I’ve got to admit something. I’m not crazy about getting older. In my late 40s, I started noticing more aches and pains. I started creaking and slowing down a little. In the last few years, I’ve had frozen shoulder, a frozen SI joint, and I think my brain has frozen a time or two. Still, I’m blessed to be able to walk, run, write, play music, and more.
If you haven’t guessed, today’s my birthday. I’ll tell you this much: I’m over 50. But with age has come more creative opportunities. Here’s why:
The Older I Get, the Less I Care What Others Think
When we’re young we tend to want others to like us. We want to be cool, to fit in. We don’t want to be the weird kid in the corner writing poetry. We don’t want to be the freaky long-haired kid wearing black and playing Goth music. But when we’re older, we begin to care less about what others think. This gives us the freedom to be more creative.
Twenty years ago, I’d have been reluctant to publish my story of growing up in a cult. Now I’ve written The Cult Trilogy. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have imagined experimenting in programmed music. Only geeks did that. Now I’ve written several dozen songs on an iPad.
Age Has Made Me Better, Braver, and Ready for More
Life isn’t guaranteed, so we have to make the most of it while we can. Over the last few years I’ve come to realize that getting older isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.
- Age has allowed me to improve my talents: It take years to become a master of any craft. I may not be a master of anything yet, but I’m getting closer. I’ve developed writing and songwriting skills. Each year, I get better. Each year, I add new skills to my resume. You can too. Make a point to keep practicing your creative art. The years will make you better.
- Age has allowed me to take more chances: I’ve never been a big risk-taker. That’s not quite true. I took some stupid risks in my teens and 20s. But I’ve always stayed clear of taking creative risks. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more willing to put myself out there. I’ve started several blogs and published several books. I’ve let others read my work. I’ve bought a house and traveled to places I never thought I’d go. You only live once.
- Age makes me want to reach higher goals: I’ve read that when we face the idea of our own death, it motivates us to live. That’s true. When I consider my own demise, it makes me want to write more books that help others, write more songs that touch others, and reach higher than I’ve ever reached before. I want to leave a legacy for my family and friends. I want to leave a mark with my writing and my music. Death makes me want to excel.
And if getting better, braver and being ready for more is not enough, older people are happier, too. Check out this Ted Talk. Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.
Older People Are Happier
Don’t fear getting older. Live life full on. Take time to improve yourself. Keep playing, keep walking, keep writing, keep getting better at whatever you do.