Young. Old. What difference does it make? A lot less than you might think.
I believe that it doesn’t matter in which year you were born or to which generation you belong. What matters to me is who you are, what you do, and how young you allow yourself to be. If someone asks my age, my answer is “Ageless.” That’s what yours should be, too.
Young. Old. Now there’s a new short-hand term that combines the two: “Yold.” Although it may sound vaguely familiar, Yold is not a descendant of Yoda in Star Wars—however, Yoda is a great example of an Ageless Wonder.
How Do We Grow Yold?
You don’t get to be “Yold”—which is, to say, a youthful Baby Boomer—by adding up the years.
Instead of growing old, you earn the right to grow “Yold” by subtracting the years. By defying the years! If you tell yourself you’re old, you’ll feel that way, act that way, be that way. If you tell yourself you’re young, you are.
Best of Both Worlds
So, if that’s the case, why don’t we just stick with the word young? Because Yold reminds us that we can enjoy the best of both worlds—the vigor and optimism of youth married to with the wisdom of maturity. It’s only the number-of-years part of old that we are subtracting, while holding on to the indomitable spirit it instills in us—if we have the right attitude.
We all live in the new millennium, which makes us all Millennials regardless of when we were born. I don’t choose my wardrobe with a conscious thought about my age. Same for my cultural tastes. I don’t conform to some generic, clichéd idea of how a Baby Boomer is supposed to look or speak. That’s how I stay Yold!
I am far from alone.
Ride High and Proud
Unlike the members of past generations, the “Yold” don’t ride off into the sunset; we ride high and proud.
We laugh in the face of the word “retirement.” That’s a relic reserved for old people, not Yold people. We not only continue to work, but studies for certain industries indicate that the Yold actually are more productive in their work than younger people. Most productive of all, say those studies, are teams composed of workers of all ages.
In 2020, it’s estimated the Yold will number more than 130 million in first-world countries, accounting for more than 10% of the global population. We will remain a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
Living More of the Good Life
The health and wealth horizons of the Yold are robust, with increased life expectancy and a 40% increase in median wealth of families headed by a Yold person.
Speaking of Yold, my greatest business success occurred after I turned 50. To Baby Boomers, this is my message: You’re just getting started on a new phase of life that can continue to be not only highly productive, but more satisfying than your previous years, so do not isolate yourself from the joy of youthful pursuits.
No matter your age, you must maintain that the best is yet to come!
Originally posted on Forbes.