When you’re very young:
- You wonder, “What exciting thing is going to happen today?”
- You experiment.
- You LOOK.
- You imagine.
- You learn.
- You play.
- You share.
- You make friends.
- You’re curious.
- You’re joyous.
- You’re courageous
- You change.
- You grow.
- You’re a fanatic about your loves.
- You’re brimming with crazy energy.
- The world hasn’t shown you how to corral the thing and be normal.
When you’re young to something:
- You’re burning to be great at it.
- You have a vision that’s beyond your station.
- There is always a next thing you want to get great at.
- You raise new questions and new possibilities.
- You take on old problems from a new angle.
- Nothing is “impossible” and it’s never “too late.”
- You don’t know exactly your future, but you want to be great at it and make a mark.
- Your courage to fulfill your vision comes from passion, not position.
- You chase after the beauty of the thing: The love of getting it beautiful is where it’s at – it’s a personal devotion.
Great leaders are this way.
You become old to something when you:
- Say “Can’t” a lot.
- Hear “No.”
- Spend your day wondering “How little can I do?”
- Spend your time telling it like it used to be.
- Believe that tomorrow will be just like today.
- No longer choose the cereal for the toy surprise in the box.
- Lose the urge to throw the occasional curveball.
- Convince yourself it’s too late to learn.
- Convince yourself you have nothing new to teach anyone.
- Forget all the other ages you’ve been.
Staying old (to your craft, or position, or organization) when you know you shouldn’t is the easy choice. And its only reward is that it’s easy. Challenging your resistance to become young again is hard. It takes planning, persistence, sacrifice and courage. And love: love of the challenge, love of the work and the joyous possibility of becoming young to something once more.
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