There is an old saying, “Old and tricky will always beat young and smart.” What is this adage based on, and how can one speed up acquiring those tricky kills?
A long life collects and refines craftiness and profound wisdom for those who seek it. Be aware! Not everyone who ages can self-reflect; as they age, they become brittle and cruel to others and miss out on the joys of aging no matter how old they get. Think of grumpy older people who are ridged in their ways. Notice how these people are not fun to interact with. For example, you share a personal story or insight with these curmudgeons, and they belittle or make fun of you. Sadly, the joke is on them because they lose the pleasure of your company and then can’t figure out why they’re alone in the world.
Compare these poor souls to the fun-loving, delightful, funny, caring older people who are a pleasure to be around. The contrast seems to scream how different they are from those who failed at living a full life.
How can you learn to achieve ‘mature’ earlier?
What are the attributes of those who are wise and considerate people that make them unique? Observing them is the trick, and you will see how they do it. Spend time with them if possible. See them during quiet hours or on weekends. Take them simple gifts of food like soup or a loaf of bread.
Here are their primary skills, which I imbue from my side of the age-related timeline and forty years as an executive coach. Learning and using these skills speeds up your maturation; it does not make you older, only wiser.
- Focus on being calm. Leave the hurry behind. Take your time and see what happens. Sometimes, the best action is no action to see how a conversation or situation progresses. A calm response is not the same as procrastination, though it sometimes looks that way.
- Ask questions, then listen carefully. After a response has been given, ask them another question. Avoid ‘stealing the ball’ and talking about yourself. Stay focused on others.
- Only take sides once both parties have laid out their positions and then look for areas where both sides can find common ground to build from and reach a working agreement and solution. When this process comes into play, wisdom is the easiest to see.
- Dress for comfort. The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to be yourself. Fashion is a cruel master; running shoes are more comfortable than heels or leather business shoes. If you’re forced to follow a strict dress code because you work in a financial sector, you can find workarounds that include comfort levels.
- Develop an openness to welcome new people into your group. Don’t assume this is being a glad-hander who is only there to fill up your contact database. Mature people are more observant and will watch ‘the new ones’ carefully to see if they are worth the time and effort to include in your group.
- Let go of assumptions about everything. Limitations destroy your ability to see, hear, or accept anything outside your little box. Notice this trait in others, too. Even young people can be afflicted with a know-it-all attitude. Unless they accept there is more to learn, they will grow old with this attitude and miss out on the beauty of living.
Mastering these skills requires aging, like a good wine or a fun older person, and learning the skills at any age from someone willing to share because you are eager to learn and adjust your behavior. Or you can hire an excellent coach with a track record who has aged with humility to work these wonders.
It’s your choice: Learn the tricks for wisdom at any age. Coaching makes the difference.
It is up to you to decide if you want help to become a wise and fun person. Some are not called; they are the ones who suffer and cause pain for others—it is your choice.
Contact me if you want more suggestions on how to reap bigger rewards. Or, if you really want to increase the size of your rewards quickly, hire me as your coach.
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