you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

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you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby everything on Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:54 am

https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article ... 5ax5hdreb4

doesn't matter if you're Olympian, scientist, or author.

chasing your 22 or 44 year old peak productivity self - you ain't gonna get there again whether you're Dominique Dawes or Darwin.

what do you do after you've won that gold medal, science prize, or written that best seller? and then your body or mind inevitably declines, and you can't be at that peak any more?

someone like Bill Gates walked away from his career to work on education and disease. Of course, the rest of us were never "world's richest man" and don't have the financials for that kind of pivot. But it makes sense to pivot in every other sense. How do we pull it off? This article doesn't really have the answers, but just argues the why for doing this.

https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article ... 5ax5hdreb4
Last edited by everything on Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby Peacedog on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:27 am

It is a serious problem for any number of people. The biggest issue is the accompanying lack of energy with which to get things done in the event you want to do something different.

The upside of hitting your late 40's is that a fusion of everything you have learned takes place and allows for a kind of last flowering of talent that can be applied. Assuming you developed anything previously.

The bad news is you can literally feel your talent leaving you.

By the time you are in your early 50's, at the latest assuming you have avoided drug use religiously and had any talent to begin with, it is gone. And it doesn't come back.

Outside of politics, where very rare late bloomers show up, you are riding on the skills and ability you previously built. If you built anything.

This is the main reason why I look at people who tell other to sit back and screw around through their 20's and 30's with such distain.

As for those who have achieved fame, well, it is fleeting. It comes and almost never knocks twice. So again, if you have the drive to get these things together do it as quickly and with as much force as possible. Before you miss your window.
Last edited by Peacedog on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby everything on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:44 am

I think that's good advice for young, ambitious people. Everyone knows athletes peak super early. If you have some specific goal and that drive, then go for it but realize it's only one phase of your life and career.

For those of us in other careers, and at, approaching, or beyond our peak at a more middle-aged time, it's also an interesting question about what to do. I pivoted out of web development into a business role that I figured would take less advantage of that "fluid intelligence" and more advantage of wisdom/judgment/experience. But even so, the age-ism in tech and business in general is there. Plus the game itself can start to be a lot less interesting. Selling a few more widgets is fun for a while, but isn't really super meaningful in a bigger sense. So if one is able to do another pivot to something personally meaningful (while being able to live), it's a really interesting idea. I have no idea what I would do. Teaching tai chi might be fun for about 1 hour a week, LOL.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby windwalker on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:47 am

everything wrote:
doesn't matter if you're Olympian, scientist, or author.

chasing your 22 or 44 year old peak productivity self - you ain't gonna get there again whether you're Dominique Dawes or Darwin.

what do you do after you've won that gold medal, science prize, or written that best seller?

And then your body or mind inevitably declines, and you can't be at that peak any more?


Depends on what one defines the peak as being.
I can do things now I couldn't do in my younger years conversely there are things I could do in my younger years that I no longer train to do now, different focus.

Hopefully what one gains as time passes by is clarity, understanding, and the time, freedom that allows one to pursue their inner interest.

As far as the body , mind declining this is largely written in one's genetic code. Something that can be mitigated through different practices, and focus.

When I work with young people the first thing I often show them are things that look simple that they cannot do without some training and understanding.

What looks simple often is not.
Last edited by windwalker on Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:12 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby everything on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:31 am

Yes, I think if the definition is winning that championship, writing those novels, making your most important scientific discoveries, there is a certain phase in which you can do that. If we can pivot into other work that isn't that type, it might be best. The article contrasts Bach (surpassed by new musical trends including by his son) with Darwin (supposedly got bitter, didn't know of Mendel). It doesn't really give any answers on how people should do this transition or if they can do it. It just says you can't go on in life defining your self worth by that one kind of productivity (like winning the sports medals) because you can't actually compete against your past self who was better at it.

Some pro athletes go into coaching or the "front office" or related jobs. A lot of pro musicians who were one hit wonders do something totally different.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby Steve James on Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:37 pm

No matter how old one gets, it is possible to improve. At some point, no matter the age, improvement is not possible --for various reasons, including having the time to train. Maintaining peak performance is also mentally draining. Can a 60 year old train as much as a 20 year old? How many 60 year olds want to? Rather, we just create age-group categories. And, when it comes to world records, it's inevitably someone younger who performs better.

However, it's possible for an 80 year-old to get stronger, more flexible, and faster than he was the day before --if he's healthy in general. I think it's useless for him to try to equal what he could do 60 years earlier. Lots of people who were sedentary early in life become athletes in their age groups later. There are a few famous women marathoners and ultra-marathoners who had been obese.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby GrahamB on Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:54 pm

"a total unwillingness to cooperate is what is necessary to be an artist — not for perverse reasons, but to protect your vision."- Joni Mitchell

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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby Peacedog on Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:40 pm

What I'm getting at is that whatever is going to be someone's "life's work" gets built in your 20s/30s/40s. After that, it is all riding on something you already did or you end up doing nothing at all with the singular exception of politics.

And even with politics, my thought is that whatever you did when younger opened the door to that.

For people who understand this and have ambition, it can be crushing when you get to an age and realize it isn't happening and you never got there. Or worse in some cases, where you get there and realize it is all downhill from there.

And once you are in your 60's and beyond, everything is a part time effort with the exception of a very lucky few. The reality is most just don't have the physical stamina beyond this to do anything with greater intensity than that.

The sadest people you will ever meet are those who are just barely treading water wherever they are at in their late 50's and early 60's who try to "reinvent themselves." They never succeed. Ever. They do crash and burn, go bankrupt and frequently kill themselves out of despair.

Again my warning to everyone who has ever been told to "take their time with life", get cracking, figure out what it is you want to do, and go do it.

I suffered from a serious illness in my mid-thirties that took me out of the game just as I was hitting my peak ability. This permanently closed many doors professionally for me that even after I recovered a few years later remain and shall always remain closed. I'm not too proud to admit it left me bitter regarding a few things. And that I will probably never get over what I could have done versus what I am now stuck with doing.

The knowing that your best effort is a partial effort is the worst part. For those who were never in the running it dosen't matter, for those who were it can be crushing.
Last edited by Peacedog on Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby edededed on Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:03 pm

I'm in my early 40s now - I would say that I never really had a peak, and it does hurt. I wonder if it is due to modern culture, where we all want to really succeed - but can we all be heroes? I dunno. I think I missed my chance due to not really being a group-culture guy (I couldn't play corporate politics, etc.) and also just bad luck (crappy bosses). Another reason was non-focused goals - e.g. CMA or work? Would have been better to maybe focus on just one thing. Serious accident was a factor, too - I think I lost a lot of energy from that.

Peacedog - I dunno about what you lost, but I get the feeling that you have a lot of great accomplishments in your current (esoteric) career, and I certainly respect you greatly for that. In modern society unfortunately Steve Jobs is more famous, but which is a greater accomplishment? It may depend on the perception (and even Steve may have had interesting ideas about that).
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:55 am

Hmm, I know some people who are over 60 and still growing in fame and reputation. I turned 40 this year and I have consistently set increasingly difficult goals for myself with 100% completion. I know that eventually, I won't hit the target, but so far so good. Of course, certain things like competition will have to take a back seat usually by mid thirties. But there are lots of different kinds of accomplishments. The comments about building on a foundation seems to ring at least partially true, but not the stuff about partying. Just depends on the person, I would imagine. Lots of famous writers and artists who continued to do well after experimenting.

Work hard, play hard, be true, and try to find a path that you enjoy (doesn't mean there won't be plenty of suffering, but I'm glad I don't have a job that I hate).
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby everything on Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:36 am

If it's recreational sports, using age groups is great.

People may be in decline and know it, but we can still enjoy a game
at our specific skill, energy, and athletic level.

I know I get more technical in my 40s but can't run as much, but my
friends are in the same boat, so it works ok.

If it's your actual professional career, though, I don't know the answers,
either for myself or in general.

If you haven't read the article (it's pretty long), you should.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby Steve James on Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:50 am

"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:12 am

And then there's Tom Brady.
19 seasons in the NFL and still winning Superbowls.

That's pretty damn well sustained in my opinion. He's a year younger than me and you wouldn't catch me playing flag football with the middle schoolers right now.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby everything on Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:42 am

yeah this guy is my new sports hero: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuyoshi_Miura
52 years old, still playing pro

Image

Kazuyoshi Miura (三浦 知良 Miura Kazuyoshi, born 26 February 1967),[1] often known simply as Kazu (nicknamed King Kazu[2]), is a Japanese footballer who plays as a forward for Yokohama FC in the J2 League.[3][4] He played for the Japanese national team from 1990 to 2000, and was the first Japanese recipient of the Asian Footballer of the Year award in 1993,[5] the last year before it was adopted by the Asian Football Confederation.[6] Miura, whose rise to fame in Japan coincided with the launch of the J. League in 1993,[7] was arguably Japan's first superstar in football. He is also known for his trademark "Kazu Feint" and his famous "Kazu dance", when he scores great goals or produces great plays.

Miura holds the records for being the oldest footballer and oldest goalscorer in worldwide professional leagues at the age of 50.[8]
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Re: you can't sustain your peak accomplishment years

Postby yeniseri on Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:16 pm

You can sustain your peak up to a point but keep in mind that people age at different rates and stages of their being.
One needs to keep up a rate where you can carry out your daily living skills while allowing for maximum use of the musculoskeletal system doing daily living tasks.

I have been fairly active, a former Marine, worked in a research industry for 20 years and served as a private contractor (force proteclion element) in Afghanistan 2010-2011). I was 54 at that time! ??? and they were at least 6 of us with one fellow tagging in at 62 years. It depends on lifestyle, type of profession, and other criteria along with your genetics, and they all work together to maximize how long you may live.

I was watching American Ninja Warrior ??? the other day and the 2 better female contestants, though not into specialty training like the men, they scored enought points to finish their run on the circuit. More than strength, you have to strategize on which part of the game to go low on strength and use some type of mental strategy to conquer the specific task.
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