There was a time I felt a bit behind the rest of the crowd, always comparing myself to what others were doing and accomplishing, and believing that somehow I was "less than." These days I often declare that I am a bit of a late bloomer: it might take me a little longer than most, but eventually I get there and when I do I go big or go home. After all, from my perspective, my journey to get where I want to go has taken longer so why not go all out? I say, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!
In all of the examples above (check out the links) it proves that many great achievements in life often don’t happen until we are older, wiser and finding our true selves through the many joys, tragedies, thrills, disappointments, and splendor that is life. Unfortunately, many have been so knocked down by life they have misplaced their dreams and values, only to build self-protecting walls around their expectations in an effort to manage the fear of failure and disappointment. They believe and act as if it is too late for what might have been. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there at some point. But we don't have to stay there.
I believe the key to embracing a philosophy of “It’s Never Too Late” starts with self-awareness that embraces our unique place in the world and boldly accepts what we are not good it. Focus on the the things you do well and where you can utilize your talents. Allow yourself to dream a bit and then balance it with the understanding that none of us can do it all and we certainly cannot do it alone. Imagine what kind of impact we could have on the world if we chose to take action toward becoming all that we were created to be? Let me be realistic for a moment; there is NO EASY ANSWER and NO EASY PATH to choosing this approach. You will fall down; you will get hurt along the way; you will fail...and learn; some days you will have to drag yourself out of bed and convince yourself that you can do this; and occasionally you will have to start all over again. But the beauty in deciding that you are never too old to give life to your dreams and values is the excitement, joy, unexpected surprises, and life giving hope you find within yourself. Take it one step at a time. Find one thing you can do today that will change your life for the better tomorrow. It doesn't have to be big. It just has to be something that helps you take a step forward and allows your dreams to take flight. In the words of one of my favorite popular authors, Brené Brown, "DARE GREATLY!"
If you're curious about some of the things I've dared to do later in life, here are a couple I hope will inspire you:
- Achieved my BA at the age of 50! (It only took me 10-years to get it all done with many stops and starts along the way.)
- Will have my MA at the age of 54! (I decided to stick with it and knock this one out in a two-year time frame.)
- Started HTP Consulting at the age of 52 and one year later I'm still alive.
- Over the past 20-years I've lost approximately 150 pounds. (I gained some back and now I'm losing it again. I won't give up!)
- Started a second business with a business partner this year. Leveritas Group
When we consider a 100-year-old woman running the 100-yard-dash or someone like Julia Child launching a television show at age 51, who's to say you can't achieve your dreams? Maybe it's too late to fulfill your dream of going to the moon, but why couldn't you become an expert in astronomy and teach at a college or university? Sometimes our dreams take different shapes as we get older. The key is to not give up and to believe that it is never too late.