012: Age is an Advantage

By: | Posted in: Podcast Episodes | Friday, Dec 12, 2014 - 1:25am

If you are trying to make a difference – with whatever you are doing at this moment in your life – do you see age as an advantage or a disadvantage?

Today, in our western society, a common belief is that as we age, our opportunities to make a difference diminish.

Often we rationalize our inertia. We feel we are too old to make a deep impact in the world. We want to make a difference, but can we really make it happen?

We listen to the amazing stories of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. They started working in their garages as teenagers and changed the way we live, with companies they founded before they reached their thirties.

If we are over thirty, it’s easy to think that we missed our chance.

Many of us still keep trying to make a difference – yet, we “shrink” our goals, because we think that it’s too late to aim higher.

It’s so easy to accept this fixed mindset that justifies not thinking big. Even worse, we give up, we surrender to regret.

This is a common trend:

“As we age and we start to see this disconnect between what we aspire to be, and what we aspire to do, and what we’re accomplishing, and what we were told we can’t accomplish, regret builds, picking up in the late forties. There is that pressure, and human nature says that we have to look for a way to relieve that pressure. So we look for a source of information that tells us that we really can’t accomplish. We go back to that idea that society presents that it’s the young that matter. To relive that pressure, to give up, we find those sources of information. In fact we give up, that relieves the pressure, regret goes away, we lose our opportunity, we lose our drive.”
– Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein’s TEDx Talk

However, if we look at the facts, they can surprise us.

For instance:

And, if you keep looking, you will find many examples of people that make a huge difference at an even later age.

Instead of seeing age as a sign of decline and narrowing opportunities, why not to challenge yourself to see age as an opportunity to ramp up our efforts, stretch ourselves, expand our abilities, and make a deep difference in this world.

It’s our choice. We can start to talk back to our fixed mindset voice, and start to take growth mindset actions.

Begin by seeing the full TEDx Talk from Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein.

Here is another snippet:

“Age is an advantage. Those of us who are over thirty-five, over forty, even over fifty, are the people who can make a difference, who have the skills to make the difference, who must step up to make the difference.”

– Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein’s TEDx Talk

Note: I became aware of this TEDx Talk via Seth Godin’s Blog – I really recommend that you subscribe to it.

 

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3 comments

  1. Ana, I read your blog and do not relate to the idea of diminished impact after a certain age. I’m turning 56 in about 4 days, and am more engaged and effective in the world now, than I was at 30 or 40 or even 50. My circle of friends range in age from 21 to about 74, I’m having more fun and creating more projects than I have ever before. Indeed, it’s my chronology that gives me the confidence to choose, and the willingness to BE more of me.

    Comment by Nina Smith on December 17, 2014 at 11:10 am
  2. Nina- You are a great example that proves that age is an advantage 🙂 Hopefully by inspiring more people to belief that this is possible, age will not be anymore an excuse to not think big and go ahead to make a difference in an impactful way.

    Comment by Ana Melikian on December 17, 2014 at 11:17 am
  3. Interesting – together with the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut (GDI), the Tages-Anzeiger has carried out an extensive analysis of the internet to establish who are the 100 most influential contemporary thinkers. 17 of them are more than 80 years old. I would love to see more women on that list – probably a question of time 🙂
    http://longform.tagesanzeiger.ch/vordenker/?lang=en#rankingglobal

    Comment by Ana Melikian on December 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm

The comments are closed.