Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sustaining Lifelong Growth

Life seems to be great -- as long as we are growing and have our whole lives ahead of us; it becomes less so, when we feel that growth is behind us, and every day now just evidences further decline -- until we are no more.

Even the great world champions, begin to experience this decline beginning around 30, and in some activities, one is considered "old," if one is 20 -- and isn't the world champion, or is no longer the world champion.  It's not the end of the world, but the end of that lifespan for that involvement in that activity -- and they have to be prepared to move on to the next phase and challenges of their lives.  They cannot just remain -- doing what they've always done before, and expect to remain on top -- forever, even by their own standards.

But those are the things one learns in life -- to grow more fully, and redefine life throughout the stages -- and varying challenges.  For most these days, that is a rapidly changing and evolving world -- and keeping up with it as our greatest challenge, which doesn't mean just keeping up with the young -- but the whole of life, in all their challenges.  Then, it is not so much that one is no longer young, but that one is no longer only young, but conscious of being middle-aged, and even old too -- so one is all of life, and not just the young -- or the old.

That is what the young must do -- but also the old, if they are to remain vital and relevant -- and part of the game of life, and not just a victim in the game of death.  For most, that means learning to do what we've never done before -- and not simply doing what we've always done before.  That latter, is really a sign of stagnation, which is decline and death in a always-changing world.  Still, some will insist, that the world never changes -- but always stays the same, because they refuse to grow in their outlook and consciousness of what is going on beyond their own thoughts and memories.

Such people then, willingly cut themselves off from the vital flow of life and change -- so it is not surprising that they are no longer vital, responsive human beings -- but are forevermore, battling only the demons of their own mind -- which everyone else, can only guess what that might be.  They are no longer inhabiting and responding to the world that most healthy, "aware" people distinguish their facility at.  That is what is meaningful and relevant to others -- and bonds them with the universal humanity and common purpose.

On the playing field or in the workout, high levels of performance frequently results in overtraining and burnout -- because one has been successful at obtaining their training objectives -- and that is to become more efficient and effective at what they are doing, and thus doing the same or more, becomes too much.  That is not an indication that one needs to train more, but actually less -- and with that decreased frequency, duration and load -- one will experience unforeseen resumption in growth, rather than the familiar stagnation leading to burnout, injury, indifference.

That indifference, is always the beginning of the end -- because it is not caring, and no longer thinking their actions make a difference, so they become increasingly random and erratic -- because it doesn't matter.  Eventually, it doesn't matter so much, that one has to have others care about these things for them -- rather than that is what healthy human beings do.

In this, as with anything else in life, the greatest difference, is the difference between zero and one -- and not one and any other higher number, so not surprisingly, what is the minimum frequency of stimulus required to be considered "regularly" occurring -- and that would be one per cycle, whether that is daily, weekly, or monthly, etc.  Zero, on the other hand, cannot be detected, or measured.  That is the difference that one has to be capable of expressing -- fully and definitively -- as the vital signs of life, and beyond that, viability and proficiency at whatever one does, and still attempts to do.

These are vitally important considerations, but particularly when one reaches a stage in life when there is nobody else to tell them what to do anymore -- either when one has reached the top, or the highest seniority -- which is to be in full control of one's own life.  That is the greatest responsibility and challenge of every individual existence -- to finally get to the day when one is pulling one's own strings, determining their own fate, and not just being a pawn in everybody else's game.

That is what it means to have fully arrived -- at being the person one is.  One is self-defined, and not simply defined by everyone else's agendas, self-promotions and manipulations.  What then does one do?  That is what it means to be the world champion of being who you are -- and it is that realization and attitude, that makes lifelong growth sustainable and possible -- more than the rules, of what everyone ought to be doing.

One's own doing, is proof that it can be done.


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