It’s Never Too late

On June 26, 2017, in Monday Motivator, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
Listen to an audio version of this message.

I’ve been thinking about the number of people I know who have decided that purpose, passion and happiness are within their grasp and have chosen to do something about it.

It’s easy to throw obstacles in our way. We’re too old, too young, to inexperienced, to uneducated, too poor, to entrenched in our current reality. These are the voices of what American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker, Seth Godin calls “resistance”, that little troublemaker inside of our heads that is constantly telling us all the reasons we can’t have what we want.

The truth is that it’s never too late to rethink our priorities, to reorient our goals and to take steps in the direction of significant, positive life change.

Berkeley Breathed, the cartoonist who brought us Bloom County, says, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Whenever I see so called grown ups indulging their inner child at Disney World, I’m reminded that whatever age you are, whatever your past pain, you can rise above it and create the life you want.

“Don’t focus on what was taken away,” writes actress Drew Barrymore. “Find something to replace it, and acknowledge the blessing you have.”

There is a wonderful old maxim that gratitude turns grief into joy. And you always have something to be grateful for. Take some time to create your own gratitude list. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your outlook changes.

And speaking about chasing purpose and passion, American screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski, says, “It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place.”

Reed Hastings started Netflix at 37. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series as a middle aged single mom. McDonalds, Coca Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken were all founded by people in their 60s. FDR had his biggest political success after being debilitated by polio. Research tells us that people who marry later in life often have happier and more successful partnerships. At commencement this year, I shook the hand of a woman who was earning her undergraduate degree in her 70s.

What do all these people have in common? They made the decision that they could live life differently. They clearly articulated a goal and started down the road in it’s direction.

Henry David Thoreau said, “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” I would add, especially those prejudices we have about our own limitations.

It’s never too late to apologize for something you’ve done wrong.

It’s never too late to say thank you, to tell someone you love that you care, to get healthier, to visit new places and expand your horizons.

And it’s always a good day to perform a random act of kindness.

“I’m convinced of this,” writes the prolific poet and philosopher Maya Angelou. “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”

Reinvention, adding new knowledge to your brain’s portfolio, investing in productive relationships while gently deprioritizing what no longer works for you will not be easy. It may have taken years to get where you are and anything truly worth earning requires significant personal investment.

But our brains have an infinite capacity to learn new things and the formula for success in every corner of your life can be applied at any age, in any situation. In time the law of cause and effect always prevails.

What’s stopping you from creating the life, the career, the friendships and the healthy outlook you’ve always dreamed of. Whatever it is, examine it closely. You’ll likely find that the voice of Resistance is all that’s stopping you from becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Resolve not to listen to that voice. Instead, paint a vivid picture of the person you want to be in your mind. And start now to act in that very role. Since practice makes perfect and repetition evolves into habit, you’ll eventually become that person.

Start today, right now. It’s never too late.


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