This post was written sometime last year, but didn’t publish it until now.
When I joined my first job out of college, I was one of the youngest members of my team. I then had a gala time teasing my seniors about their “old age” even though none of them had crossed thirty. That, however, was a long time ago and three years since, I can offer more meaningful insights for this discussion.
When do you become old? Age certainly can not be a criteria for this as examples abound about people who achieved something substantial at an age of 50 which many couldn’t even muster the courage to think about at 25. Consequently, you shouldn’t be called old simply if your face starts showing wrinkles or hairs starts turning white. Do you turn old when you start assuming bigger responsibilities in life? I suppose not.
On one of my Himalayan treks earlier this year, our trek guide surprised me when he said he preferred guiding first-time trekkers because they are more open. The first-timers are not weighed down by their prior experiences and hence are willing to learn anything new that the guide has to offer and they do not keep saying “this is not how we used to do things in my previous treks”. When I think about it, one becomes old when one becomes resistant to change. You are either too comfortable in your comfort zone or are unwilling to try something new because “that is not how you used to do this thing previously” or you are not willing to take risks.
It is imperative that we try something new every once in a while. From what I have seen, doing this is not straightforward. Still, this is all that can give any meaning to what we do with our lives.