Remember daydreaming when you were young about the life ahead of you. Remember the dreams you used to have? Remember when you were excited about the work you were doing? Remember when you were thinner, fitter, and in better shape? Remember when you were passionate about your relationships. Remember feeling good, having more energy, and looking forward to getting out of bed each day?
What happened? Where did all of that go? Why do people pack on bodyfat as they age? Why do marriages weaken over time? Why do jobs become work? Why do we let our dreams fade? Why does life, for most people, fizzle as they age?
Most people will answer that this is just how it is. It is an accepted part of getting older. And most will say there’s nothing you can do about it. Well… I am telling you that we let it get that way. It DOESN’T have to be that way.
How do I know? Because if you look around, you will see people who are enthusiastic about their work, even after decades of doing it. There are marriages that retain the love, intimacy, and attentiveness year after year. There are older people who remain fit, muscular, and in good shape. And there are elders that remain excited about life, continuing to seek new hobbies and adventures.
I can hear you saying that what I am saying is not true. That, while there are people like those I just described, they are very rare. I will agree that these people are rare, but they do exist. And because they exist and are achieving these high levels of living, that means that it is possible for us all to do the same.
Many will argue that it is normal to get overweight and out of shape, to drift out of love with your significant other, to drag yourself to a job that you do simply because it pays the bills, or to let the excitement of life dwindle as you age. I will argue that it is common, but not normal. And there is a big difference between normal and common.
The biggest difference between those few that are living life fully and passionately and those merely getting by is the energy, effort, and attention they put into these areas. Ignore or neglect something long enough, and sure, it weakens or goes away. But continued effort and attention not only prevents that deterioration, but fuels continued growth and success in those areas.
If you are in a rowboat, you will drift downriver if you just sit there. If asked, you would say that this is just how it goes. The water is running that way, you are in a boat on that water, so of course, you will be drifting downriver. It is normal to drift downriver, right? What about those boats that are not drifting? And what about those boats actually moving up river? What about them? If it was normal, then ALL the boats would drift downriver.
Those other boats are using their oars and paddling. They are putting energy and effort into rowing, which prevents them from going downriver. And the ones putting the most work in are actually moving upriver. Drifting downriver is not normal… it is common. What’s not common is putting in the work. I do believe there is luck in this world, but as the old saying goes… the luckiest people I know are the ones that work the hardest.
Life is like that river. The current will carry you into boredom, away from your dreams, and even into despair… if you let it.
My biggest piece of advice… understand that the difference between those that are living fully, with passion, and continuing to seek their dreams are the ones that continue to put forth the same energy and effort that they did when they started. It’s time to rediscover the dreams you once had, the excitement you used to feel, the love you once had, and a body that’s fitter.
Wellness isn’t about health… true wellness is striving to live the life you were designed to live, fulfilling your dreams, and always striving to be the best version of you possible. Stop drifting and start paddling!