A Bit Of Whimsy – 4. The Sell By Date

Past The Sell Date?
Past The Sell Date?

I thought that I would, for a change, rant a bit. And then I thought, maybe not. And then I thought, maybe a mix between rant and whimsy. Lets’s see how this goes. Let order emerge from the chaos that is raging in my brain. Stability, as the Law of Entropy suggests, emerges from chaos.

This post is inspired by an old post that I read on a marvellous blog called The Leadership Freak. I think that I just managed some sort of ping-back there.  The essence of this old post, was to talk about the fact that, as we age, we need to move aside for younger people, and we need not stay beyond our Sell By Date

Now, if you look at Indian politicians, you will find that they do not follow this philosophy. They are a bunch of old farts, who stay stuck to their seats of power, as though they have been glued there by Araldite. They govern the country with, at best, antiquated ideas, and claim to be able to lead our country to a glorious future.

It is a fact that, as you age, there is more of your life behind you, than ahead of you, and there is a strong tendency to look back at the past, at your past victories with a strong sense of nostalgia. As this wonderful old lady in York told me, you know that you have become old when nostalgia is your favourite, or over riding, emotion. 

When I was a wee bit younger, I did often think that there were a bunch of old farts blocking my path to fame and glory. And, I wanted them to get out of my way. Fast!

However, it is funny how perceptions change when you start to resemble the old farts that you sneered at when you were younger. I suddenly find myself remembering the old quote from Aldous Huxley, who essentially said that a person starts to age when he/she stops working. Therefore, by extension, retirement ages you more than work does.

And yet we know that the current corporate world ages you due to stress.

Where the hell now, do we find sense in all this mess?

In my view, you go past your sell-by date when you stop being relevant. When you don’t like what you do, then you tend to fall flat after retirement, or long before that, as you stop learning. It is such a bloody chore.

Yet, when you are lucky enough to follow your path of passion, then it is unlikely you will reach a sell by date. You will find your own niche.

Old fart that I am, trust me to fund a way to push back the “sell-by date”…


By the way, I also believe that your ability to grow and learn is determined by your mind; how agile it is; how open you are to new things. A closed mind is a closed mind, and it does not depend on your age. Or, to put it differently, a closed mind brings you to your “Sell-By Date” faster than it would otherwise.



  1. It’s up to a person if retirement means that he/she stops working. Working has many different meanings. Learning something new, writing, helping others are all kinds of working. So the difference between 20 and 80 is only 60 years and an ocean of experience and knowledge.

    1. Yes. I agree. This is the problem with a chaotic post, like the one I wrote. I look at a lot of advertisements, where they depict old people smiling and contented and doing nothing! You earn the right to do what you want, and to follow your passion

  2. Great post – taking up new hobbies, trying out new things and stretching your mind will keep you young and passionate about life. When I retire I have a long list of things to learn and achieve!

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