Is It Too Late To Start?
The other day I was browsing the Career Advice section of Quora when I came across this question: “I am turning 27 and I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late?” Basically, the questioner wants to know if he has wasted to much time in his life to start on a ‘worthwhile’ path, now. Of course, the question itself is very subjective, based on what he means by ‘worthwhile’. It is in Career Advice, so presumably he means with a new job.
When I read this, I couldn’t get over what an odd question it seemed to me. At 27-years-old, you are barely more than a baby. Adult life is just starting to settle into something truly solid, and many of us still feel like kids in many ways. How can you look at life from such a young age and see nothing but possibility for a future still unwritten?
How Late Is ‘Too Late’?
This does bring up an interesting question, however. How late is too late to start on a new path in life? I think the answer to that is incredibly simple: when you are dead. That would seem to be the logical conclusion, as it is the only time you will not be able to make a concentrated effort to live. We can all agree on that regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof), right?
So when looking at your life ahead, I think it puts things into perspective. My friend’s dad went back to school at 40-years-old and got a new degree to land himself the job he always wanted. Recently, I saw an article about an 86-year-old woman named Johanna Quaas who is a brilliant gymnast that didn’t perform in her first competition until she was in her fifties.
If your argument is that you are too old to change your life, try something new or do something you have always wanted, then your excuse is invalid.
All Your Lifetimes
One of the responders to the question on Quora posted a comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal which I think is very thought provoking. It makes the point that it takes approximately seven years to master something. If you live to the average age of 88, you will have eleven opportunities to “be great at something” starting from the age of 11.
The comic uses this formula to claim that we have eleven lives before we die, each one giving us an opportunity to do something new, and do it well. It is a refreshing and interesting concept that I think everyone should check out.
My belief on this topic should be obvious. But I would like to state unequivocally for the person who asked that question that, no, it is not too late to make your life into something you feel is worthwhile. Even if you were asking the same question at sixty, it would not be too late to make the changes you desire and do what you have always yearned to.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Image author owned
Age is a number and it does not define us. Success is in the eye of the beholder, and only the individual can reach it or create meaning in their lives. It is time to start seeking it, whatever that means to you.