Most people believe that you mature in your late twenties. It’s not only a common saying but I’ve also read two books that made the statement that you mature during that time or at least when you’re 28. The whole idea of being mature got me thinking whether or not people reach their prime. You see, maturity only touches a few things like intelligence and patience but what I’m talking about is a person’s prime that includes more. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and of course, maturity, in your prime should be the best years of your life. Even my old teacher said that you reach your prime before you’re 30 up until 33 or 34. Not too young and not too old.
The term “prime” usually resonates with the likes of athletes. We usually say Lionel Messi in his prime right now or the same can be said with Novak Djokovic. They are the best in their respective sports and almost nobody can match them in terms of winning. Being in your prime in sports usually discusses the athlete’s physical status. You look at the athlete’s style of play, statistics, how he carries himself, and you can honestly say that he has reached a level in his career that he is the best in what he does. An athlete, just like any other person, has a shelf life. We only get to be our best selves once; a brief moment in history when we are physically stronger and mentally wiser.
Being in your prime exceeds above the sporting realm. The prime of your life also extends in business as we have seen young entrepreneurs brave the wave and excel in making money. For a good 2-5 years, they are at the top of their game. They make right decisions here and there and seemingly making no mistakes in the process. They are unstoppable, relentless, and dangerous. This is like Apple and Steve Job when they first launched the iPod. It was one invention after the other. This is like Tom Hanks or Denzel Washington making quality films year after year.
Now, did you ever reach your potential? Can you honestly say you’ve reached your prime? My audience might be wide unpredictable but ask yourself that question. Are you or have you ever reach your prime? No one wants to see someone waste away their potential right? That’s why we see parents continuously nagging their kids to aim higher. We hear them beckoning us to strive for greatness because older people know the value of being in your prime or living the regret of not ever achieving it. It’s a small window that lets us peek into our best selves.
As we go along in our everyday lives, it’s hard to keep that level of thinking that you should always have a goal. More often than not, the perils of living day in and day out makes us stagnate and settle. This exceeds more than just finding the right job or the perfect family. I believe it’s a mindset that we have to continue to push ourselves to strive for greatness.
Fortunately, there are examples in history when have achieved success despite their age. When Michael Jordan first retired in the summer of 1993 and then come back again in 1995, people said that his best years have already left him. You couldn’t blame the critics because Michael got older and he spent 18 months away from basketball to play baseball. In his first playoff series since returning, the Chicago Bulls lost to the Orlando Magic raising doubts and questions will he ever go back to his former self. Of course, you know what happens next. He worked his body back into basketball form and unleashed a maniacal and even pathological rampage and his team won a record setting 72 wins and only 10 losses in the regular season and capping his comeback with a fourth NBA championship in six years. He didn’t even settle after that. He won two more titles making the Bulls the best basketball team of the 90’s. He came back stronger than ever. You can say that he reached his prime twice! He won those championships in his late thirties. That’s unheard of not only in sports but in any field.
Scientists and psychologists say that you mature and you reach your prime in your late twenties all the way up to your early thirties. The beauty of life is that you can reinvent and redefine yourself no matter how old you are. Physically you might lose your strength when you were younger but you might be smarter and wiser as you age. You might not be able to do a sprint anymore but you probably can do a marathon better. That’s why in the world of running and triathlon, a lot of people compete in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s! When I talk to triathletes, it’s as if they welcome their growing age with open arms. Not only is their endurance and race skills develop but they compete with only a handful of people when them get older thus enabling them to win more.
Whatever it is you want to be and whatever it is you want to achieve, the possibilities are endless. Yes, time is short but there’s always time to be who you want to be. And then even for a brief fleeting moment, you can be the best and be in your prime.