• Tommy Cicero

Aging with the right mindset

"Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind."

- Jackie Joyner-Kersee


While growing up we could not wait to get old enough to do certain things, like driving a car or moving out of our parents house. We wanted to be independent and free to make our own choices as we became adults. Now we have more freedom to go out and do whatever it is we please. On the flipside of that, we also potentially outgrow some of the things we took for granted in our youth. Our bodies accumulate wear and tear, while our mental acuity and memory start getting fuzzy as the years go by.


I sometimes hear older people say to younger people, "Don't get old." They are usually referring to their bodies not being able to do simple things they once did with ease, like getting out of bed in the morning or picking up a toddler. I get it. However, I also believe the "Don't get old," crowd typically resigns to the fact they are getting old without taking the measures to age more gracefully, both physically and mentally. They have convinced themselves they are too old to try new things or still accomplish things they used to do so effortlessly.


Photo by Ira on Pexels


Then I look at people like Fauja Singh, the "Sikh Superman" who is 108 and has completed nine marathons since he was 89. Sure, he may be an outlier, but he is also an inspiration to seniors around the world who are not ready to let their age prevent them from achieving lofty goals and crossing items off their bucket list.


In the business world, the honorary Colonel Harland Sanders opened up his first Kentucky Fried Chicken (Now KFC) at the age of 65! That's when many people are already retired or close to it. Sanders did not care. He was determined. Now, KFC is the world's second largest restaurant chain with more than 22,000 locations.


There are so many examples of people not letting their age get in the way of accomplishing great things. These folks are part of the "Age is just a number," crowd. We do not have to use our age as an excuse to not go out and challenge ourselves physically and mentally. Our bodies and minds are tools we must keep sharpening in order to reap the benefits they provide us. Aging gives us the wisdom to recognize this fact so we can still go out and thrive in life, despite the year printed on our birth certificate. It's just a number.



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