Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Age of Reason

The Age of Reason: the age at which -- if you continue doing something -- you'd better have a good reason.

One of the best parts of becoming older is that you can stop doing things you dislike. Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize this fact. But then most people are often afraid of change.

I have always enjoyed being around older people who speak their minds, whether it occurs in real life, through interviews or movie roles. It is refreshing to hear people saying things that most of the audience is already thinking. Over the years a few older celebrities have endeared themselves to the public, speaking frankly and calling a spade a spade. Megastars like Groucho Marx, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn weren't afraid to let down their guard and reveal the charisma that kept them favorites of the public for decades. Other stars of the past were gracious in their later years -- people like Cary Grant and John Wayne -- but they remained guarded and "in character," which is probably how they wanted to be remembered. It takes a certain confidence and sense of self to drop the fa├žade and invite in the public.

With the approach of a new year, plenty of people focus on things they want to change once January arrives. They might want to lose weight, cut spending, eat better, finish a project or perhaps find a new partner or new job. The best advice for any of us wanting to do something is…just do it. Make an effort to pursue a goal and follow through. Start that diet and stick to it. Save money. Find a job. Thinking is good but action is better in most things.

In addition to taking action toward an end, try ending something which no longer has purpose or give you pleasure. If you dislike your job, try finding another position. Sure, the economy is not conducive to new opportunities right now. So make a plan to either further your skills or at least begin networking with others who might be able to assist you. It might take a while, but baby steps will start you down the path.

Quit doing tasks for which you have no reason. Do you always have the same thing to eat every Wednesday? Do you always have to sit near the window on the bus? Do you constantly get caught up in workplace gossip and chatter? Break that cycle. Why are you still doing anything that you don't enjoy? Out of habit? Due to lack of imagination? Then it is time to change your direction. Start thinking about how to spend your time doing something reasonable.

Like the celebrities mentioned earlier, try being yourself. Don't worry about how others perceive you. If you are confident about yourself, it will become obvious to others. Life is too short to waste time doing something you don't like just because you are afraid to change.

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