BACKSTORY on this BLOG POST - This blog post was inspired by three conversations last week. During one day I was asked by three friends if I'm retired or retiring. My first feeling was of surprise as the thought has not entered my mind. My second feeling was of sympathy. Each of the people asking was clearly hurting.
As i reflected on it later I realized that each had caught OLD AGE disease and were unsettled by it. I could see it on their faces and In their voices. With their questions they were looking for confirmation that others were feeling the same feelings of despair.
I learned last week is that there is an epidemic of OLD AGE Disease striking the young and old. By this I mean a “giving up” on hopes and dreams. A giving up on curiosity, learning and exploring.
As a public service - with a little help from my first book Jump Start Your Brain - here’s a Diagnosis and Treatment for Old Age Disease..…
DIAGNOSIS: A person has Old Age Disease if….
- They spend more time talking about an action then it would take to do it.
- They have firm opinions that despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary they won’t budge on.
- They live in yesterday or tomorrow instead of this moment - right now.
- They have chapped lips prom prudently puckering them.
- Their fingers point in only one direction -- away from themselves.
- They wish innovators would “just grow up.”
- They recently had an original thought, but decided it was gas.
TREATMENT: Here are five treatments for helping a friend or loved one who you suspect has Old Age disease.
- Apply the Laugh Treatment: I don’t care how you do it - tell a joke, push the situation to the absurd or if all else fails tickle them. When you are laughing it’s hard to be PUCKERED and PROPER. Academic research validates that when people are laughing they create 300 to 500% more ideas.
- Use the Trojan Horse “Experiment” Treatment: Instead of seeking to change them - which will result in endless rounds of debate and discussion - invite them to be part of an experiment. Tell them it’s just a little test of something that you’d like to try. Then - get them to see, feel and experience the new way. A temporary experiment is easier to get them to buy into then a real change. It removes their need for actually making a decision.
- Experience an AWESOME Crises: I’ve observed that in the face of a crises - a really good one - people snap out of Old Age Disease. Best if it’s a real one - like after 2,000 or 2,008. If that’s not available then you’ll have to create one out of nothing. The best place to learn how is to watch cable news networks - they can make tiny things feel like the end of the earth.
- Reconnect them to their Heart & Soul: Old people disease often strikes when someone has lost their sense of mission and purpose. They are working for the sake of working or worse yet just for a paycheck. To help them you need to reconnect them to meaningfulness, authenticates and purpose. When we are on the path of right - we have boundless energy and enthusiasm.
- The Most Powerful Treatment of All: Believe in the person. Believe that inside everyone is a 6 year old who is a creative, curious thinker. I know it’s hard. It’s hard for me and I write books and teach classes on enabling everyone. I remind myself that Enabling Everyone - doesn’t mean “except for those people who frustrate me.” Just as an emergency room vet doesn’t pick her patients AND, a fireman doesn’t get to avoid smoke.. so too you need to be their for your family, friends and co-workers who need your help.
YES I’m in my 59th year.
NO I’m not retiring.
In fact, I’m just getting started with what I believe is my true life's work - enabling everyone, everywhere to be fully alive with the courage and confidence to change their world.
I look forward to helping you in what ever way I can - through classes, coaching, books or simply blog posts.