Stories are powerful.
Cultures and societies are built on them.
Whether they’re fictional or factual, they have influenced everything, from the laws of our land to the rules in our homes.
Pick any expectation that you have of yourself, or of someone else, and ask yourself where it came from. There’s a fair chance it came from a story.
The video below is a recent TEDx talk given by scientist Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein.
His message? It’s time to rewrite an outdated story—the one about it being too late.
“It’s not too late to make a difference”
“When you see your mold, there’s that gut feeling that you know it, and you know you need to pursue it.”
At the age of 47, Alexander Fleming had acquired the skills, experience and wisdom necessary to see the possibilities in his mold … and he discovered penicillin.
He had what Louis Pasteur called a “prepared mind”.
“Age is the advantage for those of us who want to make a difference.”
Our society tends to idolize youth (think Mark Zuckerberg or Malala Yousafzai).
In the face of that, many cope with increasing age and their mounting regrets by accepting the societal view that their “best years” are behind them.
This may sound strange, but it seems a lot of people willingly accept that it’s too late.
Recent research explains why this is the case: it takes the pressure off.
If we choose to believe the story that it’s too late to make a difference … to write our book … to invent the next big tech gadget … or whatever it is we ache to do, it’s a relief.
Time is out of our control, and since we can’t do anything about it we might as well let it go, including the burden of regret.
But, science is rewriting that story. In recent explorations of aging and the brain, one thing has become abundantly clear: it’s a mistake to underestimate what we can do and what we have to offer as we get older.
“Age is the advantage – with that advantage comes the obligation to act!”
It turns out that between 39 and 69 years of age, cognitive performance is at its highest levels for inductive reasoning, verbal ability, verbal memory, and abstract thinking.
Yes, it’s true. Our second act is when we peak!
“Look for your mold. Your mold is there and it’s time for you to notice it and time for you to act.”
Who would’ve ever thought we’d feel inspired by the suggestion of looking for our mold?
I hope you enjoyed the video.
Comments are now closed, but I always love to hear from readers so feel free to contact me!