There’s More To It. FILE PHOTO

How to hold on when the world is spinning faster

Living a more effective life is a conscious decision.

Shawn Acheson

There’s More To It

I recently had yet another birthday, I shouldn’t be surprised though, it’s been happening every year around this time for as long as I can remember. As I get older, the experience of it has changed quite a bit, I no longer expect the same fanfare and the gifts have become far more practical.

When you think of the percentages, the earliest birthdays mark significant increase in life experience. Turning two for instance is a doubling of your time on earth while turning 11 is only a 10 per cent increase, and turning 20 is a mere five per cent increase in years.

This year I am dangerously close to the two per cent mark, and that’s not much of a leap forward. It’s no wonder I don’t really feel much older at all.

For some people, birthdays are a cause for panic, they recall all the hopes and dreams of younger years, then lament the corresponding lack of achievement. I’ll admit that I’ve had some regrets or wishes of having done more, or better with my time, but in the light of the percentages, I think we can cut ourselves a break. I can’t expect things to advance by big increments when the time spent is incrementally decreasing every year. But I can’t let my advancement and achievement slow to a snail’s pace either.

I think I need to put more of my effort into growing, learning and applying this growth in practical ways. If time grows shorter, then my ability to do more in a shorter time is a serious key. Yet most of us don’t do much to advance our knowledge, education and exposure to new training, techniques and technology; if we did, we could really make the fast passing years fruitful.

The great news about having lived and learned for half of my life or more, is that my foundation is already pretty good, and I learn much faster than I did when I was younger. Life seems to position us this way, so that our productivity can continue to improve as we learn to work smarter, more creatively and with innovation.

I’d like to think that many of the next great inventions and solutions will come from the experienced generations of our time. But it’s not our right, to sit back and be listened to because of all we have done so far, it is actually a responsibility to keep learning and growing as fast as possible.

I like the internet as a learning resource, for all its distractions, deceptions and diversions, it is filled with easily accessible and reliable free content with sites like Khan Academy and Ted Talks. Netflix has an abundance of documentaries and YouTube has taught me how to diagnose some nagging vehicle problems and even how to properly give injections, and Kijiji or Auto-Trader can help you determine a realistic value for the vehicle you are buying or selling.

I have decided that my present and later years will be more useful and effective than my formative ones, even though my world is spinning a little faster every year.

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