I’ll be 62 years old (young) at the end of this month.
While that means I’m a member of AARP, I can get discounts at certain stores, and my remaining hair is turning gray, it doesn’t mean that I have stopped growing.
In fact, I’m aging backwards.
In the last year alone I —
— attended a strongman training and bent a horseshoe, a steel bar, and a nail, all with my bare hands, and drove a spike through a board with my fist. I was the oldest person in the room, even older than the instructor, and probably the most inexperienced when it comes to feats of strength. But I attended anyway. I learned a lot, too, including the fact that virtually “Nothing is impossible.”
— attended an advanced guitar camp with legendary player Tommy Emmanuel. I was one of the oldest in the room, was surrounded by players far more advanced than me – including a 14 year old girl who dazzled everyone with her skills – but I attended anyway.
— attended an online class to learn how to play the baritone saxophone, wrote an article about playing for a sax mag, recorded an entire album of saxophone music, hired Grammy nominated sax sensation Mindi Abair to perform for me and tutor me, and more.
— discovered a synthophone — an alto sax turned into a midi instrument — and bought one and learned how to play it, using it to help make another healing music audio with Guitar Monk Mathew Dixon, called The Enlightenment Audio.
– went into the studio with one of my favorite singers in the entire world – Grammy nominated Ruthie Foster – and producer Daniel Barrett and created an album called Stretch! with me writing lyrics, playing baritone saxophone, and singing with Ruthie. Talk about a stretch! But I did it.
— traveled to Kuwait to speak to people interested in self-improvement and curious about positive psychology, but also traveled to numerous domestic spots, as well, including to one where we discussed my having my own television show in 2016.
— despite having written more books than most people read in their entire lifetime, I released several more, including the best selling The Secret Prayer and volume 3 of The Miracles Manual. And I just signed a publishing deal for my next book, coming out April 2016.
— and even though I’m an author of books designed to help people, I’m still buying and reading other people’s self-help books, too. I’m always searching for new authors, new voices, new books, new material, to help me expand my thinking and my life.
Why do I continue to invest in courses, books, audios, coaching, classes and more?
Why am I continuing to do this as I turn 62?
Because I’m still learning, growing, improving, stretching and discovering myself.
Because I don’t know it all and am eager to discover more about myself and life.
Because as long as I keep moving forward, they won’t throw dirt on my face.
I have no idea your age, and it doesn’t really matter.
My father is 90 and still enthusiastic about life.
He gets up earlier than you or me or the sun every morning and wallops a standing dummy five hundred times.
And that’s before he does light weight lifting, walking, and other exercise – with a hernia.
Actor Dick Van Dyke is 90 and still dancing.
Turn on the right music and he’ll start free styling it without a word or a prompt but with a gigantic bright smile on his happy face.
I’m sure you are younger than 90.
I’m reminding you to think big, do big, and move forward in big ways, no matter what your age.
Or, drop the “big” and just think, do, and move.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ― Sophia Loren
It’s the end of this year.
The new one is firing up.
Ready or not, here it comes.
What would you like to accomplish in 2016?
You can begin right now by signing up for a course, or a class, or coaching.
The idea is to joyfully experience life.
It’ll keep you young, bright, happy and healthy.
“You’re never too old to become younger.” – Mae West
And isn’t that what life is all about?
Happy Birthday to me.
Happy New Year to you.
Let’s make this new one rock.
PS — Consider my father. He’s 90 years old. He still gets up every morning and works out for two hours. He also is the primary caregiver of my ailing, bedridden mother. And, at 90, my father became an author. His book, The Most Contented Man, is on Amazon. He’s starting another book. He’s ninety. I’m sixty-two. Do you really have any excuses not to stretch and grow, learn and do?
Bob Bly inspired me to become a copywriter back in the late 1980s.
His books, such as The Copywriter’s Handbook, always informed me in a practical way. I began my business career as a copywriter in Houston because of him. He occasionally wrote me snail mail letters of encouragement. I stay in touch with him, too.
Today he is the author of 85 books.
I remember he once said he felt like he hadn’t produced much – that was back when he had “only” written fifty books – because he knew Isaac Asimov had written or edited more than five hundred books.
Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
I’m running as fast as I can to catch up with Bly and Isimov.
Right now I have about fifty books out, am working on two books, editing an autobiography from my father, completing three music albums, working on new presentations for mega-talks I am giving this year around the world, developing a new process for faster attracting, practicing my saxophone, the guitar, and the synthophone, reading more books a week than most people do in a lifetime, and of course still maintaining my fitness program, writing these blog posts, handling social media, promoting my past projects (which is a giant catalog), helping my Miracles Coaches, and more. (And, of course, keeping my relationships alive and well.)
Some say I’m a “force of nature.”
Others say I should switch to decaf. 🙂
Why so much productivity?
What drives a man like Bob Bly or me? What drove Asimov?
An answer is in the new book, Create or Die: A Manifesto for Fearless Creators Everywhere, by Morgan Giddings, PhD.
Her basic premise is that unless you keep creating, you begin to die.
Life is designed to urge you to create, to move forward, to constantly expand, grow, develop, change and challenge.
In fact, challenging yourself is one of the best ways to maintain the exuberance of life.
According to Dr. Giddings, you don’t have a real choice.
Yes, you can decide to “do nothing” but life itself, being the great creative force it is, will move you off your bed if it has to get others to move you and it out the door.
And yes, as Asimov proves, you can create and still die.
But real living comes from persistent creating.
It’s not about the end result – as that will change again in time – but about creating.
There isn’t a “finish line” or even a “perfect” solution.
There will always be something else to create. Another problem to solve.
Life is about creativity. Period.
All of the problems in your personal life – and on the planet – can be resolved with creativity.
Whether oil shortage or climate change or anything else you are worried about, there is an answer, and that answer will come from creativity.
New problems will occur, but that’s just the nature of life’s ever expansion.
And that’s an opportunity for more creativity.
The wise approach is to challenge yourself by choosing your creative projects.
Let your passion lead the way.
Let your enthusiasm for an idea burn bright in your life.
One of my favorite sections in Dr. Giddings’ book is where she reveals the formula for attracting money.
It goes like this:
1. Use your creativity to create something of great value.
2. Use your creativity to effectively communicate the value of your invention, product, or service to others (market it).
She says everything else is just “playing the lottery.”
She also points out that you need a clear idea of what you want money for, and you need to be clear of any limiting beliefs about money, in order to actually have her formula work.
She writes, “Though a surface-level desire for money exists, it gets distorted and watered down by all these other beliefs that are floating around contradicting it. The contradictory beliefs dilute the singular focus that’s necessary for the kind of creative action that leads to results.”
I’m not sure what Bob Bly would say, and the late Asimov is no longer talking or writing, but in my own case, I am driven by the need to communicate what I am excited about.
It’s not about money – it’s about passion.
Money becomes the pleasant side effect of creating value and sharing it with the world in creative ways.
I am driven to create by the impulse of creativity itself.
My hunch is that everyone has this impulse — yes, even you — but most people are pros at rationalizing why they shouldn’t create.
Excuses are easy.
Wimping out is easy.
Just coasting is easy.
The challenge – and the voltage of life itself – comes from creating.
Ray Bradbury, the legendary sci-fi writer who wrote classic books and unforgettable stories – who wrote every day of his life – once said in an interview:
“There’s an Egyptian myth I heard about years ago that when you die as an Egyptian and you go off to visit the gods the first question asked of you at the gates of heaven is ‘Did you have enthusiasm?’ And if you answer negatively you don’t get in. My response to everything in life that I really loved has been enthusiasm.”
You most likely have a desire to create something.
A book, song, movie, business, product.
I have no idea what your secret creative urge might be.
But you do.
Dr. Giddings is giving you a wake up call.
Either create – or die.
And ignore the skeptics, critics, and cynics.
Dr. Giddings writes, “Cynicism is rooted in fear…Worse, it’s toxic to creativity. To be creative, it’s essential to express yourself fully, from your own unique vantage point.”
Critics and the like are living in fear and building themselves up by tearing others down.
Ignore them and pursue your dream.
“Creativity is an inside game,” Dr. Giddings writes. “It’s never about pleasing external critics. It’s about producing something that you feel is great, and then connecting with the right audience who will like whatever it is that you produced.”
I’m sure Bly and Isimov would nod in agreement.
Before I dismiss class today, here’s a final thought to consider:
One of my favorite authors during my development as a writer was Jack London, who once wrote –
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
Now, don’t you have something to create today?
PS – I didn’t want to write this post. I was tired, my eyes were blurry, I had other things to do. But the creative urge in me pushed from inside and said “Write this.” I obeyed. And guess what? I am not tired, my eyes are not blurry, and the other things I have to do are next. Follow your creativity. Live your dreams. Expect Miracles.