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We’ve all certainly heard the excuse, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” How often do we let ourselves off the hook from starting something or sticking to it when it comes to goals we create for ourselves?
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you may know that I love to share stories. I’m going to share some more about people who did things later in life-when many would’ve said it’s too late.
Did you know that Julia Childs was nearly 50 by the time she published her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking? She discovered how much she loved French food in her mid-thirties, attended a cooking school, joined a cooking club for the love of cooking, and only later decided to share her honed skills to Americans?
Benjamin Franklin came up with bifocal lenses at the ripe age of 78, Agatha Christie wrote The Mousetrap, at age 62, and Vladmir Horowitz performed piano recitals until the age of 84. Ken Robinson, in his book, The Element, gives loads of examples of people who became famous later in life, not because they had given into self-imposed ageism, but because they followed their goals and passions despite their age.
Robinson tells the story of Susan Jeffers, a psychologist who published the book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway in her 40’s. After getting her PhD in psychology and getting a divorce, Jeffers began attending a myriad of workshops to become more empowered and self-aware. Eventually, she taught a workshop about feeling fear and doing it anyways which she created week-by-week, despite feeling terrified! When she decided to publish her workshop as a book, she was rejected by many publishers, one of whom rejected her in a horrible way: “Lady Di could be bicycling nude down the street giving this book away, and no one would read it!” After leaving her manuscript for a few years, she tried again and managed to publish a best seller.
Eddie Hunter is a local legend in Banff. In his 86th year, Eddie has skied for over 75 years. As recently as two years ago, I saw him teaching skiing at Norquay. I see him working at his daughter’s store next door to my office and realize we’re only as old as we feel.
What does this have to do with goals? Everything! Are you going to let excuses stand in your way of reaching your goals? Are you going to give into the idea that you’re too old to live your dream? Are you going to buy into the idea that someone your age should behave a certain way?
To quote Dr. Seuss in Oh, The Places You’ll Go!:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
…And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
Be a kid all your life and do what you want to do. I’d love to hear what you decide!