The first 20 years of life are spent building a strong ego, and rightfully so. In the first 20 years of adulthood this ego brings in all the silverware – the degrees, war medals, sports trophies, gold disc records, creative awards, sales team trophies, tiaras (for women), and so on. Newton had published his most famous work by the age of 27.
But by 40, in most instances, those talents are well spent. Sportsmen retire, musicians leave the band and move on to more individualistic styles (think Sting, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon), even the most enduring supermodels and beauty queens have retired by then.
If we assume that life is rational, that there’s a reason why it happens the way it does, then what could that be? Why would the talent and beauty of youth fade? Well, we do observe the effect: that as the physical fades, the person turns to deeper, more meaningful pursuits. We could say that their soul starts to shine through.
If you resist this process, if you try to hold onto those glory days, or repeat the life you had while those talents were available in abundance, you’re destined for a life of misery and never being fulfilled. Becoming comfortable in your skin means not trying to live the life you think you missed, but embracing the one you have right in front of you to the full.