for Coke. This person is about ten years younger than I, but has climbed much higher on the corporate ladder. I’d always moved from job to job. She’s worked for Coke since high school, about eight years now, and illustrates an important point about consistency.

A few years ago, I went to a Renaissance Faire. I love them. My girlfriend at the time and I were watching a turtle race. Each person would place bets on a turtle of their choice. The race started. Contestants yelled and screamed, urging their turtle to crawl faster. One turtle, slow and steady, made great headway and was literally one step away from crossing the finish line. Then it stopped with one foot stuck in the air. All it had to do was place the foot down, and, bam, it won. It just froze. Another turtle from behind took the win.

So what’s the point? Once you find your passion in life, follow through with it. Whether success is truly overnight—it does happen—or takes time, love the process. If you love to act, go into every audition and act! If you love to work on projects for your company, or love reaching sales goals, go in every day and love working.

For the process is really what we love. The goals matter little. Why? Well what happens once an actor becomes a huge movie star like Pitt? What happens to the sales executive who reaches their ultimate sales goal? They continue to act, continue to sell, continue their work. All of them display a high level of dedication (knowing what they want), focus (loving what they do), and take each step toward their dreams (doing what they love).

Love your work. The goal will come.

Push the Edge

I was teaching a student the other day, and we'd been discussing making out. And no, not between us. I'd be in jail right now. He's never had a girlfriend and is dating a cute girl now. He hasn't made a move and I've been egging him to make out with this girl. He's been hesitating for about three months. I asked him if he wanted to. He answered an emphatic yes. What boy wouldn't. I asked why he hadn't done it. He's scared cuz it's his first time. Afraid of what the girl would think. The fact is it'd be her first time, too. I pushed him to do it.

And for the women, when you like a guy, and he hasn't done anything, wouldn't you be pissed?

I'd discussed this with a friend of mine and she threatened to call child services. She was joking but thought my pushing was totally incorrect.

My philosophy is push the edge, the envelope, or else how do you know where your true limit is?

What do you guys think?