The Importance Of Flexibility As We Age
When I hear that someone’s grandparent has become stubborn, I’m not sure I ever believe it. You see I’m pretty sure that person has been stubborn their entire life, it’s just that now we can use the excuse of age to allow us to be more forgiving to their unpleasant behavior.
People that are ridged are fearful, fearful to try something new, and fearful that if they do try something new and fail they will look foolish. The problem with being stubborn is that we lose out on so many amazing new opportunities, never mind we end up putting ourselves in the grave long before they ever put us in the ground.
When discussing flexibility I like to paraphrase the Tao De Ching. When we are flexible we are like a new blade of grass, alive and free to bend with the wind. However when we become ridged we are like an old blade of grass, snap off with the wind and die.
The key to living a vibrant, productive second fifty is to remain flexible and open to new ideas. For it is in the new ideas that new possibilities arise. New possibilities that present purpose, and passion, and that give each new day meaning and a reason for us to push forward.
When we are flexible we have the capability to consider all kinds of new possibilities and avenues that in the end, are interesting and exciting.
One of the real benefits to flexibility is that we are not limited in our options, by the choices of others. It’s not important that you change the world, come up with the next life-changing discovery or run the mile under 4 minutes. All that matters is that you continue to learn and improve your life based upon your best efforts.
Maybe you are keen to teach your grandchild to learn how to bake, and because you have remained flexible you are always willing to try new recipes. Or maybe you are keen to teach your grandchild how to tie flies and because you are flexible you are willing to try new combinations of feathers and adjust after you try them out in the stream.
The really good news here is that we can all change our behaviors, because our behaviors are our choice. You just need to see more pain in remaining the same than you will find once you change.
When you choose to become more flexible you are not only improving your life, but you are improving the lives of everyone around you. So be aware of the decisions you are making and ask yourself, “Will this choice open doors to a positive future, or close them?”
Frank Moffatt is the Founder and CEO of Your Second Fifty. An online educational community that provides inspirational educational through books, films, and online courses for those in their second fifty.