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All of us, at one time or another, face some sort of age discrimination. Either we’re deemed too young for a particular activity or role, or we’re considered too old.

Then there’s the additional aspect of being judged by how many years you’ve put in to something, or – even more absurdly – how many years you’ve been ALIVE.

In the past, I certainly received my fair share of denigrating comments to do with my age. You know, comments that basically implied:

“You’re young. What would you know? I’m older, therefore I know more about [INSERT ANYTHING HERE].”

This is an absurd statement, and reflects a typical quality (of experiences) vs quantity (years being alive) debate.

When you really think about it, what actual difference does age make?

If one person has spent ten years doing nothing, while the other has spent two years doing MANY things, then what sense does it make for the first person to claim that they have MORE experience than the second person, just because they’ve been “around longer”?

There is simply no rational argument to support a statement like that.

Here’s the REAL truth:

Years don’t equal experience. EXPERIENCE equals experience.

A personal example

I was a tennis coach for about nine years. I taught people of various ages, from 5 years old right up to people in their 60’s. The experience taught me a lot.

One example that perfectly illustrates my point involved a pupil of mine. He was 17 years old, and was finally considering getting a part-time job for the first time.

But he was always giving himself excuses that stopped him from even APPLYING for a part-time job in the first place.

After some quizzing, he revealed that his major concern was that it was “too difficult to approach a stranger” to apply for a job.

Okay, so his major barrier seemed to be shyness, nerves, and the fear of looking “stupid”. That’s something I can definitely understand. Most people can.

But then he said something that revealed a much bigger issue.

“It will be easier when I am older.”

Right there was the major lack of logic in his reasoning, and it’s essentially the same sort of reasoning used in the whole “I’m older therefore I know better” argument.

In my pupil’s circumstances, he needed to understand that nothing is easier just because you are older. Age by itself gives one NO experience.

“Experience”, like the word suggests, is created through EXPERIENCES.

So what should you do then?

The next time you feel like you’re too inexperienced for something because of your age, or because people tell you “you haven’t lived long enough”, just remind yourself:

Years don’t equal experience. EXPERIENCE equals experience.

However, experiences don’t happen without action. The only way to gain experience is to TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW.