We are never too old or too young to make radical changes and start anew. Adventure is not the preserve of those under an arbitrarily chosen age. People are defying what society tells them is age-appropriate. Embracing the adventure of life as they explore the limits of what they can do, no matter what age they are. In doing so, they are creating legacy roadmaps for others.
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
I was 34 and was walking to Everest Base Camp when I saw a man coming towards me. The man appeared to be quite old, and I wondered how he had found his way to such a remote area. I asked him what he was doing. The man said that his name was John and that his dream was to go to Everest Base Camp. John was 85 years old. I was stunned and wanted to know more about John. We went to a local tea house. John introduced Jean, his 79-year-old partner. They told me they were going to Antarctica to celebrate John’s 90th birthday.
Meeting this couple gave me a valuable perspective on life and ageing. That has continued to act as a positive influence on me ever since, so much so that I look forward to being 85. Knowing that I will be part of a community who believe that age is no barrier to living a full life.
Continue to set new goals
Throughout life, we continue to set new goals and to scale them to where we are in our life journey. We can always do much more than we imagine. The thing to remember is to keep exploring. To keep pushing until we reach our limit for the day, and not let people tell us that we are too young or too old to try to live the life we want.
- There are always new adventures awaiting us no matter what age we are
- Accept that ageing is part of the process of life
- Accept that there will still be things we must give up and new things we can learn
We all want to leave a legacy. As we go through life and accumulate stuff, we think of the material legacy that we will leave to our family and friends. We think long and hard about what will mean most to whom; who deserves what; who we want to surprise with an unexpected gift.
We should spend as much time thinking about the legacy of ourselves—stripped of the material items we accumulate during our life—and how we were in the world. If we think about the legacy of our presence, it helps us focus on how we are turning up right now, today, in our own lives, for ourselves and for those we encounter. How do our actions, behaviour and contributions affect those around us? How do they affect our family, friends, teams, companies and broader society?
Every single life has a purpose, and when we think consciously about our legacy, we start to focus on the decisions we are making every day about how we live our life. By being conscious of our legacy, we can aim to lead a more creative and worthwhile life, not just as individuals but also as organisations, companies or governments.
Consider your legacy at this precise moment:
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would your family and friends describe you?
- What have you done that has brought you the most joy?
- Is there anything you regret not doing?
- What are your dreams?
- Have you followed them? If not, why?
- Are you satisfied with the life you have led up to this point?
- Have you made the most of your skills and of the opportunities that came your way?
- Who have you spent your time with and what kind of impact have they had on your life?
- What do you stand for in life?
- How engaged have you been with family, friends, colleagues and community?
No matter what we have done, or not done, up to this point, what is important is how we live our life from this moment forward. We need to use the knowledge that we won’t live forever as a tool that sharpens our determination to live the best life that we can, to follow and fulfil our dreams and to create the legacy that we want to leave behind.
From this moment:
- Start living the life that you are capable of living
- Start exploring the extent of your capabilities in the knowledge that you are far more capable than you ever before thought possible
- Know that no matter what age you are, what skills you have, what educational qualifications you have, what job you are in, or what emotional luggage you are carrying, you still have the opportunity to dream, to do and to achieve
Learn more about overcoming barriers to achieving your dreams in You Have The Power: Explore The Mindset You Need To Realise Your Dreams.