Getting Older Can Be A Blessing Or A Curse

Read this before prematurely leaving your job.

Don’t retire for the wrong reason.

There’s a cure for workplace irrelevancy.

Fluid intelligence is God’s gift to the young. Psychologist Raymond Cattel defines this as the ability to reason, think flexibly and solve novel problems. It is what we commonly think of as raw smart smarts, and researchers find that it is associated with bot reading and mathematical ability.

Innovators possess a bounty of fluid intelligence. There’s a catch. Fluid intelligence tends to peak in early adulthood and begins a swift descent during one’s thirties and forties.

Source: SimplyPyschology

The good thing is fluid intelligence isn’t the only path to productivity and career fulfillment. Crystallized Intelligence appears just in time. Leveraging the application of past knowledge is invaluable.

Arthur Brooks brilliantly sums up the differences between the two: When you are young, you have raw smarts; when you are old, you have wisdom. When you are young you can generate lots of facts: when you are old, you know what they mean and how to use them. 

The hitch is many older workers drop the baton. They continue competing in the fluid intelligence sprint when transitioning to the crystallized intelligence marathon is the better option. They work harder and harder against the natural inclinations of their brains. Choosing to compete in the wrong lane results in frustration, low-self esteem, and frustration. Avoiding this incongruence results in a win/win for yourself and those around you.

What should older workers do with this knowledge worth its weight in Bitcoin?

Start by heeding the advice of the Roman philosopher Cicero summarized by Arthur Brooks.

Cicero believed three things about older age. First, it should be dedicated to service, not goofing off. Second, our greatest gift later in life is wisdom, in which learning and thought create a worldview that can enrich others. Thir, our natural ability at this point is counsel: mentoring advising, and teaching others, in a way that does not amass worldly rewards of money, power, and prestige.

Observe legendary college coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Nick Saban, and Jim Boheim. All are in their seventies and still achieving phenomenal success as college basketball and football coaches. They’re not using fluid intelligence to reimagine their respective sports. All three apply generations of past wisdom to mentor, advise, and counsel young men of various backgrounds. Cicero would be very proud.

The same goes for you. Instead of retiring, why not try working to your strengths? Become an elder statesman in your organization and gain a new lease on life.

It may not be the time to solve software bugs and create new marketing campaigns. Don’t despair. Your know-how and maturity are life-changing skills.

In the end, human interaction is critical for the success of any business. Helping younger co-workers using hard-earned wisdom benefits all.

Before deciding to leave your job, make sure you’re in the optimal position to succeed.

Getting older can be a gift or a curse.

The choice is yours.


Source: From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks

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