Since birth, we’re given structures to develop and grow within. Parents, teachers, and coaches impart their knowledge and wisdom and we become a reflection of their teachings. A big part of how we change and evolve lies in mimicking, and if we’re lucky, we encounter good role models.
As adults, we’re largely on our own. While we still have structure at work—bosses and deadlines—we also have the gift of freedom to become exactly what we want to be outside of it. But many of us don’t take this opportunity, especially in the area of lifestyle. We can choose not to challenge ourselves or change for the better, feeling that decline is inevitable. At work if you fail, you will be fired, but who is going to fire you when it comes to a futile lifestyle? If you’re not growing then maybe you need to fire yourself, to replace the old, outdated “self.”
There are shining examples like Wang Deshun, who at 82 can work as a shirtless model on the runway, or Joanna Quaas, who performs parallel bar routines as a competitive gymnast at 94. Joanna was always an athlete but only decided to re-enter the competitive sphere at the age of 57. She’s a living example of how you can start a new adventure no matter your age. They prove the saying: what you practice you become.
Where do you start then?
Openness is key to youthfulness, as the New York Times observed about Wang Deshun:
Determined to avoid mental and physical stagnation, Mr. Wang has explored new skills and ideas while devoting ample time to daily exercise. “Morning is my learning time,” he said. “I read books and news…One way to tell if you’re old or not is to ask yourself, ‘Do you dare try something you’ve never done before?’”
Education and structure that The Happy Body provides can be a foundation for changing your lifestyle for the better. We’ve seen it hundreds of times in our clients—once they see that they can take charge of their lives they become unstoppable. To end/prevent stagnating you need to embrace the idea of falling in love with something you don’t like but is good for you. The decision is yours to make that muscle stronger–train the mind just like you would your bicep or quadriceps.