Twas sitting next to an American on my trip back
from China. He’s got a factory in Guangzhou making
a product that may take the American market by
Anyway, whilst rapping with this man of 43, I came to
discover that before he went to China he would run six
to eight miles a day. Now, despite the fact that I think his
routine is, in many regards, an utter waste of motion, and
downright harmful to all the joints in his body – I kept mum
and simply listened.
What really caught my ear was how he mentioned that when
he got to China, he looked to see if anyone else was running
before he decided whether or not he should. He went an entire
week without running before finding the first “jogger.” This
sighting somehow made it okay for him to run, too.
I thought to myself, “Now why on earth would it matter if anyone
else was doing it or not? If it makes you feel good to run, to hell
with the others, get out and run.”
This morning I got up early – went outside, looked upon the waves
lapping to and fro – and began my routine. I was all alone. Not another
soul was standing near me. No one to train with. Just me and my thoughts.
And that was fine in my world.
When I finished my routine a man, accompanied by his wife, came up
to me and said, “Is that yoga?”
“Sorta kinda, but not really,” I replied. “It’s my own combination of what
works. Chi kung, calisthenics, joint loosening, stretching, and so on.”
“Do you do it everyday?” he asked.
“Everyday,” I replied.
He shook his head as if what I was doing was too much for him to bear.
“I do this routine in the morning to loosen up. In the evening I do the tough
After saying this the man’s jaw bone nearly broke his foot. He nearly spilled
his morning brew.
Back to the plane ride.
The fellow entrepreneur told me how his spoken Chinese was pretty good.
I listened. He rattled off, in some strange new-fangled Mandarin way, how
he tells the waitress that he cannot eat cat, dog, monkey or mouse. His
pronunciation is so bad I feel sorry for the waitress he says this too.
“Do you know any of the characters – or do you write in pinyin, the romanized
version of the characters?”
“I only know ONE character he says,” and begins to draw it on a sheet of paper.
“I thought about learning more, but I’m too old for that.”
“Really?” I ask.
“Yeah. If I was younger, I could learn the characters, but at my age – no way.”
I didn’t ask his age. Didn’t have to. Some minutes later he revealed that he was
a whopping 43 years old.
This morning when I got up to do my exercises, I thought about the “I’m too old”
line, and what a crock it is. It’s not reality. It’s just a song-and-dance this guy tells
himself so that he doesn’t have to tackle something more in life. And it’s perfectly
fine if the man doesn’t want to learn the characters. Just say so. But don’t make up
a crap line about being too old.
If you analyze all the things the man does in life in which he is successful – and there
are plenty of them, you’ll find that he NEVER says “I’m too old.” Afterall, he started a
new business venture in China at 43, which involves him flying to and fro once a month.
Isn’t he too old to fly that far, that often?
And what about running 6-8 miles a day? Is he too old for that?
Not at all – but I assure you that there are people in this world, his age and much
younger, who won’t go into business for themselves at 43, who won’t begin an
exercise program, who won’t travel the world – and the reason they give for not
doing so is because they’re too old.
Oh, yeah – if I was ONLY younger.
Well, there’s a way to become younger, my friend – and that is to get off your ass
and do the things you want to do in life, regardless of your age. If you want to learn
a foreign language, get fit, travel the world, start a new business, learn a musical
instrument, or anything else, NEVER say you’d like to, but you’re too old. Say you’d
like to and you’re “going to.”
The “I’m too old” line is a lie. The truth is that you’re never too old. You either want
to or you don’t want to. The key word is WANT.
If you have the desire, you can find a way to win.
Kick butt – take names,