This is the second post in a series on life long change called, “It’s Never Too Late.”
As we get older, a few obstacles seem get in the way of meaningful change. These obstacles include
- long term habits,
- attachment to stability and possessions we have accumulated over time,
- physical and mental impairments.
Long Term Habits
Habits become harder to change the longer they are practiced. Often, this leads to a general perception that, as we get older, it becomes harder to develop or change habits. However, it is the specific habits and not the general ability to change that becomes difficult with age. The older we are, the more time we have had to develop specific habits.
In general, it takes 30 days to develop or change a habit, regardless of age. So, with a concerted 30 day commitment, any habit can be changed. It will, however, take a greater level of consciousness during those 30 days for longer-held habits.
Stability and Possessions
Clenching our single, “stable” job and a home with lots of possessions is, in effect, putting our all eggs in one basket. The perception of security is an illusion. There are many single circumstances that could easily pull it all out from under us: economic trends, employer stability or whims, war, natural disaster, etc. The world is changing constantly. Nothing in this physical world is permanent. It is by the grace of God that we have anything.
So, what is so inspiring about knowing that our lives could fall apart at any moment? We know that we already have nothing permanent to lose. We can hold our possessions loosely and with fluidity. We are free to grow, expand our lives, and see new successes and failures at any age.
There may be some specific activities we lose the ability to perform as we get older. In general, our bodies slow down and take longer to repair and refuel. We have to work on our bodies longer and with greater caution as we get older. But, we should never stop exercising our bodies unless directed by a physician.
Short term memory and speed of information retention decrease after about 45 years. However, intellectual improvements in our resourcefulness and increased wisdom compensate for many of these shortcomings.
I will be writing more about these mental improvement tomorrow.