Do you remember the song, “Birth, School, Work, Death” buy the Godfathers?
It’s a kick-ass song and could be interpreted as a rebellion against a mentality that seeps into our pours and invades our souls at an early age.
You might know I’m not a fan of the school system. To me, school was like a penitentiary. And this little prison system does a really good job of pumping out soldiers to jump on the assembly line of modern life.
Many kids are odd-shaped little pegs which don’t fit into square holes, and they tend to deviate off course.
Adults are the same mix, strange shapes and all, and we go through life banging our collective heads against these giant walls built to keep us on a pre-defined course.
Lives spent emulating archetypes and ideals imposed by school, society, family and friends.
In School a wrong answer often means a D or an F. And that’s one reason the fear of failure is so deep-rooted.
But real life doesn’t work that way. Experimentation, mistakes and failure are all part of life and learning.
One unspoken standard is finding your station at a certain time in your life. If you fail to reach said station, well maybe your wiring isn’t quite up to par, so says society.
I don’t know about you, but my wiring is perfectly fine, thank you very much. It just took me a while to realize this.
I never followed a typical path and this led me to question myself every step of the damn way.
At 22 I wondered why I didn’t have my act together.
At 31 I thought I was too old to start my business.
At 35 I wondered why I didn’t have my first million.
(Some self-help hack told me THAT was so important).
At 39 I began to think life had passed me by. WHY?
Well, I was focusing on all the wrong things and I was obsessing over age, because I was buying into the system, lock, stock and barrel.
I went along with the unspoken rule that tells us to act our age and never deviate off course.
Hey rule, kiss my ass.
Months ago I wrote a post on Late Bloomers and referenced a Malcolm Gladwell piece in The New Yorker.
He went into great detail describing the creative path of Ben Fountain, a certifiable late bloomer and “experimental innovator,” contrasted with the young and gifted Jonathan Safran Foer.
Thing is, Mr. Fountain, didn’t see that big, fat thing called success until the age of 48. What a geezer, huh?
He discovered his craft, his passion earlier of course, but it took him years to see monetary reward and recognition.
50 Very well may be the new 30 but why can’t 50 be, well 50?
I know 50-year-olds who snowboard, but I’ve also known 30-somethings who acted like they were ready for retirement.
It’s a mindset that needs to go away and I think our precious little digital utopia might just usher in a brand new mentality.
If you feel like you’re too old, well guess what? You’re not.
You never were and you never are, at least not until they plant you in the cold, dead earth.
So please forget the rules and get on with YOUR life.
Go ahead. Design your way forward.
And go back and listen to that kick-ass song. K?
If you’ve have an itch, a yearning, a passion deep within you, have you let age stop you?
Do you know many with this mindset?
Have you obsessed over age?
(Oh and feel free to critique the new video to the right. I’m learning … )