Over the past few weeks my team and I have been lining up cities for the Age of Disruption 2016 World Tour. We hope to visit 40 cities next year (including 10 overseas!) and we’re working with our friends and partners to settle on the final lineup, to be announced imminently.
Since wrapping up the 2015 Tour last month I’ve been thinking hard about the core message we are trying to deliver. The more I think about it, the simpler it gets, and I think I can sum it up in just three words: aging equals growth.
This is a truth I’ve always embraced, but to be honest it’s not until recently that I have grown old enough to experience it personally.
As I get older I find that my emotional state gets a bit easier to manage. From my earliest memories onward I have always been subject to powerful if in-artfully expressed feelings. When I was younger, I would often call to mind a storm-tossed sea and a person clinging to a wooden raft– just holding on. Age seems to be smoothing this out for me. Now it seems that maybe that raft has a keel and a sail and a hand on the tiller. I feel less exposed, less vulnerable and more comfortably confident.
I mention this internal evolution because it is precisely the kind of age-related growth experience that our culture dismisses and denies. I am getting older and the older version of me really is demonstrably better than the younger version of me. How is this possible? I trust what my experience is telling me. I trust my own sensations far more than I trust the story of aging that my culture has foisted upon me. When millions of people can see aging only as a state of decline, the result is a self-fulfilling, self-mutilating narrative of fruitless struggle and inevitable loss. Who needs that?
I’ve got a better idea. How about if we kick the old story of aging to the curb. Does anybody out there want to share a story of how your aging has helped you grow as a human being?