Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 154: Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

As I have written here several times before, I over think things. And, as should be obvious by this blog itself, I have really excelled at over thinking this turning 50 thing.

But, since I am 50, it is more than likely that I will not ever change this. Instead, I have come to a reluctant acceptance of it. Now, when I start to feel that my head is going to explode from all of this thinking (note: I did not say it was always deep thinking), I force myself to think of something else, or to do something else, or to talk to someone else.

Naturally, all of this thinking about my over thinking has led me to think of something else ;-P. That is this: at what point does change just become too hard? Or, can you teach an old dog new tricks?

This has come to me during the past year because I have been working at changing the things about myself and my life that I feel just don't work for me anymore. This is one lesson that I have finally learned, and that took me until my 50th year to get: Don't settle for things that don't work for you. Don't try to keep making yourself fit into some box that you don't fit in. I have already wasted too many years doing that. I don't have another 50 years to give up anymore. You don't think of that when you are young. At least I didn't. You always think you will have more time and more opportunities. Or, you think that somehow things will just get better.

They don't just get better. You have to make them better. All the bitching and whining, and yes, over thinking in the world, will not change things or make my life better. And here's another "duh" obvious statement that I never got at 20, 25, 30 or even 40. It is only the doing that will change things. And, the doing is one of the hardest things there is. I see this not only in myself but in so many other people in my life. They stay in careers that they hate, or in relationships that make them unhappy, or live somewhere they hate, because change is so hard, and because of what they'd have to give up or because they are afraid to be alone, to be broke, or, to be considered a "failure" or some other thing they are afraid of.

But, what we often don't see is what we will gain instead of what we will lose. And, seeing change as positive is the first change that needs to be made for most of us. 

Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address 2005


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