Peaking at 80

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 8.27.12 AM

I’ve been telling students recently they should make decisions with the intent to peak at 60. The long game will reward you.

I chose 60 because it seemed distant enough for a college student to imagine the long arc of a career. As a 50-year-old myself, though, 60 is shockingly close now and not much of a long game for me.

Then I came across a post from Kottke who linked to this excellent New York Times feature on masters in their field who are still doing great work into their 80s and beyond.

Here’s Tony Bennett:

“Here I am at 88, and I still feel like I have an awful lot to learn, today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day. About my craft. About how to become a better artist. About coming up with creative ideas.”

There are profiles of people from a variety of professions, and the recurring theme is a discontent that propels constant growth and a relentless commitment to learning and improving.

Don’t ever arrive. Keep striving.

“The tree of knowledge and the fountain of youth are one and the same.” –Lewis Lapham