“I’m 54 Years Old, And I’m Not Going To Change!”

Sometimes, when I’m engaged in conversation with someone, they’ll say something like:

You know what?  No way.  I’m 54 years old, and I’m not going to change!  I’m sorry, it’s just not going to happen.

When confronted with such a response, I don’t know what to say.  I usually just end up looking at the person, scrunching my eyebrows and scratching my head.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever said this in conversation, which is why it confuses me.  (If you know me personally, please point out if I’m wrong …)

When I was in my early twenties, I took this response as a put-down (as in: listen you little twerp, I’m far wiser than you; what you’re asking me to do is stupid…), but now that I’m in my 30’s and much more mature (come on, I’m joking), I’m even more confused.

I’m confused because I find myself changing.all.the.freakin’.time.  I don’t think I’m unique in that way.  I see people changing all around me.  Aren’t you changing, too?

As I reflect on this response, I’m left with an observation and two questions:

  • Observation: I think I typically hear this response from people older than me
  • Question: In general, what do people really mean by this?  What are they trying to tell me?
  • Question: Twenty years from now, will I also say this?

What I believe to be true is that I’m 34 years old, and I’m definitely going to change.

What do you think? If you have any insight, or if you’re uttered these words yourself, please share your thoughts.

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About David Rosendahl
Husband, father, co-founder of MindFireInc, two-time Inc500 software company. I love building things.

9 Responses to “I’m 54 Years Old, And I’m Not Going To Change!”

  1. Joseph Manos says:

    Dave, I believe it depends on the individual. I know thirty year-olds that don’t feel they need to change or care to. I also feel it is related to career and life experiences. I like you have always worked in technology companies and the speed at which our lives change is amazing. Evolve or die is so true so our DNA is a little different to begin with. Another factor is change is hard and most individuals fear change and view it as a negative.

    Two other factors come into play – first the maturation process – hopefully we continue to evolve as a better version than our early years. But the big one I feel is you have to be secure with who you are as an individual – that gives you the freedom to grow and realize we might not be as smart, successful or perfect as we think so we are open to change (hopefully for the better).

    • Hey Joe, I hear you. I feel as if when people say this, they’re really trying to say something else. I just haven’t figured it out yet 🙂

  2. David Bowie has a song called “Changes”….so good! 🙂

  3. I like this one, not sure who said it?

    “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

    • Scott,

      Amen, that’s so true. What’s ironic is that I feel most people love a story of great change and reformation in a person’s life. Aren’t a lot of movies based on this idea?

      I’m inspired by the story of Saul. Talk about a life-shattering, eternity-shaking story of change.

      I’m not sure he had a choice in the matter?

      • Wade Kellett says:

        Saul is a great observation Dave. Change mostly occurs when we do not have a choice. It has been my experience that really successful people willingly put themselves in situations where they do not have a choice.

        • Hey Wade,

          That’s an interesting thought: that we put ourselves in places where we have to change.

          That’s uncomfortable, right? But I agree with you — as I reflect on times when I’ve forced myself into discomfort, tremendous growth has taken place.

          Thanks for the insight!

  4. By the way ya’ll, I hope I have not angered any of my 54+ friends. I did not select that age for any specific reason 🙂 I am merely musing out loud.

  5. ■Question: In general, what do people really mean by this? What are they trying to tell me?

    Maybe he meant his career? His devotion to God? His love for his family? Dave wouldnt you say the same thing if meant this?

    ■Question: Twenty years from now, will I also say this?
    If your base this on what I have listed above, Iam pretty sure your already saying this. 😉

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