Can we talk for a moment about expiration dates?
Not the itty bitty type of expiration date that takes a magnifying glass to read on anything from beauty products to deodorant, cleaning agents to spices.
I’m talking about the carnival barker we hear inside the head that proclaims, with certainty and great frequency, that there is nothing we can do to make up for time we’ve lost. That we are too old and it is too late. That there is no way we can catch up, jump in, be a contender in a career or endeavor that might have been.
I have a strong reaction about expiration dates on aspirations.
THEY ARE A MENTAL CONSTRUCT BASED ON FEAR.
You see, we are only as limited as we allow. Curiosity, mindset, courage, and consistency hold the key.
I say this as someone who coaches people to pivot from what they have been doing, for a few years or decades, to a position that brings them back to themselves–whether in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s.
I think a lot about what it would’ve meant if they or I stopped pursuing intentional change. If we took ourselves off the shelf, out of contention–because of an incessant voice in the head that said, WAIT! IT’S TOO LATE! Because of others’ telling us it’s not possible. Because of an arbitrary expiration date.
This is what I wish someone would have told me years ago. There is no expiration date on creativity, reinvention, and application when it comes to work you love.
There is nothing better than showing up for yourself, day after day, when you don’t know where the time goes because you are doing what you love, what has meaning to you and the people who need to hear your voice, model your leadership, connect with your form of expression.
Every day that you show up and take a tiny step in the direction of the career or adventure you want, the expiration date concept fades a little more. Until one day, you won’t look for it at all (and it was never a real construct in the first place).
Where has an expiration date construct been keeping you small? What would YOU like to re-evaluate? I’d like to hear.
To grow into who you want to be, start small and start now. Get the support you need. Keep going.
What I’m Watching: Poker Face on Peacock. Natasha Lyonne plays a uniquely empowered protagonist in this character-driven comedy-drama murder mystery-of-the-week series.
What I’m reading:
Fiction– West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. Part adventure, part historical saga, and part love story, this book explores what it means to be touched by the grace of animals, the interactions with strangers, and the passing of time. An older man looks back on his cross-country experience driving giraffes in Depression-era America.
Non-fiction- Limitless by Jim Kwik. The world-renowned brain coach has field-tested tips. To accelerate self-learning, communication, memory, method, and focus to create faster,
longer lasting results.
What I’m listening to, Music: Lizzo. Watching the c put me in the mood to listen to artists who are not typically on my rotation. Followed up with a chaser, the HBO documentary, Love, Lizzo, on our daughter’s recommendation.
What I’m listening to, Learning: Benjamin Zander’s TED talk, The Transformative Power of Classical Music. He is one of the most moving speakers I’ve ever heard. Zander’s passion for classical music and infusing love for it in others is beyond inspiring and innovative. A must-watch for teachers, facilitators, and lovers of the arts.
Quote I’m pondering: “We live in a society that peddles solutions, whether it’s solutions to those extra pounds you’re carrying, or to your thinning hair, or to your loss of appetite, loss of love. We are always looking for solutions, but actually what we are engaged in is a process throughout life during which you never get it right. You have to keep being open, you have to keep moving forward. You have to keep finding out who you are and how you are changing, and only that makes life tolerable.”– Jeanette Winterson, writer
Check out this related blog, Change Your Relationship with Not Knowing.