5 Ways Looking Younger Than Your True Age Sucks

Last week on the plane, I was asked whether I’m traveling alone to the US or with parents.

They even need me to show my ID and my daughter’s pic to prove that I AM a father.

This is on the back of meeting one new colleague who thought that I am a new entrant at our company, despite I’m already serving for 7 years.

Well you got the idea. Being in such a small frame doesn’t help either. A lot of people would imagine that it is a good situation to be in.

You looked younger than you actually aged.

Funny, eh: when we’re young, we itched to be older whilst when we’re old, we wish we are young forever.

And I certainly am guilty of that. A lot of just plodding along life in the 2000s has made me secretly wished to be younger and hence the blog’s theme (not so secret anymore. Bash me, I don’t mind!).

Being a professional ‘younger than your age guy’, I  have gone through responding ‘oh-is-it?’ phase to ‘oh-I got that a lot’ and just smile it off. This is because I know from my personal experience, that it’s easy to be in self-deprecating rabbit hole if you let the fake sense of achievement cloud your sense. Unwatched, below are 5 ways it can be detrimental to you (or me as this post’s intention is to remind myself really):

1. Excuse for Producing Sub-Par Performance in Everything

Looking like the younger one in the crowd (although it’s not true) can lead us believing that it’s safe to wear the new guy’s hat whenever we can. Off course, we had a very safe place of telling our self and others that we’re inexperience so not every deliverable would be as perfect as a competent personnel would be doing. This is the mother of bad habits that plagued me. I’m not that knowledgeable enough, I’m still new and young. The worse thing is that it’s not a true statement. Those words can weigh us down from delivering our art fully. Those are excuse for half-assing my way through. And I know it’s not a good way to live.

We just need to watch our-self doing this by striving to making everyday as intentional as possible. Whenever the need for providing half-baked works arise then it meant we shouldn’t be investing our time on those activity at all.

2. Bask in fake ego-boosting but rewarding compliments

It’s good that we get compliments once a while. Except when it’s based on features that we hardly work for. It’s the same with raising children. Our job is not complimenting everything being done by the child, but to be present. To probe, to query, to just be there and appreciate them.

It’s applicable to us. We can be overpraised sometimes that we became praise junkie. The praises we normally got are hardly achievements worth praising. It’s different when praising you’re beautiful vs you’ve ran a marathon, great job! The latter is more laborious, but one look reveals that it’s more deserving.

Whenever we are being complimented for being very young, we need to remind myself that we had other layers beneath our cheery young outlook that represent hard work, thoughtfulness and drivenness.

3. Shying away from responsibilities

Well this is a very hard subject to me. Responsibility are the one value that I am struggling with every second. I value independence and freedom so much that responsibility might seemed a one way ticket to Alcatraz. Beware of using I’m still young, hence I don’t need to be carrying any responsibility task of sort. My heart knows when it should be time that I carry a little bit more responsibility both in my work and personal life.

  • Perhaps I need to restart back that coaching class to the younger engineers that I had done before.
  • Maybe I’ve seen some interesting dynamics in workplace that need to be changed. And all it takes is one kind soul to initiate and communicate it to all. To make changes.

The list goes on.

4. No growth pursuit due to overused ‘just hangin out’.

Being young is used for an excuse to living as it is without investing our time to any endeavor that grows us in a lot of different ways. We felt we had the time to just hanging around under the illusion of enjoying the moment. It can be no more further from truth! Enjoying the moment best done when you achieve peak experience. When any endeavor is intentional. When we go out of the way to make the experience of choice a plus 10.

Yes, I might feel young, and maybe I am. Even if this is true (while we know now it’s not), our young moments are best enjoyed by not plodding along the comfort lines and settling to what society define as good. It’s by being in pursuit of good life. My good and your good are immensely different. Finding what it meant is our one true job. That’s enjoying the moment meant.

5. Inadvertently becoming one dimensional.

One dimensional is the other word for being shallow. Yes! Think about it, it’s easy to accept the compliment for the thing that we’re not exactly in control of and without hard work. The problem tripled, when it become the only thing to be used to describe us. While it’s a challenge to change everyone’s perception for such glaringly pronounced features, it is not an excuse to limit our description constrained within that narrow area. Can we instead, being known as a person with high discipline, driven to pursuit and perhaps enthusiastic in nature? Or any day you meet me, can you compliment me not of my handsome looks but the fact that I reached 14th day of Insanity workout? Now those are somethings worthy.

Anyway above examples are laden with self-centred apprehension. Excuse me.

Even if the same comments continued, it is by no mean the end of it. I know myself more than anyone could ever be.


1. I am super excited this week as I got to spend my birthday over in US. Something I had never imagine would come true. It just show that you CAN achieve anything you care to dream. Then the courage to just dream is the first big step. Obey this law and it will get you to places you never imagined. Of course the whole narratives should be longer (insert hard work and focus), but it started off with a dream. Dream on.

2. This blog has been a place for my musings and typing pad for close to a year now (starting back in January this year). I am starting to feel uneasy of not doing it for more than 2 days and I hoped this would be the next installation of habits that I can incorporate in my daily structure. I yawned today looking over a very enthusiastic friend discussing  and chilling with like-minded people over a highly technical topic (anti-surge control & advance process automation – you get that shit). How I wished, I can be that enthusiastic over that! In that yawn, funnily enough I could only think of being able to escape in a quite place and just get lost in reading or writing. I know I contradict myself a lot and the things I wrote might be off-putting to some, but I just need to do it. And there’s already a few kind folks that wished me luck on this journey that has just begun. Big thank you to all!

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