Age is More than Just a Number

It was my birthday yesterday. It was a simple affair of dinner and cake just for our family of four. During the day, I worked in the office as usual. No celebration or fanfare, no one noticed that I aged another year that day.

I am not big on birthday celebrations myself, but it does get me thinking about aging each time it comes around the corner. Funny thing is, this date seems to be coming around year after year faster and sooner.

When I was a kid, growing up was exciting. I wanted to grow up in age as fast as I could. Growing older felt like an achievement. Each year that passed meant that I was closer to adulthood. Becoming an adult means independence and freedom. Being an adult seemed exhilarating with the world ahead of you. I couldn’t wait.

But life drifted by quickly. My 20s and 30s came and went. If I don’t sit down and try to recall the years that have gone by, I cannot tell you what happened exactly. And now in the second half of my 40s, I am more mellow and wiser. I start to reflect more about life and think of what I would want to be and where I would like to go.  

I am reminded of a story once shared by Warren Buffett about him offering to buy you a car of your dreams. You can pick out any car that you want, and when you go home today, that car will be waiting for you at home.

However, as with most things in life, Buffett says there’s just one catch: It’s the only car you’re ever going to get, in your entire life.

Now, knowing that, how are you going to treat that car?

Buffett deduced that you are probably going to read the owner’s manual four times before you drive it. You’re going to keep it very well and change the oil twice as often as necessary. If there is the least little bit of rust, you are going to get that fixed immediately so it doesn’t spread. Why? Because you know it has to last you as long as you live.

And just like that Buffett hits us with a brilliant realisation: The position you are in with your car is exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. The way you treat your car should be no different than the way you treat your body.

His point is that we have only one mind and one body for the rest of your life. If we are not taking care of them when we are young, it is like neglecting the maintenance and letting rust eat away at it. 

Once a lifetime!

Our lives are short, and we only get one chance at it. That is why it is crucial that we make it one that is worth living. With life comes choices and it is important that we constantly make the right decisions according to what we want from life. Whatever we choose now will have a direct effect on what is to become of us in future.

So as I aged, I am getting more philosophical about life. Here are a few simple lessons I reminded myself as I turned another year older:

Health is wealth – There is no fun in life when we are unwell. All the money you have in the bank would not matter. Money at most can treat you or prolong your life, but it will never buy you back your health. 

Less is more – Sometimes life is about quality not quantity. You are considered lucky if you have a few true friends. Your many acquaintances or Facebook friends means nothing when you are really in need. 

Work hard and then party harder– Hard work is important. But after that always find some time to do things that makes you happy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. 

Cultivate good Hobbies– A person who has a hobby is never alone. Make them a regular routine. Make them a source of your therapy.

Life is all about people –  Wherever you go, value people. Respect them, add value to their life however you can. Understand that everyone is going through their own struggles. 

Happiness is in the now – Enjoy life’s little moments of joy, whenever you can. The past is already gone. What you have is now and here. Today should always be the most wonderful day.

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