Can you do this?

What adult has not been asked that question by a child? The child has discovered a new ability and thinks it is neat.  Sometimes it is something simple like standing on one foot other times it takes more effort like rubbing your stomach while patting your head. If you are older like me you might want to see if you still can do these.

Over our lifetimes we learn and unlearn many things. If I tried to do much of the math I did in college, I would need to review. Other subjects like the social sciences; I am better versed in because I continue to read in those areas. I also majored in the math based field of Chemistry, but don’t work in that area.

The process of learning and the unlearning things starts in childhood. Neuroscience has found that beginning in early childhood our brains continually rewire themselves. Since, our brains grow until we are about twenty-five the unlearning is not noticeable until later in life.  Yet if you observe how a child throws a ball, you notice that that skill changes. Their body changes, so they have new abilities. They change their throw to take advantage of those new abilities.

In the early adult years there is so much to learn or relearn. Usually we do what we saw adults do. Take for example in a marriage. The way we interact with our partners repeats the patterns we experienced in our homes. this often causes conflict when our partner does not do as expected.  Knowing this most couples negotiate this. Sometimes they need help to break out of undesired patterns, Many Life Coaches focus their efforts in this area.

Later in life lost abilities begin to be noticeable. As an athlete you notice this earlier, with peak ability usually before age 30, sometimes in our teens. For most of us our careers peak later on. Yet at some point all of us realize that we need to step aside and let younger people shine. As an athlete becomes a coach, workers become mentors.

What happens next? In the work place we eventually become “Redundant”. This happens early for many because of many factors. The technology can change. Surgery went through a major change when the laparoscope was introduced.  Surgeries that required a week or more in the hospital can be done without overnight stays. Yet, the use of the laparoscope is not easy and must be maintained. This need to relearn applies to all of us.

Older adults did not grow up with computers. Yes they have been around longer than I have, but not in the common place of today. I recently got upset with some older adults that cannot enter data into a computer or access it when they need to.

What skills have you mastered as an adult? Are there skills that you had as a child that are obsolete?  Have you or a friend had to learn a new job? That is a major effort, but often done.

So, what do you want to do when you grow up?

We ask that of children, yet is that not an appropriate question for all of us? You may have dreamed a life history as a child. Now what does that dream look like? Have you fallen in so many ways so many times that you no longer dream?  Why is that? Have you decided to just follow the path of others?  Why should we resign ourselves to be followers?

I often marvel at the ages of many people in the news.  Many of them seem to be younger and then when their age slips into the news, I was off by a decade or more.  I think I sell myself short. There is a lot of time left to accomplish things.

What are your dreams?

As All Ways, Dream Big,

Coach Dr. Dave

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