If you have recently prevented yourself from doing something because you feel you are too old, then this post may be for you.
Basically, it is all too easy to become influenced by age expectations society loves to place on us. Such numbers create a crushing pressure on our very being and the nearer these arbitrary deadlines get, the worse we feel. Who decided that we have to be married by the age of 30? Who says we have to be in a respectable career by 25? Why do we need to have children before the age of 40? I believe these kinds of pressures actually force us into lives that we can end up hating, and decisions that ultimately conflict with who we are.
I am about to embark on a university degree that I wish to do in my spare time. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but I am now 31 and a lot of people have actually told me that I’m a bit too old for education. That I should have done it 10 years ago, and it is so easy to be manipulated by our peers. I had my doubts, I admit, but the way I see it is that in 3 years I will look back to now and be so thankful that I had the strength to follow through with my goals.
I had hit my 30s working in a dead-end job and wondered if this was it for me. Had I found my level and was I about to start counting down the long grinding years to my eventual retirement and a life of misery? I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t allow my opportunity to fizzle away. After what seemed like an eternity of deliberation and second guessing my own decisions, I quit my job and started my guitar tuition business. I had wanted to be a musician since the age of 17 and the longer I left it, the harder it became to break the cycle.
This is what you can’t allow yourself to do. Don’t let life pass you by or you will regret it.
Most people travel when they finish college or university because that is perhaps the only time in their life when they have no ties or strong responsibilities. I have lost count of the number of people in my own age range who are too scared to give up their job or their independence to focus on what they want. The comfort of the short term is too strong to break.
I actually believe that travelling later in life is more rewarding as you then have the maturity to really take in and experience everything. Okay, I understand that if you have a marriage and kids that long term travel may be impossible, but think outside the box. Go for frequent short trips or take the family with you. Basically there is never a strong enough excuse for not following what you have always wanted to do.
Life is full of great examples of people who refused to let age become a barrier to success.
Think of all the Hollywood actors and musicians that only achieved success once they were into their 40s. You think Seasick Steve wanted to give up? The man was homeless and nearing his 60s when his dedication and refusal to quit helped him achieve unbelievable chart success and worldwide recognition.
Simon Cowell entered his 30s a failure and actually declared himself bankrupt and moved back with his parents. It seems amazing now that one of the most influential men in the music industry actually went through that. He could have decided that his chance had been and gone and that he was at an age where he now had to be responsible and enter the ‘real’ world. He didn’t listen to convention; he forged ahead and created for himself the life he knew he deserved.
It honestly doesn’t matter who you are or what your age is. If you have a goal or a dream and you feel that your time has passed then I strongly believe you should reconsider and just go for it. Regardless of what it is that you want to do, you can find hundreds – thousands – of people that have been down that same path as you and yet, made it happen. Use these people as your inspiration and don’t allow anyone to bring you down or tell you that you can’t have the life that you truly want.
Time will continue to pass no matter what path you choose for yourself, so don’t become that person that looks back on their life with regret and a million excuses. There are far too many of those around and their club doesn’t need another member.
You already know who you are and what you want. There is no better time than now. Go for it!
Article by Jamie Flexman, author of Psycholocrazy where he blogs about how to quit your job, find your passion and live life on your own terms.