Like a lot of former athletes, I sometimes catch myself wondering
“Gosh, if only I didn’t have my head up my ass so much back then. If only I had the head on my shoulders I have now; with the athleticism and talent I had back then”
I’ve had numerous conversations with former athletes like this; and it always gets me asking another question
“What am I going to say about NOW, in 10-15 years? What will my 10-15 years older self say about what I am doing at this moment?”
I’ve been taking on this practice for the better part of a year now, and I find it tremendously helpful, and a great shortcut through a phenomenal amount of intellectual understanding on conscious, and subconscious personality intelligences. So thought I’d share it with you. But I’m letting you know it’s weird, so if you’re against weird ideas, just turn away.
But if weird stuff floats your boat; then ‘weird on’ cowboy.
I’ve spent a while really imagining what the 75 year old Tyson Clarke would do with himself. It’s been a terrific introduction to a more calming, introspective, and noble me. At times I wish I did it more, especially when I’ve got my head up my ass and I’m only aware of this when it is too late.
I’ve asked a lot of questions to this guy. He’s calm but gregarious. He’s solid but flexible. He’s compassionate but firm. I’ve challenged myself on who this guy is, and what he’s like. If you want access to a more noble you; you can have it at any time. He’s uncannily compassionate; yet strong, controlled and firm.
I’ve been consulting with this imaginary guy for a year now. He’s awesome. And free. Hasn’t sent me a bill yet.
Your Pet 75 year Old Genius.
What would your 75 year old self say about your current situation? Your present problems? Your drama’s, experiences, strengths, weaknesses? Your stress? Your relationships?
How would your 75 year old self respond to the people around you? At their best, what impact and influence does your 75 year old self have on the people around him/her? How have they organized their life to suit them? How do they use their wisdom to benefit the world?
Three Step, Weird Process, to have a Noble Imaginary Consultant.
Answer the following 3 part questions from time to time to have immediate access to your 75 year old self.
1. Personality Strengths.
a). Ask yourself honestly, without the need to feel egotistical ‘What have I always been good at?’ or ‘What have I always had more passion than others for?’
b). Then ask yourself what 4 or 5 qualities it took to become good at those things. Whatever those qualities are, are your personality strengths.
Write them down.
2. Personality Weaknesses
a). Ask yourself honestly, without the need to feel guilty ‘What am I horrible at?’
b). Then ask yourself what 4 or 5 qualities you would have if you were phenomenal at these weaknesses.
Write them down.
Trust me, there are a whole bunch of other qualities you suck at too. Sorry to be the bearer of shitty news.
But they are less a part of who you are than the 4 or 5 top qualities you are aware that you suck at.
The fact that you are aware of them makes them a part of who you are. After a lifetime of practicing your weaknesses, they actually become a strength.
So toward the twilight of your life, you have two sets of strengths that are applicable in different situations, that are employed at different times.
Take a step back, see that this struggle of air time resembles a wave. Sometimes one set of strengths is in control, sometimes it’s the other. When it’s one sides turn, the other sides turn is coming. They both fight for air time, but they both get a turn.
In the end, they both know that they are a part of the same whole. Without even knowing it, they are working together. Through their differences, they define each other. If one wasn’t there, the other wouldn’t actually exist – so in essence – they just the high and low parts of a wavy line.
“I’ll take a Wisdom Burger please – hold the wrinkles”
Your 75 year old self understands this imaginary battle that each side takes part in through decades of experience you can only imagine. So imagine it.
Imagine seeing yourself make silly mistakes. Imagine the losses. Imagine the wins. Imagine the emotional highs and lows.
And perhaps more importantly, imagine seeing the same struggle within others. That whatever conflict people are experiencing, soon it will end, and another conflict and set of tensions and stress will begin.
This is your 75 year old. They’re wise. They’re happy.
Your 75 year old self has seen it all. They’ve witnessed people at their worst and their best. They know that most people are struggling with reality, and accept that fact. They know how to handle them in a productive way.
They’ve got amazing introspection into their current state emotionally and mentally, and they understand the triggers for when their head is up their ass WHILE it’s up there – not afterwards.
They’re in great shape. They work out a little every day; and they understand that the fulcrum of health lays in being healthy in all facets of life.
They KNOW that whatever their ego is trying to sell them, being present is the best, most experience generating, most effective practice and use of their time available to them.
And most importantly, they understand that whatever ‘mistakes’ you made throughout your silly little life; you were doing the best you could with the experiences, motivation, and intelligences that you had at that time. If you had known better, you would do better – but you didn’t. So your 75 year old is a lot more forgiving of yourself than you probably are. They offer you their noble pardon for your shortcomings.
Isn’t that nice of them?
A Better ‘Us’
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb
I’ve always loved this proverb. By employing your 75 year old right NOW, you get a kind of, quasi head start on it.
Your 75 year old knows that their time is limited, but by witnessing the wave within themselves, they know that even though the clock might be running low – there’s still a game to be played after full time.
There are things at play that last a lot longer than we do. Unfortunately, when you’re in the thick of your own crap it’s strangely difficult to acknowledge anything but your own stress and problems, let alone our ‘goldfish’ style lifespan. Your 75 year old knows better.
A society full of Nana’s and Grandad’s, without the stress of their sad looking retirement fund would be an amazing advance for a community; like a whole slew of Benjamin Buttons.