Money and material possessions can be replaced. Time and life, which are essentially the same thing, cannot.
Contrary to the popular western adage, “It’s never too late”… sometimes, it really is.
At the very least, it’s a lot harder to start over again. And for many who delay, merely starting for the first time at all may be the goal!
Okay, being serious again…
Eventually the sun sets, for the last time. And yes, I know, the glass is half full (or more), but eventually you still run out of time. Nobody lives forever.
The most effective catalyst that will force a person to grasp a meaningful change of course in his or her life is a near-death experience. Secondly, there is the loss of one’s station in life (job, home, relationships). Frankly, fear is stronger than desire.
Desire for success, greed for advancement…
I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.
– DH Lawrence
Short of tempting fate to procure a brush with mortality, consider that it is still within your grasp to dream, and that you are always capable of doing something about it.
For example, Tom Clancy was close to 40 when he published his first novel (The Hunt for Red October); John Pemberton was 55 when he invented Coca-Cola; and Colonel Harland Sanders started the KFC restaurant chain when he was aged 62!
Harrison Ford was a carpenter until his early 30s, and Samuel L. Jackson was about 40 before he got his first break in acting. I could go on and on, but you surely get the idea.
Timing is not the only problem. There will always be (potential) obstacles, and therefore excuses. The late Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most famous modern physicist and popular successor to Einstein, was unable to walk unaided, or even to speak without the help of a machine, for over half a century. Andrea Bocelli, the renowned Italian singer, is congenitally blind, as is Stevie Wonder. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who led the U.S.A. to victory during World War II, suffered polio as an adult and needed a wheelchair. And there was Helen Keller, deaf and blind from the age of two, who campaigned for women’s voting rights and other causes.
Success is often achieved against the odds.
However, most people, though effectively born millionaires… well, most people throughout the course of life, never fully probe or realise the potential gifts with which they were endowed. Instead, they walk around with their chins on the ground lamenting lost opportunities, or decrying the unfairness of life.
I have taught students from many cultures and countries, of all ages, who finally realised they were more capable than they had thought!
Go sit in a dark room, with no noise or distractions, for an entire afternoon, and think through in very serious, unhurried terms, just what you want to be when you grow up… even if you’re already middle-aged, or older.
Two of my students, being among those whom I most admire, are a pair of middle-aged women from struggling socio-economic backgrounds; they are best friends who motivate each other, and have to juggle domestic problems, family illnesses, and so many other pressures… yet they will succeed, and graduate. I know they will succeed, because they are clear on their goal, and they never give up.
They also made the decision to start… and then they started moving.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute, with 60 seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the world and all that’s in it…
– R Kipling