The Living Starts Right Now!

The previously bandied around post-young adulthood dissonance statement “Life begins at 40” is in today’s context acutely passé. With the growing ageing population prevalent in many countries around the globe, post-World War II baby boomers have taken the creative license to re-tell all and sundry that life actually begins at 60 instead!

Extreme sports such as wakeboarding, downhill skiing, and skateboarding are seeing more and more veteran (in age) exponents. All these somehow make the so-often-written-about ballroom dancing expositions featuring Jannie Tay, Jennie Chua and Elizabeth Sam look old-hat and retro. No matter how young their dancing partners may be!

40s, 50s, 60s? When life really begins may not be as simple as the figures suggest.

I am convinced that the fundamental premise of “living life to the fullest” is to a great extent cerebral. It has to do with a decision in your very own mind to make every living moment count and to live it passionately!

In the keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ (perhaps more appropriately Tans’) amidst the affluent and status-conscious society in which we live in today, doing the proper thing according to the stations of your life seems to be the mandatory standard living procedure. When you’re in your teens, you do this. When you’re married, you should not do that. When you’re only an executive, this is what you’re supposed to do. When you become M.D., you should do only what’s expected of a person of your standing.

When a young man goes out with a much older woman, he must be a “kept” man. When an older married man is seen with an attractive young girl, he must be having an affair with her. When a woman is not married by the time she’s 35, she must be a political power-wielding authoritarian at work. When a man calls up a chatline, he must be a pervert!

It’s a real shame to witness how simplistic and naïve the world has carved itself into. Folks, it’s a “mindset” blackhole we live in right now. Our lives are dictated by the labels we put upon our very selves.

Better late than never, it’s time for us all to throw out the old baggage, take stock and start thinking outside the confines of the box. We desperately need to get “creative”.

And I’m not talking about taking a different route to the office every morning either. Let’s start by taking a closer look at ourselves and making some, be they, “uncomfortable” decisions to deliberately inject new sparks into our living template. Take “routine” out of your vocabulary. Start by doing something totally unrelated to the tasks you perform daily to bring home the bacon.

If you’re a guy, try baking. If you’re a girl, go ride a Harley. If you’re young, learn the Tango. If you’re older, do the hip-hop. If you’re the outdoor type, take up pottery. If you’re an introvert, get up on the bar-top!

Get rid of the age-old adage “why fix it when it ain’t broken”. Try doing things, even if they’ve been done well previously, differently. It’s the only way to open up the potential for bigger and better things to happen.

Let’s not get caught up in thinking that life only begins at a designated time during our chronological age span. Being able to live it to the fullest neither correlates with youth nor experience. It should well be an every-moment thing sprinkled with a generous dose of zest and exuberance. The expanse between “truly living” and “merely existing” is what I would call the great divide. For which you have to decide which side you want to be on.

May I suggest you choose the former, for which I am happy to announce that the “living” starts right now!