Closing out 50 and wanted to jot down a couple thoughts.
The single greatest surprise of 50 was discovering I can make progress on difficult things => from my personality quirks to fatherhood to strength training.
I thought I’d be spending most my time managing my “decline.” Got that wrong.
That said, the declining energy of age is real. So I’d encourage you to climb your mountains. Don’t wait!
For good and bad, life runs on habit energy.
Far more valuable than financial returns, our daily habits will compound across the decades of our lives.
20+ years of the following:
- Daily movement
- Be a better guy
- Apply the energy from negative emotions in a positive manner => internal improvement beats external justification
For me, practicing with intent (say with parenting or marriage) requires mental effort. This effort is “expensive” and not fun. I spend a lot of time lowering the stakes and simplifying.
When you are fall short, have a look around. Consider if your goals are too complex and your environment too stressful. I can be easily overwhelmed during the holidays.
Sleep, weight, anger, cravings => we have patterns that emerge in stressful times. As a young man, I’d muddle through by giving less to my relationships. These days, I create space in my week and back off my physical output.
I miss grinding through but it’s counterproductive (and being exhausted never was all that fun).
The next big transition will happen when my kids move out. This requires a set of skills that don’t come naturally to me.
So the 20+ years that I’m going to spend as a parent, with three kids in my house, are an opportunity to practice getting along with people.
I’m extremely fortunate to be married to a woman that finds human quirks entertaining.
Finally, I gave this advice to a friend many years ago, when he was the age I am now.
You might die but probably not.
So it’s worth working on the things that will prove useful to your future self.