Not too long ago a friend and mentor of mine wrote to me:
This is true for almost any singer, dancer, business person etc. You do what you do, have a time when you’re on the crest of something and then the next generation takes over. Which isn’t to say you’re irrelevant in any way. It’s just that we can’t live in the world we once lived in. That world has moved on.
We have to create a new space in a new world.
Think of any name/music group etc that you knew when you were growing up, and they all had to reinvent themselves, or they’re unknown today.
This was said to me in the context of my own existential crisis.
The last few years have added up to a serious personal challenge for me. Not anything to do with my health or physical safety, you understand, but a more profound and vague crisis about meaning.
What the heck am I doing here? is a question I ask myself most every day.
If you follow along these daily monologues, you may have noticed that I’m writing about health and vitality again, though without the direct or scientifically-minded emphasis I once brought to the table.
It’s occurred to me that I still have a whole lot of wisdom and experience and know-how to bring to the table when it comes to getting a body to look better, feel better, and perform better.
But I’ve had to think hard about how I’m approaching that topic. The landscape now is nothing like it was 10 or 15 years ago.
That 20-something guy interested in powerlifting and getting as big as humanly possible turned into a 40-something dad who is far more interested in longevity, staying on top of aging, and living well, in the grandest and broadest meaning of the term.
My interest in philosophy and esoteric ideas — which, unlike everybody else who says that online, is backed up by a PhD and a decade of serious deep thinking and discussion — is background for that.
The old me, science man spitting “truth bombs”, is gone and he isn’t coming back. If that spoils it for you, or you just aren’t interested, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Like my friend said, I’ve had to think hard and deep in order to reinvent myself.
He’s right in another way too. Reinvention is the only enduring truth. No living organism ever rests. We have a word for what happens when a thing stops growing: Death.
I’ve had to figure that out, and it’s still a work in progress.
You’re having to figure it out for yourself. Or maybe you aren’t. A lot of people don’t. They get stuck on autopilot, trapped in a rut of boring everyday life, and watch helplessly as the years flicker past their eyes.
That, frankly, scares me more than anything else.
Change, adaptation, and reinvention are key ideas in sports and exercise, and in biology. People who stay active and keep a tight connection with their bodies can understand this in a way that the sedentary cubicle jockeys never get.
When you understand how small a % of the population ever reads a book, exercises regularly, or pays any attention to what they eat, you get an idea of how ill-equipped most human beings are to deal with change.
Change can rock your jaw even if you are aware of it. You have to stay on top of it or it will sucker-punch you when your guard’s down.
It’s not enough to “know” this. Knowing is passive. The only knowledge that matters is brought to life through your actions.
What are you doing to keep up against change?
P.S. Each month I help a small number of the right people work on their inner skills in 1:1 coaching. That’s only available for readers on my email list, which you can join when you click here.