ageist EDITORS | november 15, 2017
hard is not impossible
We have been writing for the last month about this simple idea: hard is not impossible. We walked, we made friends in elevators, we meditated, we endured cold showers. So what is the point of all this? Self-flagellation?
The most powerful thing to do to change your circumstances is to change your thinking. What I am trying to get across here is that when we were 20, we would take all sorts of risks. Nothing was impossible, nothing was too hard. Jump in a cold lake? No problem. We were a bit crazy, but we survived. What has changed is that we now need to adapt to major changes in our lives, our bodies and the world at large. Maybe we have gotten used to the idea that uncomfortable is bad and something to be avoided. The softest chair is the best chair, until you find you can no longer get out of it without assistance. Sure, we are wiser, but are we falling back on “wisdom” as another way of saying, “I’m scared, I can’t do this”?
Darwin said the most successful species were not the smartest, strongest, fastest — it’s the ones that were able to best adapt. Adapting is hard; it means changing, it means leaving the familiar, it means the humiliation of failing and then learning what works. It means being a beginner. It’s hard, but it is not impossible.
Every day I figure out what I have to do to keep AGEIST pushing out into the world. Looking back, 3 years ago, 95% of what I do now I had no idea how to do, thought I had no capacity to do, or just refused to look at. Probably 1/3 of what I do today I have very little idea of how to do well. That is the truth. I ask people for help, I ask people to tell me what I am good at, I ask people, “How can I improve?” I do all that stuff I tell you about: the walking, the meditating, the cold showers, the network-expanding stuff. It all helps. It shows me I can do this. Because every day I need to prove to myself that hard is not impossible.