This morning I read about an interesting study.
As we age it seems to be accepted that we lose our memory.
Just about all of us can probably name someone that seems to have lost their memory.
But I stopped to think about that for a moment and realized that I also know people well into their 70s and 80s that are as sharp as ever.
You can probably think of people that fit in that category.
Why do some people seem to stay sharp while others lose their memory?
Obviously there are some physical challenges that some people face that can cause memory issues.
But the study found that many older people almost choose to lose their memory. Maybe “choose” is the wrong word. It’s more like something changes and evolves in us over time.
Losing Our Confidence To Think Fast
The study found that people often have more memory ability than they think as they get older. Many people are quite capable; just as capable as younger people and often more capable when it comes to memory.
That would make sense. The older you are the wiser you should be.
But for some reason older people can tend to lose their confidence.
We can think fast and remember things, but it’s almost like we don’t trust it.
Life Can Bring Us Down
I’ve read about this phenomenon before and it’s fascinated me. It also frustrates me because I can catchy myself falling into the trap just like everyone else.
In our culture today it’s common to feel self-conscious about the decisions you make. As we get older we’re almost trained to avoid the pain of being wrong.
When you look at how kids act it’s very different. They are rarely afraid to say what’s on their mind. They aren’t afraid to ask questions, to learn and to try new things.
As we get older we lose that ability to throw caution to the wind. We start thinking about what we think other people are thinking of us.
That makes us hesitant to answer questions unless we’re absolutely sure. And maybe that’s where the idea of “memory loss” comes in at least in some instances for older people.
One Success Can Override Infinite Failures
That tongue twister earlier about thinking what other people think about us is something I think (sorry) about from time to time.
I often catch myself doing that. Then I look at myself and think about how I think about others. The realization is that I don’t really think that a person is bad or an idiot or whatever if they make a mistake.
Mistakes are often worst in our own mind. To others, it’s often just a blip on their radar if it’s even on their radar at all. Obviously there are exceptions, but in general people care more about themselves than others.
In some cases some people will bring up your failures often to make themselves feel better for whatever reason.
I know someone that once owned a farm. He didn’t really know about farming, but he took a chance to buy a farm. He then bought cows for the farm. He had to sell the cows at a loss a few years later.
Someone brought that failure up to him later.
That would hurt most people, but the guy that owned the farm said, “Yeah, I lost on the cows, but I made a killing when I sold the farm.”
That stuck with me.
Life is about the wins.
And you don’t need to have a ton of wins. You can have a ton of losses.
Tiger Woods has one of the best winning percentages ever for professional golfers. It’s like 25%.
He wins only 25% of the time. And if you look at majors it’s much lower.
Mark O’Meara won 2 majors and 14 other events. That winning percentage is in the single digits.
He just went into the Hall Of Fame.
The line from National Treasure goes that Thomas Edison tried and failed 2,000 times to make a lightbulb. But he eventually got it and changed the world.
Don’t Let Life Get You Down
Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Have confidence in yourself.
You might get a little ridicule for failing, but we often make it seem worse than it is. Others probably don’t even care.
Keep focused on getting a win or two.
That’s the mindset that can lead to great accomplishments in life.
And you can keep your memory (that you never actually lost) too as you get older.