Sometimes, some of us may scoff thinking, “I’m too old for that,” then yes, we are right. The same with any of the “Terrible Twos” - too fat, too slow, too dumb, too ugly, too poor, too dull, too, too, too unworthy… If you think you’re too, then you are. But if you think now is the perfect time, then you’re right too.
We battle beliefs, not time. It’s not about how far along the calendar you’re creeping to the coffin. It’s about your willingness to embrace change NOW! A Sufi master once taught me that there are two groups of people in the world: neophiles and neophobes (those who embrace change, and those who resist it.) They’re both needed for social stability, but in today’s world we’re out of balance with too many neophobes defining reality for everyone else.
Even if change scares the Hell out of you, embrace it. It’s not too late. You’re not too old, too fat, too poor, too dumb, too… whatever.
My mother once said to me, “I’m too old to change.” It was a year before her stroke. She was bored with her retirement. She felt like she lacked importance, lacked friends, and lacked personal power to do anything about it. She was overweight, and pre-diabetic, her life was in danger. None of this was leverage enough for her to change. Her belief that she was too old held her in a mental prison.
Until the stroke came. I remember standing at my fireplace when I received the phone call from my Sister. My family and I started to make arrangements to fly from Washington to Pennsylvania to be of any help we could. I cried because I knew that my mother’s belief had brought her to this event.
I learned to be grateful for my mother’s stroke, because it was loud enough of a manifestation to challenge her belief that change was impossible. Change was a guarantee, she learned, and as a result, she taught me. But you either embrace change, or it is thrust upon you.
After she recovered from her stroke, she radically changed her diet, which she’s kept tight on for years now. She started doing the exercises I suggested to her to optimize her health, and has kept doing them. She’s gotten very socially involved as a commander for the Civil Air Patrol and an event organizer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars medical centers. She has brought purpose into her life again by being of service to hundreds of cadets and hundreds of vets taking them in tours around the country, as well as her weekly visits to the hospital to volunteer.
All of her changes have overwritten that old belief. She now feels empowered, alive and vibrant. She loves getting up in the morning, and looks forward to going to sleep so she can enjoy the next week’s activities.
If you believe it’s too late, it is. But it is as simple as making a daily commitment to making one different choice each day, no matter how scary or even impossible it may initially appear. Two years from now, I promise that you will never imagine living in such a prison as your beliefs have made for you today.
What was a moment in your life when you gained the confidence to challenge an old, negative belief with a new, positive one? That lesson applies everywhere. Our lives are like photography: we develop from the negatives.