Many of us wanted to be amazing things when we were younger. Some of us wanted to be astronauts, some of us wanted to be rock stars and some of us wanted to be rock stars. Maybe you dreamed of owning your own business.
Then you reached your twenties and realized that achieving those dreams was harder than you thought and that you needed money faster. So you start working a regular job in the meantime. Then you reach 30 and have a spouse and kids. Then you reach 40 and realize you’re old and tired. And in short, you realize that you’re never going to be that thing you always wanted to be.
Why Dreams Get Easier, the Older You Get
Dreams are for younger people, right?
This is certainly the stance taken by many people but in reality the opposite should be true. As long as you hold on to those dreams, they actually often become more attainable the older you get.
Why? For starters, being older gives you more experience and means you’re going to have a better idea of how to go after what you want. Then there’s the fact that you’ll have had longer to accumulate useful assets. That includes money – you’ll have more funds to put behind you – but also other intangible and tangible assets such as a property, contacts, a better CV etc.
And if you’re retired, or if your children have moved away from home, then you’ll have more time as well.
And if you combine all that with a savvy knowledge of how to leverage your age, there’s no reason that you can’t get things done even when you’re older.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another island. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”– Henry David Thoreau
Many people want to be actors for example but never get around to it when they’re younger. When you’re older however, you have the option of applying to appear as an extra in films and to play bit parts. You have the time now to attend and the older you are, the more in-demand you’ll find you become for smaller roles. Build up a CV and who knows!
Or you could start a YouTube channel. Silver surfers make up a massive proportion of the web and there isn’t as much content there for them. You could make a fitness YouTube channel for over 50s for example and it would likely be a huge hit.
You’ll likewise have more time to write books and more time to pursue hobbies. And if you can’t become an astronaut (admittedly unlikely), then how about signing up for a Virgin Galactic flight? If you can’t be a football player, you could certainly maybe be a coach, or join an older team.
And this post isn’t just for people in their 80s. It applies to those in their 40s too. Did you know that the average age for successful startup founders is 40? Did you know that you’re twice as likely to start a successful business at the age of 55 as you are at 20-34?
Never give up.
7 Reasons Why It’s Never Too Late in Life
1. All That Exists in the Present
Think about this for a moment. How many of us get so wrapped up in what was done in the past, and what we’re going to do in the future…all the while abandoning the present? How many of us really live in the moment anymore?
Some prolific scientists have posited that time – as a construct, along with its finite nature – is an illusion. Whether it’s an illusion or not, most of us agree that life is just a series of events, or moments, that we experience.
So why not focus on the only thing we can truly experience right now…the present moment?
2. We Can Change One Thing at a Time
There is one blunder that many of us make as we experience regret later in life. Instead of concentrating our efforts on changing one aspect of us, we instead dwell on everything we perceive to have done wrong. As a result, we are overwhelmed and experience “analysis paralysis.”
When we’re too busy thinking about the things we need to change, it’s impossible to take constructive action. When we focus on one thing about us to improve, it’s much, much easier.
We don’t need to address everything at once…we just need to focus on one thing and do our best!
3. We Can Take Baby Steps
Sure we may be a bit older now, but that doesn’t mean that we need to change everything overnight (remember that whole ‘moments’ thing?) Not to mention, when we try to progress too quickly our results suffer. What’s the point of rushing in this case?
Much better to slow down and really change what you want! You’ll be much happier with the results.
4. The Future Is Uncertain
Of course, nobody knows what will happen in the future! Think about how much better life would be if we lived each day like it was our last…
While it may seem that we’re rehashing a bit of what was discussed earlier, it is very important to remind ourselves of this fact. This is especially true if one is trying to make positive changes in life.
5. We Still Have Our Will
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!” How many times have we heard this? But how true it is. Without our will, we are nothing.
If you’re breathing, your will is active and ready to be put to use. One could argue that our will is one of the most important human elements of being human… perhaps second only to the soul.
You have your mind, you have your soul, and you have your will…act on them!\
6. Self-Improvement Doesn’t Expire
Almost without exception, some of the regret experienced later in life is a result of not “achieving” something. When one feels that haven’t fulfilled their true potential, it can leave a painful mark. But the ability to improve oneself does not expire.
But perhaps this point is better explained with one woman’s story. Doreetha Daniels, an elderly woman with vision and hearing problems, and a multiple-stroke victim – received her college degree at the age of 99 from College of the Canyons in Santa Clara, California.
One faculty member said: “Doreetha is a living testament to the saying ‘if there is a will, there is a way…”
7. Our Legacy
Ah yes, then there is the matter of what we leave behind. How will future generations think of us when we’ve long departed this Earth? Will they be inspired and heartened by your life? Or will they be neutral…maybe even a bit disappointed?
It’s quite surprising that few people think of legacy until very late in life. But what we leave behind for our descendants is one of the greatest gifts we can give.
Once again, we go back to a quote about 99-year old Doreetha Daniels:
“She is truly an amazing woman who has impacted my life and I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience her journey alongside her.”
In essence, this faculty member is discussing Daniels’ journey…her inspiration…and her legacy.
Will we be able to say the same?