Don’t let the old man in. ~From the movie The Mule.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know the story. Clint Eastwood spent a grueling three months on the set to film The Mule. He was 88 at the time and still going strong after turning 90 last month. Many times, Eastwood has been asked how he maintains such a rugged schedule at his age. His simple answer: “I don’t let the old man in!” That line led to the song Don’t Let the Old Man In by Toby Keith being included at the end of the movie.
That’s such a true statement, especially for those of us whose bodies aren’t holding up like they used to. Yet it’s been proven time and time again: Keep the mind strong and you can go far — and long — in life.
In his waning days, my dad would tell me: “You gotta keep moving son, or you won’t be able to move at all.” Seems simply advice, but even in his 80s, he would walk to the end of the driveway and then back down along the walk in the front of his house a few times a day, just to keep his muscles active and his blood flowing.
The truth from both Clint and my dad goes deeper than just the “old man”. Indeed, it’s about mindset and perspective, as so many things are in life. You’ve likely read the story below, but it is a potent reminder that our thoughts can sometimes be our own worst enemies.
THE TALE OF TWO WOLVES
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.The Tale of Two Wolves.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
“He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.
”The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The choice is yours, but it all begins in the mind with your thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Napoleon Hill reminds us that “All men have become what they are because of their dominating thoughts and desires.”
Don’t let the old man in is only the beginning. If you want…
Hope, don’t let despair in.
Peace, don’t let conflict in.
Love in your life, don’t let hatred in.
Joy, don’t let misery and discontent in.
Happiness and encouragement, don’t let gloom and depression in.
Positivity, don’t let negativity in.
Patience, don’t let restlessness or frustration in.
Faith, don’t let fear in.
Truth over your life, don’t let lies and deceit in.
Victory, don’t let defeatism in.
Humility, don’t let egotism and arrogance in.
Yes, it’s all about controlling our thoughts, because that’s where it all begins. Your thoughts control your words and lead to your actions. Your actions gain steam when they become your habits and build even more momentum when they turn into your character. Suddenly, you realize you are where you are today because of the thoughts you had yesterday.
So as a good Monday Kickstarter lesson: Take your thoughts captive today and don’t let your thoughts take you captive.