Am I too old?

As people think about their life goals, one of the fears they have is that they’ve already missed out.

That they’re now too old to accomplish what they want in life.

And the fear starts early in life, earlier than you might think.

In fact, if I type “Am I too old?” into google, these are the first five results that I see (all from Quora):

  • I’m 25 this year. Am I too old for everything?
  • I am 37 years old. Am I too old to start a business?
  • At 31, am I too old to find love?
  • I want to go back to school at 31, am I too old?
  • Am I too old to succeed i my life at age 32?

WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, and….WOW!!!

So let’s tackle this question – am I too old – because it definitely seems like one that people are interested in, even at ages far younger than I would have imagined.

On the one hand, we know that people can accomplish amazing things at advanced ages.

For example, a friend’s mom recently graduated from college at 80 years old (and in visual and performing arts no less!).

And now she plans on going for her master’s degree!

On the other hand, we also have to be honest. 

As we get older some doors do close to us.

For example, there are professions with strict age limits.

Other professions may not have strict age limits but the potential for success decreases as we get older.

For example, at age 49, I’m probably never going to become a major league baseball player.

Even certain goals may become out of reach as we get older.

Yes, I could learn to run a marathon if I wanted to.

But if my goal is to win the Boston Marathon, that’s probably out of reach for me (the oldest winner was 41 years old and that was way back in 1930).

But many things DO remain possible for us even as we get older, particularly if we’re willing to be a bit flexible in how we define what we want to achieve (running a marathon vs. winning the Boston Marathon).

Now there’s one twist that I need to address.

This question was sent to me by a reader who wanted to know if it was too late for her to make it as a singer at age 59.

The honest truth is that I have absolutely no idea.

Some professions have a LOT of competition.

And success is often based on factors such as luck, serendipity,  and knowing the right people.

So regardless of age (or talent), I could never guarantee that someone will make it in a profession such as singing.

But here’s what I will say:

If you love singing, if singing is your passion, then spend as much time as you can signing.

You may or may not make it as a singer.

But what will happen is this: you will spend a lot of your life doing something that you love.

And isn’t that what really matters? (much more so than whether or not you make it).

Oh, and by the way, it’s 100% your choice how to define yourself.

Even if you’re not making money by signing, you can still tell people that you’re a signer.

That IS your right.

You NEVER have to define yourself by how you make money.

And hopefully it goes without saying that all of the above applies to other hobbies and activities, not just singing.

Put your time, heart, and soul into what you LOVE.

The money may or may not follow but you WILL create an incredible life by following your heart and doing what you love.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi Ed,
    I totally agree. I’ve been a writer since childhood. However, I got sidetracked by marriage at twenty and the responsibility of raising a family. Yet I never forgot my heart and soul yearned to write poetry and put pen to paper all the story ideas and plots that would someday become a fleshed out novel-novels. After a divorce at forty-five and becoming a single mom, I made time dedicated to living my dream. My kids are grown and gone and I moved to position myself in a creative area – Maui, Hawaii. I moved in my fifties and published my first book of poems. I write well into my sixties now and nothing can stop me! As you mentioned, my novels may never be published as books, but I tell myself I am a writer because I do the work. My health is good and as I remain curious about life and mentally sharp-this dream of publishing novels can be achieved-even if I’m in my nineties!
    Great blog subject, Ed!
    Diana Hindman

    1. Thanks Diana! I loved reading your story and I’m glad that you’ve kept working at what you love!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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