“They say, you should try and approach every film as if it’s your last film. At my age, it’s a reality.”
– Sylvester Stallone at age 64 (Before Expendables 2, 3, Rambo 5 and…)
I’ll be 42 soon (July 28, 2014). I’m prepared to make my 40s my best training and overall life years ever. I’m going to grab age – and life – by the balls this year.
No holding back.
I’ve already started to and it’s only going to get better.
Come to think of it, this is probably one of the few birthdays I’ve had coming up that I haven’t been depressed about. Maybe because I’m looking at it as the start of something new and awesome as opposed to the “end” or another step closer to an “end” of this or that.
It’s interesting too that, when I turned 30, I owned a big, new house, had a “great” job as a scientist at a biotech firm and had a hot, young, blonde girlfriend. And, all I was is sad and depressed. Anxious and miserable.
I was happier and more confident and more “successful” on the surface back then, but now I’m coming into true happiness and confidence. The real, sustainable happiness and confidence that comes from being on my true path and purpose in life and not chasing the next thing that society told me I needed and should be pursuing to be happy.
“Being the person you want to be is what’s going to make you happy…”
– Owen Cook
I wrote this to myself in May of 2014:
What would you truly be capable of if you lived fully – 100%?
No cutting corners. No fear. No EXCUSES.
Stop being angry about the past and the present and stop focusing on the limitations. Focus on where you want to GO. Don’t focus on the wall or the obstacles.”
My rationale is that, even if my potential is decreased by age, if I reach my full, age-adjusted potential now it’s probably still pretty awesome. It’s still probably better than I can even imagine if I nailed it 100%. I want to see what’s possible for me with total commitment to my life and goals on every level.
I guess I’m taking Stallone’s advice and approaching this “film” as if it’s my last. I don’t intend for this to be my last anything, but I think I need to treat it like it is. The first Expendables movie wasn’t Stallone’s last, but he approached it like it was…
Don’t Waste This…
I grew up with two main heroes or role models – Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I started working out because of them. I started bodybuilding seriously because of Arnold. As a kid of 12 or 13, I was looking at them in their movie roles in their 30s as guys I wanted to be like in every way.
What’s funny is, now I’m looking at them in their 60s – in real life – and taking their lifetime body of work and accomplishment in the real world as inspiration. Both of those guys have real staying power and have obviously achieved incredible things in their lifetimes – physically and everywhere else.
Both Stallone and Arnold have built careers spanning decades upon decades and have had awesome staying power. Think about it – Arnold’s bodybuilding pics from the 60’s and 70’s are STILL used on fitness and bodybuilding magazine covers today. And both of them are still making movies that are blockbusters.
Arnold and Stallone have stood the test of time. You can get lucky once or twice, but no one builds a successful body of work over decades and decades like these guys without a massive amount of talent and just plain hard-ass work.
I loved the new Rambo movie and the whole Expendables series so far. Stallone is in his late 60s now and he’s still awesome. He’s writing, directing and starring in his movies. He’s a major role model for me as a creative writer and artist.
A Badass is a Badass and Becomes More of a Badass With Time…
On the Rambo 4 DVD, there’s a short bonus featurette called: “Resurrection of an Icon.” It’s Stallone and the rest of the actors and others involved in the project talking about the making of the movie.
Not too far in, the actors start talking about what it was like to work with Stallone. Apparently, he’s super-intense. (Surprise, surprise…)
He’d work 16-hour days on set – half as director and half as actor – and, every morning when they started, he’d have notes and rewrites for the other actors that he did back at the hotel during the night. He worked on the way to and from the set, at lunch, over dinner, after a full day of acting and directing. And this was in Thailand in 110-degree heat and humidity.
How many 60 year olds would even survive a vacation in Thailand, let alone months of acting in, and directing, a multi-million dollar independent film?
Stallone did all his own stunts and suffered a bunch of physical injuries during filming too. He pretty much gets injured doing all his movies because they’re all physical roles and he does his own stunts. Badass.
“I tell actors what I tell myself. I know you’re tired. I know that maybe you’re burnt out. You may even be distracted and you’re not in the moment at all. You’re just working on pure technique. Emotionally you may be dried up.
“But, just take a moment and really embrace the fear of knowing that 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you’re gonna be watching this and you’re gonna be very, very unhappy that you didn’t dig down and try to get more outa yourself and KNOW that this moment comes one time.
“I know you’re tired. I know you’re beat up. But you still have the resources to pull something out if you really want it…”
– Sylvester Stallone
He sums it all up later:
“So, we’re talking about taking fear of a bad performance and using it to promote a good performance…”
And, here’s Stallone with his wife, Jennifer Flavin. She’s 22 years younger than he is…
He’s doing pretty well overall, I’d say – you know, for an old guy…
Men’s Role Models Are Getting Older…
Here’s another point that applies to men in general. When I was a kid, the role models I looked up to were in their 30s. Now, I have the SAME role models and they’re getting close to 70. I guess the age gap has stayed the same for me and I’ve just grown along with my original role models.
In general though, male role models are getting older and any man, at any age, can look at these guys and see them as role models:
- Hugh Jackman – 45 years old
- Joe Manganiello – 37 years old
- Sylvester Stallone – 68 years old (Born in July, like me.)
- Jason Statham – 47 years old (He’s a July Leo, like me.)
- Randy Couture – 51 years old
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – 67 years old (Another Leo.)
Arnold did Conan the Destroyer in 1984 at age 37, Commando 1985 at age 38, The Terminator 1984 and T2 in 1991 at 44.
One thing I need to add here though is that Stallone, Couture and Arnold all have a LIFETIME history of physical training. I think everyone above does to one degree or another. Exercise is truly the fountain of youth – especially combined with the best Life Extension doctors around the world that your money can buy… 😉
Living to 120…
I’ve always had it in my head that I was going to live to be 120. I never really thought it through – it’s just a number that’s been in my head for as long as I can remember. Of course, “regular people” think I’m nuts when I say that, so I rarely say it during the course of normal conversation.
Here’s the thing though – everyone on my mother’s side of the family has made it into their 90s. My great grandmother lived to 96. And, this is with stress, bad food and no real exercise. My grandparents had a daily walking habit most of their lives, but that was about it. If they all can make it into their 90s without even trying, what can I do with all the knowledge and effort I’m starting with in my 40s?
This means I still have two thirds of my life left to live. Another 80 years. And, if you look at Stallone’s example, I can hope to have another 30 or 40 years to kick ass if I take care of myself. And, of course I’m going to take very, very good care of myself…
Funny enough in “The 4-Hour Body,” Tim Ferriss says:
“Me? I plan on living to 120 while eating the best rib-eye cuts I can find…”
– Tim Ferriss
So, I think I’m in pretty good company on this 120 years old thing.
Your Life as a Work of Art…
“There Are Two Questions A Man Must Ask Himself: The First Is ‘Where Am I Going?’ And The Second Is ‘Who Will Go With Me?’”
– Sam Keen
I want to take just a few more words to shout out to two guys who are a few years younger than me and have really taught me a ton and helped me step up my game. Both of these guys consider themselves to be just coming into their prime now in their mid-30s after 10 years or more of hardcore self-development and work on themselves.
They’re Owen Cook (AKA “Tyler” from RSD) and Elliot Hulse. These guys are already doing big things in the world and are on their way to doing much, much bigger things. One of my major goals is to be part of the big things these guys are doing and have both as personal mentors at some point in the near future.
I started my real, organized self-development in my early to mid-30s so, now, at 42 I’ve got about 10 years for hardcore self-development behind me and am expecting to peak in life, fitness and success over the next few years – say around 45. And, I’m going to hold that peak for as many years as I possibly can. Into my 50s, 60s and maybe even further if I’m smart, on target enough and willing to work hard enough.
What Will You Build?
I was SO FUCKING DUMB in my 30s. Not academically, of course, but DUMB about life, what’s important and the universal principles of how life and the world works. Back then there really wasn’t a way to know much beyond going to college, getting a good job and working. Meet a nice girl, get married, buy more shit…
Back then there wasn’t even that much to know. And too much of it was mainstream bullshit anyway. It’s only now that the accessibility of information, knowledge and out-of-the-box thinkers like Owen, Elliot and even me, in the Paleo eating and living realm, has reached the point where we can all see a bigger picture and a bigger vision.
If you’re reading this right now, then you have the entire world at your fingertips. Anything you want to do or learn or figure out – or learn to do better – is just a few keystrokes away.
You can learn anything and you can become anything.
I certainly don’t know it all now – not even close – but, I have a foundation. I get it and I can see the big picture and the long-term vision. I have enough to be getting started and make things happen that will compound positively for me over time. Now I have a map that’s at least a reasonable approximation of the territory. It’s a good start and something I can work on refining over time.
I guess the difference between me now, at 42 and the me at 30 is that I understand – through hard experience and constant reading, introspection and self-improvement – the way our decisions and behaviors compound over time.
Here’s to the next 40 years of positive results compounding over time…