Set in Your Ways? It’s a Good Thing!
As younger folks, many of us accused our parents of being “set in their ways.” Now—like aging tends to do—we’ve moved to the front of the receiving line for similar condemnations. But is having a mindset that prefers things a certain way so terrible? I don’t think so and here’s why…
In my last post, I wrote about the importance of risk-taking to enhance one’s personal power and sense of self-esteem. Pushing your boundaries in the service of moving towards a goal is critical for success. It just makes sense: if you’re afraid to move, you’ll wind up remaining stuck. Dead-end jobs, toxic relationships, and other debilitating associations demand that you weigh your options, take well thought out risks, and move on. Otherwise you’ll surely pay a hefty price for your lack of action.
But changing ourselves to accommodate what others think we should do is generally not a good idea. We’re set in our ways for a reason. At age fifty plus, we’ve been there and done that a lot; we’ve experimented with various aspects of our lives and chosen the things and ways that work for us.
Novelist, artist, and my friend Barbara Rose Brooker wrote a piece for the Huffington Post that illustrates this point to a tee. Take a moment and read “The Haircut” and you’ll see what I mean.
Yes, we may be set in our ways—but these ways have evolved over numerous trial and error experiences. We’ve found what works best for us, makes us feel good, and keeps us enjoying life. I’d say this type of self-knowledge might even be called “wisdom.” And having wisdom is a pretty good thing, indeed!