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Age is just a number

Yesterday on Singles Day, 11 November Alibaba broke their online sales record yet again. I also heard an interesting story about a Dutchman, who filed a lawsuit to lower his age by 20 years to improve job and dating prospects.

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Photo: a sketch at my portraiture class last week.

A motivational speaker and life coach by profession, he had declared the act was not a publicity stunt. Not to judge his action, since I do not know him nor understand his real circumstances, I sought instead to reflect how I would advise him if he were my client.

If indeed, someone gave you a magic wand, what would you want? The GROW Model is very useful.

Goals. What are your goals? In his case, 20 more years. But really, what are his goals? Dating a young woman in her 30s? Getting a job?

Someone once said to me. The best dopamine high is to be learning something.

Think of your goals in life as consisting 3 buckets.

1. Creating goals
2. Learning goals
3. Connecting goals

Even as I think about my goals for the 2019, in today’s digital age, options open up to take up a course in digital media and storytelling.

Reality
If indeed he has the body of a 49 yr old, as his doctors tell him, what would a 49 yr old do?

🦁Climb Mt Kilimanjaro?
🦁Reach out to 69 people to give them free coaching sessions?

Options
My 62 yr old friend immediately sent me photos of an 88yr old radiographer in Singapore who is still working. Donald Trump is 72 yrs old. Hillary Clinton, his contender at the elections is 71 yrs old. Neither seemed to think their age was an issue. If Tinder app does not allow you to have dating options with women half your age. What other options do you have?

Will
What would I want to be, live and feel at 69? How will I live my life differently then?
How will I live my life differently?

1. My assets
If you feel down and out, what assets do you still have? Youth. Loved ones. A home. Why is this man so eager to change his age? What did he perceive to be the advantages of youth? If you have lost hope, do a stock take of what you still have. No regrets. Start today.

2. Establish boundaries for yourself
Dont take bullshit from others. In some societies, age = wisdom. Are we idolising youth? At the same time talking down to the young?

3. Do no evil
Would I be willing to deceive others and myself. Lying about my age?

Be the best that I can be
Are there certain perceived injustice that I feel that people have against me? Age? Being female? My looks? My race? Am I comfortable in my own skin? If not, who am I blaming? Jimmy O Yang, Crazy Rich Asian Star was especially insightful when asked if he had experienced racism before getting his break as a standup comedian. He said, he realised it was more helpful to ask if he had done all he could to improve his skills. Be the best you can be.

4. Being relevant
No doubt this man is feeling irrelevant. He is experiencing a gap between his target audience and himself. He should be applauded for taking action, except that his action is the wrong one.

We crave the approval of our ideal customer. Perhaps his real intention is to raise a mirror at society at our preference to deceive ourselves and others. At our idolising youth. At youth’s ignorance on the wasting of our years. If so, he has indeed succeeded.

How can I be relevant to my customers? I am currently taking a MLC on digital storytelling@Growbe and it excites me to be learning something new. To learn new video editing software targeted at my clients.

TOP: How are these areas affecting your industry?

Trends
Opportunities
Problems

5. Be empathetic
The judge in this case has my admiration. He did not ridicule the man. Everyone is carrying on a perceived injustice in their head. Fighting an imaginary battle.

This morning I sensed a new spring in my steps. As if I had been given a new lease of life. Looking at each new experience as an opportunity than a chore.

How else would you use your time? I went for the Singapore Fintech Festival at the Singapore Expo.

How would you live your life differently today?
#Moment of change
#Moment of decision

Dutchman, 69, files lawsuit to lower his age by 20 years for better dating, job prospects, Europe News & Top Stories – The Straits Times
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/dutch-man-69-files-lawsuit-to-lower-his-age-by-20-years-for-better-dating-job-prospects

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This is a neat trick to try while waiting for food to arrive at the restaurant.

Pick any digit and write it down three times. Perhaps you’ve chosen 333 or 888.

Add the 3 digits together:
3 + 3 +3=9 or
8 +8+8= 24

Now divide your original three digit number (333 or 888) by the sum of the digit (9 or 24).

You will get an answer: 37

Why is that so? It is a universal truth. 37 is a prime number.

From “Things to make and do in the Fourth Dimension” by Matt Parker

子曰:“吾十有五而志于学,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳顺,七十而从心所欲,不逾矩。”《论语》

zǐ yuē:“wú shí yǒu wǔ ér zhì yú xué,sān shí ér lì,sì shí ér bú huò,wǔ shí ér zhī tiān mìng,liù shí ér ěr shùn,qī shí ér cóng xīn suǒ yù,bù yú jǔ。”《lùn yǔ》

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Humans go through physiological life stages from baby to child to teenager then to old age. What about psychological life stages?

Here, I would like to share the life stages presented by Confucius, and it puts into perspective the advice given by Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.

The best interpretation, or one that helped me make sense of Confucius’ saying is this post on the following site:
https://m.ruiwen.com/news/64708.htm
(I do not vouch for the site)

Confucius says,

“When I was fifteen, I started on my pursuit of life’s path/ career (being open to questioning and devote in finding my path);

(After many years of hard work)
when I was thirty, my understanding of life, my path was set firmly;

when I was forty, I no longer doubt my life decisions (my career path is set);

when I was fifty, my inner and outer world finds alignment. I have found (act out) my mission in life. I practice what I preach (No mid life crisis here) 五十而知天命.

when I was sixty, I realised that life is complex and I begin to accept – the positive and the negative views – and not be upset;

when I was seventy, I had the freedom to do whatever my heart desires, within the rules of this world [that I have observed throughout all of my life].”

Examining Confucius, I realised that Jack Ma’s sayings are built on philosophical foundations, just like in the Western world if you quote Socrates.

What Jack Ma says (probably building on the sayings of Confuscius) :

“When you are 20 to 30 years old, you should follow a good boss [and] join a good company to learn how to do things properly,” Ma said. (Learn as much as you can.)

“When you are 30 to 40 years old, if you want to do something yourself, just do it. You still can afford to lose, to fail,”

“When you’re 40 to 50 years old, my suggestion is you should do things you are good at.” Instead of diving into a new field or subject toward the later years in your career.

“When you are 50 to 60 years old, spend time training and developing young people, the next generation,” Ma added.

“When you are over 60 years old, you better stay with your grandchildren.”

Source:
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/30/jack-ma-dont-fear-making-mistakes-in-your-20s-and-30s.html

天生我才,必有用。
Tiānshēng wǒ cái, bì yǒuyòng.

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I have chosen a photo taken in Naha, Okinawa of a fruit seller having a conversation with a customer.

If God created me, then there must be some value in me. In other words, surely I am of some use. While I find my destiny, or someone who appreciates my skills, in the meantime, let’s drink and be merry.

The poem is written by famous Tang Poet Li Bo, lamenting that his talent was not appreciated by the Emperor of his day. Yet it is not a pessimistic poem in that he was drowning his sorrow but enjoying the company of life and friends and its pleasure. An upbeat poem on the brevity of life. Li Bo (李白) and Tu Fu (杜甫) are regarded as the two literary “saints” of Chinese poetry.

天生我材必有用, 出自李白的《将进酒》。意思是:每个人的出生都一定有自己的价值和意义。

诗中表达了作者对怀才不遇的感叹,又抱着乐观、通达的情怀,也流露了人生几何当及时行乐的消极情绪。全诗洋溢着豪情逸兴,具有出色的艺术成就。

作者简介
李白(701~762),字太白,号青莲居士。是屈原之后最具个性特色、最伟大的浪漫主义诗人。有“诗仙”之美誉,与杜甫并称“李杜”。

https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/57395118.html

If you are interested in the rest of the poem:
https://eastasiastudent.net/china/classical/li-bai-jiang-jin-jiu/

How 7 days in Okinawa pondering its secret of longevity change my view of the future.

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1. Keep active
Many in their 60s and above are still working, selling simple essentials with low margin. Perhaps out of necessity and certainly the opportunity for social interaction, out and about, walking and driving.

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Outside of hotels, shopping belt of Kokusai Street (and international brands) most of the service staff by local outlets are above 50 yrs old. In the exceptions above, where ability to speak a foreign language to cater to tourists is a must, young people are employed.

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In the supermarket near my hotel, 60 yr olds were serving as cooks in the takeout counter or cashiers/packers at the checkout.

In “Making a living without a job” by Barabara Winter, she wrote about a tiny restaurant, the Milky Way ran for 25 yrs by Leah Adler, mother of Steven Spielberg, who at the time of the writing was 81 yrs old. She was at the restaurant from 830am till closing and seemed to have a good time making her customers happy and chatting with everyone. Adler recently passed away this year at 97.

2. Simple living
Simple needs, simple food and vegetables. Practicising hara hachi bo or 80 percent full.

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3. Outdoors island living with fresh air and sun

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4. Slow pace of life
Lights out by 7pm. No street lamp, not much electronic entertainment. Sloooow.

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First world amenities of Japan without too much social restraints. Less outwardly polite than Tokyo which may be less stressful