Have you ever considered what it means to act your age? The actions, attitudes, and philosophies of each age group have become fuzzy in a world that produces more and more women who obliterate the mindsets of past generations. With 41-year-olds like Dara Torres winning Olympic medals and children like Miley Cyrus building financial empires well beyond the norm, who’s to say what you shouldn’t do at any age. Thinking beyond the boundaries that the world puts on you is the easiest way to kick down those walls of mediocrity and stale ideologies that have stunted the growth of women for too long. When someone says you can’t, it’s time to rise up and discover just how powerful you are.
“At first, I wanted to make my fifth Olympics to prove to myself that I could do it. But I soon realized that my goal was inspiring other people to return to dreams they put off,” Torres said about her remarkable performance as the oldest female swimmer in Olympic history. I think every woman on the planet over 40 secretly wanted to be her as they watched her win three silver medals at the Beijing games. In her new book, Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams At Any Stage In Your Life Torres said that her age was an advantage due to the years of experience that enabled her to handle pressure and know what to expect.
Power at Any Age
When it comes to some issues like marriage, parenting, money, and difficult challenges, you can’t help but think the seasoned, as in Dara’s case, would emerge as successful and victorious. Though generally primed individuals have the upper hand, you have to stand in awe of prodigies like pop superstar, Miley Cyrus. The sixteen-year-old’s sudden success has vaulted her into a league that is shared by few her age. “I think I’ve had to grow up pretty quickly and mature faster than others, but I wouldn’t say it’s changed me, because for me, it’s a job second and it’s my life first,” Cyrus shared in a recent interview with film editor, Emmanuel Itier. She went on to say that confidence and belief in yourself is the most important thing that anyone has ever told her. She obviously took the advice and ran to the bank with it. Some sources are speculating that her empire will be worth a billion dollars by the time she is 20.
Who, Not What
What can we learn from these two women who broke the mold of age-definitions? First, we can forthrightly believe that we can accomplish anything with the right motivation, knowledge, and perseverance. Whether you are 16, 41, or anywhere in between, you have to stand your ground when you set a goal or dream a dream. We have to see ourselves as successful women no matter what we do in this world. And remember that it shouldn’t be what we do that defines us but who we are. That is the key to getting beyond the age battle.
If who we become in the process of success positively contributes to others than that is what makes you special. It wasn’t Dara’s winning that inspired others, it was that she went beyond what was expected of her; despite her personal challenges, she moved toward her goal. In Miley’s case, she has devoted her young life to being a role model for girls. The ramifications of that swell beyond the fact that she can sing, dance, act, and sell products. Any time someone puts themselves out there, they attract pressure to be the best at every aspect of their life; a challenge that most of us cannot comprehend at any age. More power to you, Miley!
Let me know what you think about “acting your age” and barreling through the defining walls. Please share any victories or defeats you have experienced because of or despite your age. Be well.