08: Thinking About Longevity: Are You "Locked-In" or "Leveraged?"

08: Thinking About Longevity: Are You "Locked-In" or "Leveraged?"
Photo by FLY:D / Unsplash

Talk of age and longevity can create a few potentially polarizing conversation points.

For our purposes here, I'd prefer to avoid that.

From my point of view (POV) there are two mindsets about longevity.

What I call - "locked-in longevity" and "leveraged longevity."

One is common (and potentially toxic to effective growth and longevity). The other has the potential to create opportunity, renewed health, and an overall proactive approach about the one thing we all have in common - aging!

A word (or two) about this idea of "locked-in longevity"

Language matters. And it often plays-your-cards when it comes to matters of age, longevity, and influence.

For example, do you often use words or phrases like:

  • "Those were the 'good-ole-days..."?
  • "The trouble with the younger generation is..."?
  • "Back in my day..."?
  • "(Fill in the blank) just aren't what they used to be..."?

With respect to nostalgia, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with those phrases in context.

The issue is when you choose to stay fixed or "locked-in" relative to your personal growth - regardless of age. For example, you might be thinking that the best days are...well...behind you.

Worse case scenario is creating communication barriers.

Think about it - as you age you become a wealth of wisdom.

But if you come-off as irrelevant or worse - "locked-in" to critical, cranky, or overly nostalgic communication - you could miss the opportunities to increase your influence.

Instead, why not use your "leverage?"

"Leveraged longevity" is a much better POV

With age comes experience. And with experience comes wisdom.

Perhaps the wisest thing you can do is to maximize what you've gained through the years. Perhaps some brief personal evaluation will help you let go of what could be toxic to your quest for a better life.

Do this for starters.

Avoid overthinking

Dwelling on the past, getting-all-your-ducks-in-a-row (that didn't age me did it??), or simply being unable to make a freakin' decision are all symptoms of overthinking.

The big issue with overthinking is that it kills action.

As I've discussed here, "action" is part of a formula I use for personal growth and longevity (PGL) - whatever your age or condition.

It's the first and primary step to what I call the A.R.T of PGL - as in:

A-ction - R-esilience - T-ime

Overthinking sabotages your initiative. And it's important to not equate planning or preparation with overthinking.

To overthink is to:

  • Delay necessary action
  • Destroy progress (in yourself and in others)
  • Demand answers before you know the questions (think about that in the context of "locked-in longevity").

Overthinking will cost you. So it matters that you practically avoid it!

  • Defeat overthinking with thoughtful action. Think...process your options...but don't "camp" there. Think the best of others and circumstances instead of thinking the worst.
  • Develop active curiosity. Never stop learning, discovering, growing. That means being open-minded and willing to listen and learn from everyone (even those who don't share your affiliation, faith, values, opinion, philosophy, etc).


Suspend judgement

In context, this somewhat follows the quality of living "curious." Curiosity about another's point of view (POV), opinion, philosophy, or ideas doesn't mean you agree (or are required to).

It DOES mean that...you'll treat others and their general ideaology without unfair, uninformed, or unnecessary judgement.

Judgementalness has a viral effect. It can divide, diminish, destroy, and defeat growth. It also has the potential to undermine your longevity-leverage.

  • Be a light not a judge! Illuminate your environment with your POV but avoid being all "judgy" in the process.
  • Believe that someone different than you in age, lifestyle, beliefs, affiliation, etc might actually be an advocate instead of an adversary. Simply put: learn from those older than you and lead those younger than you.

And finally...

Package your past

I heard somone say this years ago:

"Your past explains you but it doesn't lock you in."

Good words in this context of leveraged vs locked-in longevity. Am I right??

Your past - however difficult or defining it is - provides a deep well of wisdom. It's time you tapped into it...and share it when the opportunity arises.

  • Know and get comfortable with your "story." Invest time reflecting on your journey. I highly recommend journalling your related thoughts on a routine - or better yet - daily basis.
  • Forgive yourself (and others when necessary) and move forward. Remember "your past explains you...but doesn't imprison you. Some things are best let go.
  • Be vulnerable. This aligns with owning your mistakes, failures, missed opportunities. Perhaps someone on your path will resonate and be helped by your screw-ups and your vulnerability about them (in fact, count on it!).

Frankly, I'm all about leveraging the opportunities that life gives you. And I'm equally certain that it's way easier to be "locked-in" if you're passive about your growth.

We're all on this journey together. So why not use (and share) all the leverage we can get.

Press on...