Sometimes I wonder what I’ll be like as an old man.

if I’m fortunate enough to live that long, of course

Will I be the gentle, wise, and kind old sage?

Or the grumpy, grumbling, curmudgeon?

I see people aging in one of two directions.

They tend to become more open and accepting, or more closed and set in their own ideas.

This “ripening” of the personality in either direction is the result of what we cultivate in our daily lives, year in and year out.

We cultivate through our choices.

Every choice we make in every moment is steering us in one direction or another.

Many of our daily choices don’t really look like choices anymore because they’ve gelled into habits.

Those can be changed, but it takes more intention, focus, and commitment. Harder, but it must be done.

When we meet people that have extreme personality qualities, we can use them as a mirror.

Next time you encounter that grumbling old man in the elevator on your way out of the building, ask yourself, “Is this where my patterns of speech and behavior are taking me over the long haul?”

He probably didn’t start out that extreme. But things tend to move in some trajectory.

We become better at what we practice.

Practice humility and you become more humble.

Practice dissatisfaction, and watch your world become less and less satisfying.

What path are you on?

What thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, mindsets, and beliefs are you cultivating every day?