You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. -C.S. Lewis
How old is “too old”? I am often curious about this question. Especially when I hear statements like “I am too old to change”, “this is the way I have always been”, “maybe when I was younger, but….” ……..and the list goes on and on. I can’t deny that I sometimes limit myself with similar statements. But I had the opportunity to revisit this curiosity of mine in a couple of ways this week.
It started with a couple of my patients. Both people are beyond the 7th decade of life and working on movements that are typically reserved for my much younger patients. Why are we working on these “advanced movements”? Because they want to. So, we do. And every week, I am reminded that age really IS just a number.
The other story that gained my attention this week is of Carl Allanby. Carl has spent his life as an auto repair shop owner. By all accounts, he has been successful in life. At the age of 36 he returned to college originally pursuing a business degree. However, returning to school made him realize that he had given up on his childhood dream of becoming a doctor, switched gears, and now at the age of 51 is Dr. Carl Allanby.
What is it about age that makes us stop envisioning a better future? And at what age does this start to happen?
Is it when you graduate from college?
“Finally”, send your kids to college?
Make your first million?
What would life look like if the answer was “none of the above”? What would the world look like if the answer was none of the above?
In an interview, Dr. Allanby talks about how his experience owning an auto repair shop made him value empathy and customer service.
“At my automotive business, the failure of transportation left customers in despair with unknown costs, an unknown length of time [during] repairs and the necessity to form contingency plans while their vehicle was down,”
He goes on to say that, as a Doctor, he has learned “providing empathy, compassion and reassurance is often as important as providing appropriate medical care.”
Last week I was speaking to someone who told me she was notified by her doctor’s office that she had terminal cancer and 6 months to live……….over the phone. Forgive my lack of restraint, but that is FAR from compassion and empathy.
Imagine a healthcare system of “Dr. Allanbys”.
Now imagine a world where this compassionate, empathetic, caring Doctor thought he was “too old” to pursue his childhood dream. I imagine not only would Dr. Allanby have been deprived, but so would the people who are lucky enough to be in his care.
How often do you let age limit you from making positive changes in your life?
Maybe you tell yourself,
“I am to set in my ways to change the way I eat”
“I am too old to start exercising”,
“People at my age can’t get better after a stroke”
“At my age, I could never do X movement”
What would life look like if you removed that statement from your mind? What would your health look like? How much better would you feel about yourself? What would your actions teach your kids and grandkids about age?
More importantly, how can Dr. Allanby inspire you to
“ set another goal or to dream a new dream.”?
What does that dream look like?
Now, go do it.
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