T. Boone Pickens, who has declared he will never retire, said that after 89 years of life, he no longer feels like he’ll live forever.
And that’s not a bad thing.
In a LinkedIn post titled “Accepting (or Embracing) Mortality” he published on Thursday, the BP Capital Management chairman and oilman reflected on how recent health problems have changed his perspective.
A couple weeks after suffering a stroke last December that severely affected his speech, Pickens tweeted that there will be another “Old Man Makes a Comeback” story following his recovery. But, he wrote on LinkedIn, after a severe fall last week, he realised things are different.
“Just a year ago I felt immortal, wearing my age with pride, even joking about it,” he wrote. But now, “the clock is ticking and my health is in decline, much as it is with others in my stage of life.”
“Now, don’t for a minute think I’m being morbid. Truth is, when you’re in the oil business like I’ve been all my life, you drill your fair share of dry holes, but you never lose your optimism. There’s a story I tell about the geologist who fell off a 10-story building. When he blew past the fifth floor he thought to himself, ‘So far so good.’
“That’s the way to approach life.”
On most days he still exercises with a personal trainer shortly after he wakes up each morning, and through speech therapy he’s recovered about 90% of his speech back. Each week he writes and comments in video segments for his Pickens Plan energy initiative, and he has been giving most of his fortune away through philanthropy.
His point is that whether you’re 25 or 90, starting out in life or coming to its end, the driving force for fulfillment is an unwavering optimism manifested in doing what energizes you.
“I remain excited every day, engaged and thrilled in the office and on the road,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “I thrive on that activity, and I’m going to stick to it, no matter the setback.”