If you make decisions based solely on how much time in your life has ticked by, you’ll miss out on some awesome experiences.
By Ariane de Bonvoisin
Our society is obsessed with age. But thinking that you’re too old—or too young—to do something creates unnecessary obstacles. Your greatest career, relationship, and self-growth opportunities can happen at any time. I went from working in the high-stakes field of venture capital to becoming a speaker and entrepreneur. Along the way, I met a man nine years my junior, had a baby at 40, and moved to South Africa. My greatest sources of happiness have resulted from never having let my age dictate where I should be—personally or professionally. And you shouldn’t either. Follow these four tips to liberate yourself from the shackles of age-bound thinking.
Let go of age milestones.
We all have goals that we think we have to achieve by a specific age, such as getting married, having a kid, or buying a home. Ask yourself, What do I think I should have done by now? You’ll be stunned at how controlling your subconscious mind is. Now, look at what you have achieved. Odds are, you’ve accomplished more than you give yourself credit for.
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Make friends who are not your age.
A diverse workforce, social media, and fitness classes filled with folks of all ages present us with opportunities to make friends with people who aren’t our peers. Once you do, you’ll start to let go of age-based preconceptions. Their accomplishments may inspire you, or you could become an inspiration to one of them. You may even fall in love with one of these lovely souls!
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Follow the +10/-10 rule.
If your brain is telling you you’re too old or too young for something—such as starting your own business, taking time off to travel the world, or earning a new degree—use this simple query as a measuring stick: If you were 10 years younger or 10 years older, would you do it? If the answer to either is yes, then go for it!
Do some age-inappropriate things.
Forget about how old your body actually is and do some stuff you don’t think is age-appropriate. Go clubbing, ask for a lofty promotion, dye your hair a bold new color—whatever challenges your notion of maturity or immaturity. Many of us put restrictions on our actions; we want to be “normal,” avoid ridicule, and simply fit in. But trying too hard to fit in can be a joy sapper. So from now on, choose the paths that fit your personality and your desires, without age constraints.
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