Change at any age: “I should have done it sooner”

It seems like whenever I do anything that makes my life better in some way, I immediately think oh, now I finally figured that out.
I should have been doing that earlier.
If only I had been able to make that change 10, 20 years ago.
I mean, even one year ago.
And that really used to bother me, this sense of just it being too late to be able to make the most of my life.
The feeling that, you know, I’m too far down the road, and that anytime I make a change to improve things now, I just think wow, it could have been so much more effective if I had started earlier.
So this feeling sometimes bothers me, but I found a way to kind of shift how I see it.
Because now I know that whenever I have that feeling, it’s because I’ve found something good.
So it’s a change that is a good change, and I’m feeling like yeah, of course it would have been great to have implemented that change earlier.
It doesn’t change the fact that I am at the age I am, and there may be no end to that feeling of if only I were younger, if only I could have started earlier.
There may be no solution to that until the point where our view of life is so perfect so everything is totally OK, complete acceptance of all things.
In that supreme accepting state, then we may no longer think “I wish I was younger.” But outside that exalted state of total acceptance of the universe, yeah, of course it would be nice to be younger, and to know what I know now and be able to make the change when I was still younger and had more time ahead of me.
But I just like to remind myself that this is the price of doing anything good.
For anything good that you do, any kind of good change that you make, you can immediately say wow, I’m only figuring this out now? I wish I had figured it out earlier.
It’s like at the extreme level, there is no solution to this, because yes, it’s always better to be younger.
I mean, being younger is better in every way, because you have more life ahead of you.
So there’s really nothing that you can do to make a fair trade, say OK, go to the teenager and say, you know, here, you can have this and this and this, but we’ll make you sixty years old.
Well, what trade would be worth it? And if you’re a 60-year-old saying you could be a teenager again and go through and have all those years again, but we’re gonna take away this and this and this and this, well it would have to be pretty extreme for the 60-year-old to not accept being traded to the teenager and being able to have all those years.
So it is always better to be young, and that’s never going to change.
But, once we can accept the age we’re at, then that feeling of “I wish I had started that earlier”, “I should have done this before” – that feeling – I like to use that as a sign, as a signal, pointing to “I must have hit something here.” I must have.
I have made a change that is absolutely a good change, because that feeling is wow, OK, this change is improving the direction of my life.
This change I’m making is making my life on a better path.
And so, of course, if I had made the change to this better path, you know, further back along the road, in my younger days, then it would be even better.
But, at least I can know that it’s better to move on to the better path at any age.
So this is now a sign helping me to know if I’m in a good direction.
And I’ve felt this this week as I’ve started organizing my life using the emacs org-mode.
It’s this intense text-based organization system, to make a full outline for your life.
So everything in my life, I’m starting to organize it, all into like one big system, so everything is all clear, and I love it.
And why didn’t I do this 10 or 20 years ago? I felt the same thing, you know, when I quit bad habits.
Of course, for every bad habit, it’s like why did I spend so many years with that bad habit? Why couldn’t I have done it earlier? It’s like we have this kind of a template of, you know, what is the good time to figure things out.
We think, OK, well, teenager, you’re gonna be dumb, because you’re a teenager, so that’s normal.
But then maybe by the 20s, OK, you’re still kind of dumb in your 20s, but you’re starting to figure things out.
Now by the time you’re in your 30s, well, you should really be on your path and have things figured out.
Well, it doesn’t always work that way.
And so this is similar to my message in my “It’s too late” video, the idea of it never being too late, and this is just another aspect of that.
It doesn’t matter what age we’re at.
All we have is now.
And so any change we can make, if it would have been good at 20, it can be good at 30, 40, 50.
A good change is a good change, and however much path we have left in life, it’s good to start moving in the right direction.

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