Biggest Lesson From The Oscars: You’re Never Too Old!
After last year’s ‘youth host’ train wreck, this year’s Oscars proved that experience and class counts. Led well by 9 time host Billy Crystal, the main message to take away from this event is you’re never too old.
82-year-old Christopher Plummer was the oldest person to ever win an Oscar, winning his first ever for best supporting role in the film ‘Beginners’. There were also two other men of ‘advanced age’ nominated in the same category.
As a psychologist, I’ve worked with every single age group, and there is joy, progress, growth and excitement to be found at all ages. Unfortunately, few people tend to think this way. Fortunately, by the time I’m finished with my clients, most of them have very much changed their tune and can appreciate their value.
Personally speaking, I absolutely hate limiting beliefs based on age. I get fired up talking about this subject. I’m well aware that bodies and abilities change through life, but then so what! There are always powerful ways to grow and contribute.
And great success is always possible. Just ask Mr Plummer. Watch the video below to see a man who is a true class act with a great deal of wisdom to share. Especially pay attention to the very end of the video.
The very last thing he says in the video is… “I’m going to drop dead wherever I am, on stage or on the set. We don’t retire in our profession, thank god.” – Christopher Plummer
Why is it we never give up on youth but often give up on the elderly. Although I’m sure they must exist somewhere, I’ve never come across any parents who give up on their children, especially infants. Imagine if you stopped encouraging a baby to walk after it’s first few failed attempts. The whole idea sounds absurd.
Then why do we impose unnecessary limitations on others and on ourselves as we age? The main reason I believe is fear of failure and fear of injury. But isn’t it interesting that these two fears are not really a concern when raising toddlers. If the kid fails, so what! Encourage them to keep trying until they get it. And as for safety, we do the best we can to make the environment as safe as possible and then we let them go out and hurt themselves. It’s part of the learning process. Pretty soon, they figure it out. The same principles always apply at any age.
Here are 3 tips to ensure that you continue growing as you age.
1. From now on, make it taboo to use age as an excuse. Age is never an excuse! I can accept that we have limitations as we age, but we also can find solutions to most of them.
2. Progress is always possible. Even if you lose an ability, you can still progress. For example, a paraplegic who suddenly can no longer walk will have a range of challenges they never had to worry about before. As frustrating as that is at first, knowing that is possible to progress to greater levels of independence leads to meaningful action.
3. Your experience has value. Traditionally, elder people in our tribes were revered and sought for their wisdom. For some reason this is no longer common practice. This is both the fault of the younger and older generations. The younger generations need to respect their elders, but the elders need to stand up and be confident in delivering the knowledge they have to impart.
Just look at Christopher Plummer. If he speaks, I’ll listen.