How Old Man Mase Got Started

Everyone starts somewhere. Photo: Moyan Brenn

Everyone starts somewhere. Photo: Moyan Brenn

It all started when i was back in college – just a few years ago.  It was there that I earned the nickname “Old Man Mase” from one of my friends.  I admit, I was not too surprised by this.  I have a few old man habits: I typically wake up earlier than my peers, I didn’t own a smartphone (and actually still don’t…), and I tend to very rarely spend money unless it’s something that’s pretty essential.

The real shaping of the Old Man Mase identity however, came along during a group retreat during my sophomore year.  Me and some of my buddies were nestled in a cozy mess hall at a camp up in New Hampshire.  The speaker was a professor from our school who has acted as a sort of unofficial mentor to my living group throughout the years.  This guys was a picture of a turnaround story – he went from being a community college dropout, broke, with no direction in life, to becoming a tenured professor at one of the top universities in the world, and a key innovator in his field.  The main point he explained to us that night was that we could accomplish our goals with certainty, even if they seemed extremely difficult and unrealistic.  The trick, he pointed out, was to look at what we wanted to achieve, and then reverse the process.  By breaking things down step by step, accomplishing our goals become far easier and less daunting than they seem.  With the proper focus, almost anything becomes possible.

I began to think about my own life.  I imagined myself far in the future as an old man.  What would this older version of myself have accomplished?  What would his perspective be?  What about my priorities and values?  I began to see the wisdom of the words I was hearing.  Even though I can’t predict the future – if I focus on what I want the end of my life to look like, then I can truly spend my time, money, and energy on the things that really matter most.

This change in mindset was pivotal in how I started to view the world, and to how I make different choices.  This blog is all about me sharing what I’ve learned through my experience – and learning from you as well.  Life is both a journey and a destination – the key is to live intentionally so that we can experience our time on Earth to the fullest.

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