Just say yes. As it applies to aging this has a number of meanings. To begin with, Just Say Yes to the fact that, to date, no one has achieved physical immortality. By saying Yes to the changes that the years bring you won’t end up with No’s eventually out numbering your Yes’s: a primary distinction between youth and old age. When we’re young everything is new and expansive. Everything is Yes. We’re excited, enthusiastic and courageous. Then, somehow, that mysteriously changes. It starts with giving up little things: “I don’t like that.” “I can’t do that anymore.” “I’m not as strong, as flexible or as young as I use to be.” Day by day, decision-by-decision we go from a big expansive anything goes life, to a small contracted I can’t do that life.
So that¹s the first step. Then there¹s the reality that you don¹t recover as quickly. For example at 25 you want to stay up late, drink too much and take a 20-mile hike — no problem — it doesn¹t matter what you have to do tomorrow, you make it work, you just do it. Whether going to a rock¹n roll show, taking a trip or starting a business: Good seats, bad seats; 5 star, 2 star; Yacht or dingy. You just said Yes and then worried about How.
As we age many things suddenly effect our every decision and as a result, we end up with a whole lot of “No’s.” It is important to consider, what I call the price of admission. In other words, “If I do this what it will it cost me in terms of energy, mental focus, down time, recuperation, quality of life?” “Will not doing it make my world significantly smaller?” If you determine the price of admission is to high the next question is, “Is there a way to Say Yes that won’t upset my balance, momentum and quality of life?” As I age it is essential that I pay attention to the price of admission but I must avoid using it as an excuse to contract or become addicted to the “comfortable.” When the NO’s outweigh the YES’s the universe suddenly stops offering you as many opportunities. This results in aging: You do less, contract more, see fewer opportunities, become less hopeful and begin to shut down. Remember when you were young and fearless (or maybe it was stupid) and said Yes to most things — everything was possible.
It is a discipline to embrace the new when everything feels old or like you’ve “been there and done that.” You have to look out into the world and SEE what you would like to do, what needs doing and what will feed you at this stage of your life. When you get an itch you must scratch it; an idea, you need to indulge it; an inspiration, you got to feed it. You have to Just Say Yes to who you really are, what makes you really happy and what you’re passionate about. It’s never too late to be who you really are, do what you want to do and pursue what lights you up. Really, what’s the worst that can happen?