Reflecting On The Past 40 Years

October 14, 2022

From the Desk of the CEO

Time is relentless. It never stops, it never slows. It just keeps moving forward in an endless line controlling the very basis on which we subsist. And the older we get, the more noticeable it becomes, the more aware we are of its effects. On the eve of my 40th birthday it’s weighing heavily on my mind, so I thought it’s a good time to talk about it.

As you may have noticed, I’m not very enthusiastic about turning 40. As the saying goes, “youth is wasted on the young”, and as I continue to age, I find myself looking back more often than forward. Questioning why I didn’t do this, or why I did do that. Wishing I would have spent less time worrying and just enjoyed each moment for what it was worth.

That’s the great irony. So much of our youth is spent thinking about the future and what our ideal life might look like that we don’t properly enjoy our time in the present. And before you know it, you’re over the hill looking back at those moments wishing you can somehow recreate them. The sad truth is that you simply cannot. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s an important one.

Life becomes more complicated as we get older. Time aggregates. Responsibilities pile up. Whether it’s work, family, health, or something else, there’s a seemingly infinite number of things that prohibit us from experiencing the same freedom we had in our earlier years. And even if we are able to find some down time in our busy schedule, we usually just want to rest and relax. In the overstimulated, overwhelming world we live in, doing nothing has never been more enticing.

As time continues to tick by, finding ways to balance the responsibilities of adulting with self-care becomes increasingly important. Our mind and body require more and more attention. Exercise, meditation, healthy diet, therapy, all take on new levels of significance. While we can only do so much to mitigate the physical toll that time takes on our body, one thing I’ve realized is that our mind really is the key to it all.

While our body continues to go through wear and tear over time, our minds have the capacity for continual growth and improvement. One of the big advantages of time passing is the collection of memories and experiences. We can’t recreate the moments of our youth, but we can learn from them. We can use them to envision and take steps towards a better, more fulfilling future.

Retrospection is a powerful tool that I think, once again, is wasted on the young. The power of looking back becomes more focused over time mainly because we have more information and experiences to recall. The more data you have to work with, the better you can parse what worked out well and what did not. And more importantly, you can apply those successes and failures while preparing for what comes next.

So, in essence, it’s all about mindset. You must choose how to utilize your time. Choose how you take in all those years of ups and downs. Choose how to adapt to your physical limitations and your growing responsibilities. Choose to focus on all that you have achieved instead of what you have not yet accomplished. Choose optimism over pessimism. It’s not easy to do, especially since it so often seems like we’re hardwired for the latter, but we all have the capacity to change our outlook.

Yes, time is relentless. It never stops and it never slows … so harness it. Let it flow like a river moving you forward with it. Appreciate where you have been, where you are now, and all the possibilities of where you may end up in the coming months, years, and decades. You owe it to yourself and all those who are important in your life. Here’s to the next 40 years!


Ezra Stark
Chief Executive Officer