Last week, I told a much younger friend that my life is going too fast, I wish I were younger so I could have more time to accomplish more things. I’ve been thinking about that statement.
The way I figure it, I am about 2/3rds of the way done with my current career path. I’ve been in ministry for 30 years, full time church work for 23 years and serving in the lead role for 20 years. Understanding how our culture embraces youth and relevance, I know I have about 12-15 years left, with anything after 60 years old being in a completely different role.
But I’m VERY optimistic about the foreseeable future.
Here are 10 reasons why the next 10 years are going to be more productive for me than the last 20 years were.
I am wiser. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past but I have learned a lot. I don’t plan to repeat my mistakes. I plan to work smarter, be more efficient and accomplish more.
I have more resources. I don’t have much money but I have more than I did when I was 30. Resources are more than money. Tools, information, technology … it’s only going to get better over the next few years.
I have more connections. I know twice as many people in my field now than I did just a few years ago. Thanks again to technology, I am in contact with lots of people. That will also continue to increase.
I have more credibility. While gray hair doesn’t work well for rock stars, I want to see some silver on my doctor, my airline pilot and my mentor. Just being in the business for this long affords me some street cred. I plan to use it.
My colleagues are getting comparatively younger. I‘m careful, very intentional about connecting with younger and younger leaders. It is very common now for me to engage with colleagues who are younger than my daughter. Thankfully, they do not refer to me as “gramps”. I think these relationships will help me stay relevant and result in increased effectiveness.
I am committed to continue growing. I am reading more and I am dedicated to being a life-long learner. I’ll be smarter in 5 years than I am today. That’s gotta help, right?
I am not as defensive. That’s right, criticism doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I guess practice makes perfect. I plan to learn more from my critics and make myself a better leader as a result.
My priorities are right. I no longer wrestle with the “putting job before family” dilemma. God is first. Family is second. Ministry, friends, health, fun…these things are aligned for me.
Needs will increase. The world isn’t getting any better. In 2022, if we’re still around, we’ll be in a mess. Strong leaders will be in demand. The way I see it, global crisis is job security for me.
So for me, 10 is greater than 20. I’m going full speed ahead into the future! You with me?
3 Replies to “10 > 20, or why I’ll get better with age”
I have to disagree regarding gray hair and rock stars and cite Keith Richards as an example:)
Seriously though…nice post. We definitely put too high a premium on youth.
Megan, Keith Richards? He’s old enough to be your … grandfather. 😉
What can I say, I like the classics.