Reaching the age of non-acceptance — on my terms

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I have a few more creaks this year than last. I guess at 63, some small aches are to be expected. But I didn’t expect them. Nor am I willing to accept them.

There are things I can do to help myself “not creak.” And I am doing them. Walk, eat less, drink no soda, take an aspirin a day, take a few more vitamins and other actions personal to me and my age and health that will help me both improve and prevent.

I keep myself well oiled, so I can speed up rather than slow down.

Here’s what I have found to be true: The more I age, the less I am willing to “just accept,” and I am certainly not willing to “settle.”

Everyone is on their own journey.

How’s yours going?

Not the wealth journey, or the hunt for buried treasure. I’m talking about a way bigger journey — your “learning journey.” How’s that going?

I have been an adult student for more than 40 years. Like you, when I was young, I knew everything. Then I traveled to Europe for a year and I suddenly realized I knew next to nothing. From there I resolved to learn something new every day.

That was more than 40 years ago, and I’m still on that journey. I hope you are, too.

The older I get, the more I want to learn and the more I want to accomplish.

Some people want to relax or watch TV every night, or want to retire or are looking forward to retiring. Not me.

I get mail from senior citizen organizations. I throw it away. I don’t want to accept that just because I have reached a certain age I can save money on things.

I am on a mission. I have a few more lofty goals that are backed up with intentions:

Write 10 more books.

Deliver 1,000 more speeches.

And there are a few other major personal goals to achieve and places I plan to see before I pack it in.

What are you doing right now to identify, intend to and achieve your lofty goals? Or are you “waiting to retire” to get or do what you really want? I have found that most people who want to “retire” don’t love what they do at present. Not me.

When you love what you do, you can’t get enough of it. I hate sleeping — biggest waste of my time. I wake up early. I go to sleep late. People say they need balance. Not me — I don’t need balance. I love what I do.

And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need balance — you need money. Which would you rather have — balance or money?

Back to my age of non-acceptance …

Big question: What are you “accepting” right now that you might be able to change if you took a few more risks, or were willing to put in a bit more (or a lot more) effort?

Bigger questions: What are the three of four things in your life that you “wish” were different than they are now? And what are you waiting for? Don’t you hate waiting?

Traffic. Late flights. Long lines. On hold. Slow service. You do everything you can to avoid a 10-minute or 60-minute wait, yet you’re willing to wait years to achieve your life’s desire.

Not me. I’m not waiting for anything or anyone. I don’t accept waiting, either in a doctor’s office or in life.

Big answer: Here’s the cool part. By taking daily action toward what you really want, at some (undefinable) point, you create your own momentum, your own path to achievement, maybe even your own path to fulfillment.

Biggest questions: What are you “just accepting”? What are you willing to do to make things happen in your life?

Biggest answers: If you’re constantly talking about what was, you’re robbing yourself of what will be. Complaining about life? “In my day things were different …” Take note: candy bars are no longer a nickel. If you’re sick of waiting, if you’re sick of just accepting your present lot in life, maybe it’s time to take action.

Gotta go. Time to floss my teeth. If I could only floss my hair.

Great news: I have created an achievement self test, a way for you to see what you are accepting as OK when your heart says “fly!” Visit www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor and enter the word ACHIEVE in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts Internet training programs about selling and customer loyalty at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or salesman@gitomer.com. © 2009 All Rights Reserved