I just returned from the incredible Unbound Gravel race in Emporia, Kansas. If you want to read my recap, please head to the website under blogs, and you will find it there! It was my first 200 miles in one ride, and it was a monumental task. I did my best to plan, and even with some problematic mechanicals, I made it through. I was delighted to see so many incredible people out there during that time! All ages! Even a 70-year-old man was powering through the day and riding those 200 miles. It made me think about how we believe age has a limit but does it really? I came across a great article in the New York Times proposing that age has no limit to your ability. Yet, we see it all the time.
Bernard Lagat an Olympic Runner. The 41-year-old qualified for his fifth Olympics after a stunning come-from-behind victory in the 5,000 meters at the U.S. trials for Rio 2016. The veteran ran like an athlete half his age—recording a 52.8-second final lap—to take first place in the event.
Robert Marchand, who was 105 years old, was known to be the oldest competitive cyclist. He set a new time while cycling in the over-105 age group.
Tom Brady is a legendary quarterback for the New England Patriots in the NFL. He's now 41 and still killing it on the field. He is becoming so iconic.
Davide Rebellin, a cyclist, earned a new professional contract despite being 48 years old. The veteran Italian has bagged a contract extension with the Meridiana Kamen team for 2020.
For years, scientists who study achievement have noted that in many fields, the most electrifying work comes earlier in life rather than later. After all, younger people can devote their life to a project in a way that more senior people cannot, and young stars attract support, mentors, and prestigious appointments.
Now, a big-data analysis of scientific careers appearing in the journal Science finds a host of factors that have nothing to do with age or early stardom. Instead, they suggest a combination of personality, persistence, and pure luck, as well as intelligence, that leads to high-impact success — at any age.
"The bottom line is, Brother, never give up. When you give up, that's when your creativity ends," said Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, who with Roberta Sinatra led a team of researchers who conducted the analysis. Previous work had found that a similar combination of elements lay behind the success of very top performers in a variety of fields. It was entirely because of productivity but also motivation and grit. That inner focus you can retain.
"It's not the age or order of the papers that matter," said Dr. Barabasi
That is to say: keeping productivity equal, the scientists were as likely to score a hit at age 50 as at age 25. The distribution was random; choosing the right project to pursue at the right time was a matter of luck.
Yet turning that fortuitous choice into an influential, widely recognized contribution depended on another element, one the researchers called Q.
Q could be translated loosely as "skill" and most likely includes a wide variety of factors, such as I.Q., drive, motivation, openness to new ideas, and an ability to work well with others. Or, simply, an ability to make the most of the work at hand: to find some relevance in a humdrum experiment and make an elegant idea glow.
"This Q factor is so interesting because it potentially includes abilities people have but may not recognize as central," said Zach Hambrick, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University. "Clear writing, for instance. Take the field of mathematical psychology. You may publish an interesting finding, but if the paper is unreadable, as so many are, you can't have a wide impact because no one understands what you're talking about."
The startling thing about this Q property, the researchers said, is that it remains constant over time. Contrary to common assumptions, experience does not significantly improve a person's ability to make the most out of a project. "It's shocking to think about," Dr. Barabasi said. "We found that these factors — Q, productivity, and luck — are independent."
So it shows that anything is possible despite age. But that made me think even from this past weekend at unbound. All the different people there. The Times article mentioned motivation a lot, and I know it's a huge driving factor to our success regardless of age.
It can ebb and flow; in moments we seem to have no motivation, it seems like a heavyweight. So I encourage you to work on changing your thoughts to be OK with having a day of low motivation and let it flow when it does because it will come. Sometimes without the low motivation days, we wouldn't have some of the most brilliant ideas and actions form, and the excellent motivation days would feel as unique.
Now here are some tips to help maintain motivation and keep that flow...
7 Tips to Master the Art of Never Giving Up
1-Start pausing but not quitting
Taking a step back gives you a whole new perspective on things. It allows you to gather strength and wisdom for the next steps. But unfortunately, resting is a weapon many fail to use.
Most of the time, things don't go our way. Some days everything seems to go wrong. During these moments, it's OK to pause. It's OK to shout or cry. It's OK to rest for a while and think. But it doesn't mean you have to stop. Regain your composure and proceed; try again.
"Winners never quit, and quitters never win." – Vince Lombardi.
2- Be honest with yourself and everyone around you
People quit more often than they have to because they fail to be honest with themselves and everyone around them. Dishonesty builds walls around individuals and opportunities. Be honest with who you are, what you want, and how you feel.
Do you really like the job you have right now? Or do you pretend you like it because of what everyone around you expects? If you don't, don't be surprised when you find yourself exhausted and wanting to give up most of the time.
Be honest with yourself if you fail. Admit and understand your mistakes and try your best to make amends. It is hard to move forward if you keep concealing and denying your faults.
3-Choose to be Positive
In this cynical world, it pays to be positive. Optimism is a wealth magnet.
It doesn't mean you have to be blindly happy all the time. It just means you choose to focus on the good things even if you are surrounded by chaos. When you let negativity in, quitting will seem to be the best option. Do not allow that.
4-Surround yourself with resilient people
Jim Rohn states, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Do not expect to master not giving up if you always hang out with quilters. Are your friends resilient? If not, it's time to look for new friends.
If you spend time with people who are masters of the not giving up attitude, you are most likely to learn the art from them. Look for mentors who have already succeeded in their fields. Get to know their stories. You might be surprised at how many times they have failed. Spending time with resilient people makes you adopt their habits.
Motivate yourself every day. It is essential to read, listen and watch motivational material. Feed your brain with stuff that inspires you. Surround yourself with anything that reminds you of why you must keep trying.
There are plenty of free motivational materials. Take advantage of these resources. However, no matter how good these motivators are, they won't work unless you allow them. You have to be your most excellent motivator.
6-Have a cause bigger than yourself
Why do you want to be successful? Wealth is just the instrument you need to do what you really want. Have advocacy with effects that will last for eternity.
Maybe you want to find a cure for cancer, maybe you want to help end poverty, or you want to be a promoter of peace. Whatever it is, go beyond money. Go for something that will improve humanity. Figure out what really moves you and resonates deep inside your soul.
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." – Joseph Campbell
7-Just don't give up
Just don't give up. It's as simple and complicated as that. Remove quitting from your vocabulary. Don't make quitting an option.
Every time you fail in doing something, remember that only your actions failed, but you are not a failure. Be objective, examine why it didn't work, and find a way to improve it. As long as your heart is beating, there is always a chance to try one more time.
With that, I hope these are some ways you can channel that inner motivation, but again, we all have those days, and I want to tell you that it is OK, but there are ways we can make the best out of the challenges we endure to overall become stronger individuals despite age…
Be Kind, Do Fearless