Inspired by a quote a friend sent me recently I’ve been exploring the concept of age and why we use it as an excuse to place self limiting beliefs on ourselves ( thank you my friend, you know who you are):
‘youth is not entirely a time of life…it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips or supple knees. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your self confidence, as old as your fears, as young as your hope and as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope cheer and courage… you are young. When the wires are all down and your heart is covered by the snows of pessimism, and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, have you grown old.’ Author unknown
30 – Minute Challenge
Let’s take this opportunity to do a life check, to stop and assess our age not in terms of years but in terms of outlook so that we can understand which stage of our journey we’ve reached and ask ‘is this where I want to be?’ After all, if it’s a state of mind we’re after we can be any age we choose – it’ll just take some mind work! How hard can it be?!
1. Take a few minutes to think about the age you would like to be. This should be a time when you had/have/will have the wisdom to understand yourself, the confidence to be who you are and the imagination to see and enthusiasm to experience the possibilities life has to offer.
If the answers don’t come straight away don’t force them.. put the idea to the back of your mind and allow your sub-conscious to find the response that’s right for you. Then choose a time when you can be alone, relax and let the answers bubble to the surface in their own time. You might be surprised by what you discover….
2. Take a piece of paper and write ‘I am (your chosen age)’:
Now, writing in the past, present of future as appropriate write down your thoughts, hopes and aspirations for yourself. Don’t bother with punctuation or spelling, just let the words flow. Often when I do this sort of exercise I have difficulty starting so just write whatever I’m thinking until my thoughts calm down and my true self can speak without censorship e.g mine looked something like this:…. ‘I really have no idea what I’m going to write but I’ll just keep writing and maybe the brain I’m supposed to have will start working and… oh.. the number 42 has popped into my mind..that’s interesting.. i like the feel of that …so what does 42 represent to me.. I guess my life will be at the stage when I feel…’ etc….yippee, I have focus and it’s beginning to come! You get the idea anyway so give it a go and see what comes up for you.
3. The next stage of the exercise is to see how your written thoughts compare with the way your life is at the moment. Make a list of areas of the main differences, currently I think ‘x’ and I want to think ‘y’. Eg: I currently think ‘to be successful I have to live in the fast lane’ and I want to think ‘success means having balance and peace in my life’.
4. For each of these write down 3 positive statements for thinking ‘y’.
e.g When I feel at peace my problems pale away
When I feel at peace those around me feel calm and the atmosphere becomes energised and positive
When I feel at peace I get more done because I’m more efficient.
5. The final stage is, of course, to write down 3 actions for each change that you want to bring about…. and do it! Keep it simple and achievable.
e.g: To help me find more balance and inner peace:
I will play more uplifting and calming music (easy and achievable)
I will say ‘no’ more often to create more ‘me’ time (should be easy but is often not…I’ll work on this one!)
I will light candles and relax in the bath before bed ( love this one, easy and achievable – will buy more candles!)
When you’ve completed this for each change that you want to bring about just pick 3-4 actions and commit to doing them every day for the next 28 days. There is a magic in repetition. It creates a habit and then you will rapidly notice the difference this will make to your life and the changes you wish to make. Next month you can add to these but to succeed I’d suggest starting with just a few.
Now, I know there’ll be some of you resisting committing anything to paper. Firstly I’d urge you to try it…. You can even burn it afterwards!! But if you still resist… I really am reading your mind now!… then the one thing I would ask is that you re-read the quote at the start and identify your own messages of hope and inner beauty so that you can feed your own ageless inner confidence and keep it alive and vibrant. This will enable you to look beyond the limitations of your own personal perimeter fence and take advantage of the possibilities unfolding in front of you.
Life is full of possibilities… explore, discover, enjoy!
Have fun being your chosen age…. and if it’s not fun, just choose another one!