I saw this fortune the other day and thought, "Someone gets it."
I believe in change.
I am a man who has held the same teaching job for two decades, in the same school and in the same classroom for almost the entire time. I've watched so many of my friends come and go over the years. Some have left teaching altogether. Others have retired. Quite a few have moved into new positions at other schools.
Good friends. The best of friends. My wife, even.
Yet I remain, unmoved and unchanged. Even my classroom has changed very little. Students come back to visit years later and can't believe how much the classroom looks like the one they remember.
It may not seem like I embrace change, but that is not true. I believe in change. I seek change wherever possible. If you're doing the same thing, day after day, year after year, absent any change, you're getting old. You're dying a slow death.
I'm in constant search for change, both planned and unexpected. Sometimes self-selected and sometimes prompted by others.
Twenty years ago, almost on a whim, I became a wedding DJ.
Eventually a minister, too, I started marrying couples. Conducted baby naming ceremonies, too.
Then I took up golf thanks to the prodding of friends.
For a few years, I performed in community theater. Even sang a solo once, and I can't sing.
About the same time, I started playing poker, too. Pretty seriously for a while.
After years of trying and failing, I finally published my first novel and became an author.
Still later, I started writing columns for magazines and newspapers.
Then I became an author again. Eventually again and again and again.
One day, a friend asked me to write musicals, so I started doing that.
A year later, I started writing screenplays, too. Film and television.
Seven years ago I took a stage in NYC and told a story, and I became a storyteller.
Someone saw me telling stories and asked me to write comic books, so I tried my hand at that.
After a while, I became a teacher of storytelling. Then a communications consultant.
Upon request, I started delivering inspirational and keynote speeches, too.
Half a dozen years ago, I started studying finance. I began investing. Pretty seriously, too.
Five years ago Elysha and I launched Speak Up.
Four years ago, I started writing non-fiction. Storyworthy was the first to publish.
Three years ago I started writing middle grade fiction. My first will publish next year.
Two years ago, my cohost, Rachel, and I launched Boy vs. Girl, a podcast about gender.
Last year I tried stand up comedy for the first time.
This year I was paid to perform comedy for the first time.
Last summer I started delivering sermons for churches.
Along the way, I also became a husband. A homeowner. A father. The owner of two new cats.
I'm constantly looking for the next thing. The new thing. The thing I'd always wanted to do and the thing I never imagined I'd do.
Elysha and I launched a podcast on storytelling, Speak Up Storytelling, just this month.
I'm currently completing the paperwork to become a notary.
I'm recording a possible future podcast with my children. We call it "What the Heck?"
I working on new books in a variety of genres.
In August, I'll perform my one-person show for the first time at a festival in New York.
Find something new.
If it's hard or frightening or seemingly impossible, even better.
Then find something else new. And then something else.
The fortune cookie is right.
If you want to stay young, you must change.