Another Birthday? Lose the Fence…

Do you feel older?  That’s what I was asked as another birthday came and went.  Really?

My mind immediately went to the 1937 classic movie by Frank Capra, “Lost Horizon.

Age is a limit we impose upon ourselves. You know, each time you Westerners celebrate your birthday, you build another fence around your minds. — Chang

Chang, a lama of Shangri-La, spent time with the story’s protagonist, Robert Conway to orient him on what he was experiencing in this mysterious valley paradise.

Chang: It is very common here to live to a very ripe old age. Climate, diet – the mountain water you might say. But we like to believe it’s the absence of struggle in the way we live. In your countries, on the over hand, how often do you hear the expression, “He worried himself to death”, or “This thing or that thing on that killed him”.

Robert Conway: Oh, very often.

Chang: And very true. Your lives are, as a rule, shorter. Not so much by natural death, as by indirect suicide.


A good reminder that a birthday can serve as a checkpoint: Are you engaged in the kinds of activities that are fulfilling and keep you young at heart and in spirit?  If not, what changes can you make to get yourself on track?

Rather than build a fence around your mind and limit yourself, a birthday is a great day to look forward and figure out where you’d like to go and then start laying out a path to get there. Lose the fence!

I pretty much do that every day.



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