You are what you think. Now, I know you may think that sounds like some weird, new-age psychobabble, but know that countless studies have shown that positive and negative thoughts—whether verbalized or not—can actually be self-fulling prophecy. After all, your mind and your mood are powerful things, and if you’re a man over 40 who is polluting his mind with certain negative words and phrases, you’re holding yourself back from achieving your full potential. So when you hit 40, let go of all the ideas I’ve listed right here, and you’ll be much better off. And for more ways of staying young, steer clear of these 40 Things Only Older People Say.
“Losing weight is impossible.”
It used to be that a paunch could be remedied by two weeks of swearing off pizza and beer, but getting up into your 40s means a slower metabolism, and the prospect of losing weight seems more daunting. The truth is scorching belly fat is still very possible, you just need to change up your habits and find a routine that works for you. And for help doing that, here are the 40 Best Ways to Keep New Habits.
“I’ll take care of that later.”
In our 20s and our 30s, procrastination could be worn as a badge of pride. Back then, if you had to, you could dig deep and stay up all night to deliver a presentation the next morning. In your 40s, your life is undoubtedly more complex. It’s time to internalize the fact scheduling time to get projects done is a perfect antidote for that uncomfortable feeling of being unprepared. Want to know the best hour of the day for getting things done? Well, here you go.
“To be honest…”
When you start a sentence with these three little words, the implication is that you’ve been fibbing all along and have finally chosen this moment to drop the deception and drop a truth bomb. Eighty-six it from your vocab ASAP.
People seem to think that saying “no offense” is some ingenious way of giving someone some hard facts without them getting upset about it. No offense, but when you say “no offense,” I can’t help but wonder if you’re a total jerk. See? Honesty and directness is much better. And for more about what you should and shouldn’t say, here are 40 Words People Over 40 Wouldn’t Understand.
“Out of pocket.”
When you use this phrase to express that you are going to be “unreachable,” you sound foolish. The phrase’s original meaning refers to money. Using it to mean that you’re unavailable is an odd subversion of our language and, at 40, you’re smarter than this.
“American lives don’t have second acts.”
You’ve probably heard that line and heard it attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The line actually goes: “I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York’s boom days.” As you can see, Fitzgerald actually says the exact opposite. If you’re thinking about changing your career, relationship status, appearance, or achieving goals on your bucket list, rest assured that there is no age limit when it comes to redefining your life. And for more great advice on aging, here are the 40 Biggest Myths About Life After 40– Busted!
“I’m too old to try pilates or yoga.”
Both of them will make you move and feel like a younger man. Polish researchers assessed the flexibility of the spine in 56, 50-79 year olds. Their findings, published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, concluded that “applied yoga exercises increased spinal mobility and flexibility of the hamstring muscles regardless of age.”
If you use this big of corporate jargon, you won’t sound like a boss. You’ll sound like a jargon-spewing 25 year-old who wants to sound like he’s the boss.
“It’s not in my wheelhouse.”
Sure, you can rule out playing right field for the Yankees, but there’s no reason you should cut yourself off from new career opportunities. At 40, you need to have the confidence and flexibility to embrace change.
“I’m afraid to….”
Whether it’s changing your career path, leaving a relationship that’s not working, or starting your own business, it’s important to remember that fear is a feeling that’s rarely based in reality. Now that you’re 40, you’re not afraid to do anything—just use your judgment, wisdom, and experience to overcome the challenges that lay ahead.
“I’m too old to be sexy.”
Fellas, I’ve got good news. 40 is no cap on your attractiveness. If you want proof, look no further than People’s Sexiest Man Alive list. Guys 40 or over have won for the past 3 years in a row, and several more gents were well past when they were awarded this title, including Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Denzel Washington. But if you’re still feeling a bit down about your looks, check out our guide to 20 Easy Ways to Look a Decade Younger.
“I’m stuck in this career.”
It’s easy to think that you’ve painted yourself into a career corner and you’re too old to try your hand at something different, but a survey conducted by the American Institute For Economic Research doesn’t seem to support that line of thinking.
The survey revealed that 82% of study participants reported making a successful transition to a new career after the age of 45. While some reported accepting a lower income in the early stages, a majority told researchers that a larger paycheck came their way after a period of hard work and persistence.
“I’m not a technical person.”
While you may not have a good track record with understanding and using new technologies, there’s nothing stopping you from learning. After all, you’ve got a tool at your disposal called the Internet. Whether it’s getting your head around Blockchain technology, dismantling and reassembling your laptop, or learning to write code, the web is awash with information, video tutorials, and animated explainers designed to teach you everything you need to know.
“It’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep.”
Studies show that we sleep less as we age and the quality of sleep deteriorates over time. However, a hedge against spending your nights tossing and turning is to imbue your days with meaning. Researchers from Northwestern University gathered 823 adults between the ages of 60 to 100 and asked them questions about their sleep habits, as well as their perceived purpose in life. They found that having a good reason to get up in the morning was associated with better quality sleep. If you want to cling on to your eight hours, make every day a purposeful one. And for more ways to rest up, here’s Your Complete Guide to Beating Late-Night Stress.
When you’re in your 40s, you can leave most corporate jibberish in the rearview.
“I’m too old to dance.”
If you’re not hitting the dance floor these days because you’re afraid you’ll look silly, you may want to check your ego—for the good of your brain. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience indicates that older people who exercise on a regular basis can reverse the signs of aging in the brain—and dancing was shown to have the most profound effect. Medical investigators believe that the ongoing challenge of learning new dance moves was the real reason for the extra anti-aging benefits. So dance away, brother!
“I’m old and fat.”
People internalize negative statements like this one if they’re repeated often enough. They result in low self-esteem and low expectations for oneself and a great way to start a downward spiral. If you want to improve your physical changes, focus on what you need to do to feel young and healthy using positive language and thoughts.
“My midlife crisis will arrive any minute now.”
Sure, some guys do have mid-life crises. But sometimes it’s OK to want to own a Porsche. A midlife crisis—like dad bods or Tiger Moms—is something that can be too broadly applied to life. Chances are you’ll experience several crises during your life. If you’re expecting a mid-life crises to kick in, you’ll just increase the chances of it becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.
“I’ve missed my chance to be a parent.”
It’s simply not true. And the fact is, more and more women are having children in their 40s.
“I really regret…”
Regrets: had a few? Well, once you hit your 40s, it’s time to reimagine the things you did or didn’t do as valuable moments that inform your worldview today and set you up for future successes. The past is dead. You’re not.
“I’ll never forgive them for that.”
At this stage in your life, feeling upset about something someone did to you is beneath you. Letting them know that you’re over it is the ultimate power move—and you’ll feel all the better for it.
“Why is this happening to me?”
If this thought is ever rattling around your head, you’ve fallen into the trap of looking around for someone or something to blame for your hard luck. If things are going pear-shaped all the time the reason why is within you—and probably not far from the surface. If you can’t pinpoint it yourself, speak to a professional who can help you tease it out and move on with living your best life.
“I don’t have the bandwidth.”
Please, please, please just say “capacity” instead. Repeat after me: “I am not a computer.”
“Backpacking is for young people.”
Backpacking is a catch-all phrase that broadly means traveling independently and discovering the world on your terms with a minimal amount of luggage. Don’t think for a minute that 20 and 30 somethings are the only ones who should enjoy traveling this way. If you get out and about you’ll notice that a lot of your fellow backpackers don’t happen to be fresh out of college, either.
“I’ve made my bed.”
As with regrets, mistakes are there to learn from—not to carry with you into the future. Even though there can be a lot of value in learning from our failures, it’s best to leave the past where it belongs. You know, in the past.
“Life would be easier if I was younger.”
It’s another one of those statements that doesn’t seem to pass the smell test with the scientific community. Research from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine finds that people in their 20s and 30s are more likely to suffer from high levels of perceived stress, along with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Mental health, concluded the report, seems to improve over time as they get into their 40s and midlife. So, you’ve got that going for you.
“I feel that I have to.”
Oh, the power of a good, solid “no.” Turning 40 is a great time to appreciate the might of this word and not be shy about using it when we’re asked to put time, money, or effort into something that doesn’t light us up.
“I’m too old to change.”
The only thing that’s constant is change. That statement holds true in us, because, despite what we’re told and how we can sometimes feel, we are all works in progress. We’re changing to the very end of our days. The trick is to keep challenging yourself to change for the better.
“I’m just too busy.”
Having been around the sun forty times or more gives us the wisdom to separate the things we want to do, the things we have to do, and the things neither want nor have to do. Once you know what floats your boat and brings value to your life, feel good about cutting out things that don’t. This purge will bring you the the greatest resource that, at 40, is becoming scarce: time for you
“I don’t have time for a vacation.”
A recent survey conducted by Glassdoor and Harris Interactive showed that just a quarter of Americans take all of the their paid vacation days, while another by Skift found that nearly 42 percent of Americans do not take any vacation days at all. While it’s great to have a good work ethic, many studies have shown that working too hard leads to a host of very serious health problems. At 40, you need to find balance between work and leisure time. An inability to act on what we know can be fatal. Literally. For more on being smart with your scheduling, here’s Exactly How Much Vacation You Should Take Every Year.
“I’m too old to look silly.”
You’ve got nothing to prove to anyone! Let your freak flag fly!
“I’ve waited too long to prepare for retirement.”
The U.S. government encourages workers 50 and older to save more than younger employees by offering catch-up contributions for retirement plans. It’s a chance for johnny-save-latelies to get back on track to a secure retirement.
“At the end of the day…”
More of a tick than a phrase, it does nothing and gets you nowhere.
“I’m not good enough.”
In our younger years, we can be hard on ourselves and, in so doing, create a vortex of low self-esteem. By the time we get to our 40s, most of us have figured out that when we’re feeling down on ourselves, we can offset that feeling by focusing on an aspect of ourselves that we feel really good about. It’s imperative to focus on what makes us feel good about who we are.
“I’m not going to start going to the gym at my age.”
Your health is everything. That sentiment doesn’t really land with someone in their 20s or 30s, because, for the most part, they haven’t been in ill health. By the time we get to 40, however, the wheels are at greater risk of coming off the wagon if we don’t grease the axles on a regular basis. At 40, you need to stop eating poorly, being sedentary, and not scheduling regular primary-care checkups.
“If that makes sense.”
Ensure that what you have to say makes sense and you’ll never have to subject anyone to this condescending phrase.
“Well, I’m in this far.”
The summer home you don’t use, the friendship that takes way more than it gives, the country-club membership you got in the hopes that you’d discover a love of golf. By 40, you should have a feel for what is bringing value to your life and what’s an albatross around your neck. Even if it means taking a loss, jettison everything that’s not living up to its promise of giving you joy. If not, you’re throwing good money after bad.
“It’s too late to go back to school.”
A guy’s first career might get underway in his 20s and end in his 40s leaving him wondering, “now what?” A rapidly changing world demands that we continue to stay on top of advancements in computer, healthcare, communications, organizational innovations to name a few. For that reason, it’s never too late to go back to college if it takes you where you want to be.
“I’m too old to jog.”
Think your knees are to creaky to make jogging part of your lifestyle? You could be unwittingly starting a vicious cycle. According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE researchers discovered that adults who run for 30 minutes at least three times a week were less likely to experience age-related physical decline compared to the volunteers who choose walking as a form of exercise. In a press release, the study’s co-author Rodger Kram, a Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder said: “The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of efficiency”.
“My best years are behind me.”
Our best years can happen at any moment in time. If you refuse to believe that you’ve had your time in the sun, you’re ensuring that the possibility of your best years ahead of you remains alive. For more great advice about aging, take a look at 40 Life Secrets You Need After 40.
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