Read: I am 40, But Why My Soul is Still 20?

I was having a conversation with my husband the other day, as I turned 40. I was going to divulge in that…. it’s some feeling you see! Asked him if 40 was the new 20? He laughed saying, “If you are asking me how you look; then I would say 20, mentally may be 15!”

On a serious note, it made me think, looked back at our own lives, we are in our 40s and we feel pretty settled, read it as; at peace and nothing more! As I believe just like the 1+ phone tagline, ‘Never Settle’. One must never settle for complacency, mediocrity, lethargy, procrastination etc. The list can be really long!

Not all will feel 20 in their 40s. By the way I wonder who coined this phrase and how many actually believe in it or how many non believers are out there.

There are different stages in life, I remember having read in school Sanskrit that there were four stages or ashramas in life. An Ashrama in Hinduism is one of the four age-based life stages. They are Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sanyasa (renunciation).

In each life stage there are a set of rules and disciplines are meant to be followed. If practised correctly and as per principles one can lead a much fulfilling life. We may not be living in the medieval times but it holds good even today as the basic principle cannot change. It can be improvised but the thumb rule remains the same. Each life stage lays the foundation for the things to come, good, bad or ugly.

During the student phase one needs to focus on studies, sports and all things that’ll help the person to handle life well. This phase is up to 25 years of one’s life. People study till post graduation some going up to doctoral degrees. They then become a part of the work force, valuable human resources and human capital. All those who have been focused, consistent, and had the right attitudes land up with great job offers.  They are the ones who make successful careers, more than that, they have choices!  Choices to accept or reject something. I believe having a choice is a lot of power. Enjoyment and merry making can be in limited doses at this stage, the focus being more on crafting a successful career. Be it in the corporate world, media, fine arts, sports or anything that one fancies. I tell my children as well as students that there should be at least one thing that they are passionate about and that they are the best in it. It can be absolutely anything under the sun.



In the Grihastha Ashram (householder), an individual feels settled, married or not depending on the personal choice. I was talking about how powerful a choice can be, it truly empowers an individual. If you have diligently worked and planned things ahead then this stage in life is going to be smooth. There are challenges that an individual faces at both professional and personal life such as building a career, climbing up the ladders and reaching the heights of success that we plan and work on. On the personal front, if married; then bringing up children, facilitating their growth and progress. Seeing them move from school to college and then may be embark on their professional journeys too. It’s the life stage that makes you more of a provider. It’s challenging no doubt but if the foundation was set right then it can turn quite a cake walk.

A person at this stage in life is in the mid or top management level at work, has school or college going children. When thinking of 40 being the new 20. One can feel like it, if the 20s were spent well, focused on what was to come. But if life was a party then, it’ll certainly be a struggle at this stage, definitely the statement, 40 is the new 20 doesn’t hold any ground then. The individual in question took it very easy, had a lax attitude, was enjoying life in the 20s. He must have lost much more, may be the partner didn’t want to continue the association, read it as the girlfriend leaving him. He struggled to find a suitable job. Also, struggled to cope with the work culture of the organization, he finds employment in. Changed jobs, got married to someone who might have been in a similar situation like him. It must have become a bigger struggle for both. There may not have been harmony either at professional or personal lives.

Can such person every feel 20?

The next two stages in life are the retirement and renunciation. If life has been a struggle in the Grihastha ashrama (Householder), then there is certainly no feeling of retirement, in fact it could be more as retired from life! When there is no satisfaction can life ever be that of renunciation?
40 can certainly be the new 20 if you managed your 20s well. So when you are in 40s, you have the energy and the enthusiasm of a 20 year old. You can also fulfill your dreams, aspirations and lead a more meaningful life.
Be awesome no matter what the age!

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Laxmi Todiwan

Laxmi Todiwan is a Professor and Corporate Trainer. A hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades. Married to a Master Mariner and is a mother of two lovely sons. Learning and Development is close to her heart and associates herself with Skill training projects of the government. She writes for hospitality journals and also for columns in the local newspapers. She is a speaker and presenter ; has hosted many functions as Master of Ceremonies. She expresses her thoughts in a blog, The Optimist Diary.

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