You’re Never Too Old to Follow a Dream


“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

Oh no, I’m too old for that. Not at my time of life. That ship has sailed.

I wonder if this sounds familiar to you. It does to me, and I’ve only just reached 30 years of age.

For many years now, as I have approached the big 3-0, I have imposed unrealistic goals, limiting beliefs, and unfair rules on myself, generally based upon how those around me have wanted me to be at my age.

I’ll provide you with an example here:

Having run several businesses and worked in corporate jobs in lots of different sectors, I never really settled in to learning my true role until this past year and a half.

I told myself that leaving my well-paid office job to pursue my dreams was, because of my advancing years, the absolute last chance I had to live the life I wanted to live and to become the success I had always wanted to be.

I put so much pressure on myself that burnout and fatigue were foregone conclusions, and I even made myself believe that if I didn’t do it this time around then everyone around me would suffer and I would never be able to redeem myself.

I paid far too much attention to what I supposed others around me were secretly thinking of my latest venture. This nearly made me feel afraid to even give it a go, let alone put in the effort that would either make or break my dream.

I know that certain members of my family believe that I should be working in a full-time corporate job with benefits, and that I should, for the want of a better phrase, suck it up and accept a life of limitation.

This is something that I have tried with all my might to do in order to please others. What I didn’t realize is that in trying to make others proud of me to satisfy their own beliefs and values, I had completely overlooked my pride in myself, my values, and my dreams.

This, I believe, is a life lesson that for the most part can only be learned and utilized after a certain amount of life experience.

I feel that, at 30, I am almost there and ready chase my dreams with a more mature outlook on what I truly want from my life and, while I still value the opinions of others, I certainly do not let them influence my intuition and the passion I have for what I am I trying to achieve.

The age at which you start to feel like this will vary I guess, but for me, 30 always held that glow of promise.

At 21, I was not afraid of starting my own business and I dove into it without much thought or care at all. Six months later, I had moved on.

At 23, I tried again, in the same way and with the same outcome which I then had to pay for for several years to come.

From each attempt I grew, I learned lessons, and as I got older I gradually started to gain some clarity about what it was I wanted from my life.

I then became a parent and automatically grew up by years at a time. I discovered a resolve, power, and dignity that had been lying within me, an untapped resource.

With age comes responsibility but it also brings with it new outlooks on life. It brings with it feelings of self and of clarity that may not be there in our earlier years.

I also believe that our dreams and desires can take many years to truly form into something that resembles our true path, and I’m not sure that this process ever really ends unless we allow it to— which would be such a terrible shame.

Each of our life experiences forms our perception of the world around us, and this in turn forms our vision of what we want our future to hold.

It is imperative that we never become too old to dream and that we have the confidence to act on those dreams to create the lives we most covet, at any time along our journey.

I have found that a life well-lived is a life lived fully and without dilution.

This concept does not end when we reach a certain age. It is essential maintenance for the human spirit to be constantly in a time of growth and challenge, in whichever form this takes, at whatever age we are.

Even if that challenge is to learn how to do nothing, which is actually much harder than it sounds, if we have always been busy, living a life of stress and overwork.

If we have nothing to aspire or look forward to in life, we end up feeling like we are going nowhere, and we stagnate. I have already felt this way even though I am still considered younger in years.

I believe that these limiting thoughts of age hold us back from living the truly miraculous lives we deserve and are fully able to cultivate if we take good care of ourselves.

Age, if anything, is on our side. 

When we grow older, our goals and dreams should really, by virtue of our life experiences, seem more attainable.

It is a pity that age is seen as something of a restriction; and that we adopt this belief through our own perceptions of what other’s view as acceptable for us at a given time.

It’s time to take full responsibility for our own existence and to have complete respect for our dreams, at whatever stage of life we are in. 

The responsibilities that come with age needn’t be all doom and gloom, mortgages and money matters. We should allow the autonomy that we hold in our lives as we get older to be a source of power and confidence, to push us forward into a life well-lived.

It takes time to learn how to own our lives, nurture our goals, and realize our dreams, but fortunately we have time if we're willing to seize it.

Photo by kol.

About Genevieve Maxted-Tidy

Genevieve Maxted-Tidy is the founder of Beautifully Organic for Life in the UK, offering organic life coaching for Women and holistic website design. She is also the creator of The Oval Table Virtual Women’s Community, launching on 1st July 2013. Get her latest E-Book, 20 Steps to Optimum Health and Productivity, for free when you subscribe to her newsletter.

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  • Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you 🙂

  • Subramani Sarode

    That’s very true. I my self quit my job when I was 40. I learnt swimming when I was 36. I learnt skating when I was 40 and started learning music (Harmonica) when reached 48! It’s really feels great and gives enjoyment following our inner call. Thanks for the positive affirmation with your article.

  • Milena

    In my search of my true call at 26, after doing everything that was expected from me (college, grad school) and reaching a plateau at a low-paying job that makes me feel unsatisfied with what I do, this article was what I just needed. Some say that it’s too late to change careers, that I’m too old to seek something new but I’m on my daily quest to find my passion and articles like this encourage me to keep digging, trying new things and rediscovering myself. Thank you!!

  • Dan Garner

    “It takes time to learn how to own our lives, nurture our goals, and realize our dreams, but fortunately we have time if we’re willing to seize it.”
    And focus, time alone will not get us there.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  • Perfect read! Really hit home for me as I am going through transition!

  • You’re so right. Age and life experience are key when you’re trying to get clear on who you are and what you want to do – and it’s never too late to take charge, follow your dreams and create a life with integrity.

    In terms of life experience, I think there’s one thing that forces you to grow a sense of self and clarity more than anything else: Getting your dreams stepped on by people you thought were on your team.

    I’m 22, and almost a year ago I left a job in investment banking (which I went into head-first at 20 – just like you describe) to pursue my own dream of running a personal development blog and business for young women. I launched, I was psyched – and then I discovered that a former colleague and one of my dearest friends wasn’t speaking to me. Why? Because he thought I was a flat-out idiot for starting such a stupid business, that I was young and naive, that I’d never make it. He was the first person to flip out, but not the last.

    When you’re following your dreams – no matter your age – friends and family won’t always have your best interests at heart.

    Some people get scared that you’ll outgrow them. Others find it difficult to understand why you’re not being pragmatic (and getting that corporate job with benefits), or why you’re not aligning with the expected “life script”. And some, like my colleague, may just turn out to be flat-out idiots who no longer deserve your friendship.

    Hard knocks from your own team hurt a lot, and it took me another year of both age and experience to figure out how to deal with it. But in the end, like you say, it’s all part of living a life without dilution.

    Thanks for the article, Genevieve!!

  • Genevieve, you have such an innate wisdom given your young years, that I recognized from the moment we first met!

    More than this though I saw this willingness to allow your soul to grow and learn its lessons with such beautiful grace. This line in your article really stood out for me:

    “I’m not sure that this process ever really ends unless we allow it to— which would be such a terrible shame.”

    Indeed! When we forget to stay PRESENT – even in those moments of growth in our journeys – we end up missing the journey altogether, don’t we?

    Thank you for this beautiful article and for making your beautiful mark in this world :).

  • Wow! What an amazing response! I am deeply touched and so very grateful to all of you who have read, liked and commented on my post. Thank you!

  • My goodness Milena! Thank you so much for your lovely connection! Your strength and belief that there is more to it than just the low-paying and unsatisfying jobs is truly inspiring. Keep going, your perfect job and life are waiting for you and you will find it when the time is right. In the meantime, enjoy the journey! Everything you learn along the way will stand you in great stead when the time comes!! Sending you many wishes! It is NEVER too late 🙂

  • Thank you so much Sabrina. It is your light that guides my way 🙂

  • Wow, thank you Hanna for taking the time to share your beautiful story with me and for being so very insightful. Your strength and desire to chase your dreams in the face of anything really shines through and I wish you all the very best with your business. You are absolutely right. Other’s opinions of what you are doing can sting. I always try to think about why they have the reactions they do. Maybe they are feeling unfulfilled as well and do not know how to act on it. Maybe they just don’t “get” it. Either way, we have to be in charge in our own lives and lead by example to inspire those around us to try the same. Allow love to flow through you in everything you do and let that love touch others when your choices do not. Warm wishes!

  • Thank you Robert. I am deeply touched that my article has resonated with you. I wish you all the very best in this time of transition and just know that you can be and do whatever you want to! Warm wishes to you!

  • Thank you for your great comment Dan. You are absolutely right, focus is so important. As is commitment to what we are doing. The two intertwine nicely don’t they? Maybe we should focus on making the time! Sending you warm wishes 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing this Subramani! You are the absolute embodiment of my article and a true inspiration! Thank you for backing up my article with actual evidence that all is possible and I wish you many blessings in your journey to come!

  • Thank you Greg. I am so delighted to hear that my words have helped you. Sending you the very best wishes!

  • Patricia

    I was surprised to see an age of 30 with the promise that you are never too old ….. I am 67 and about to embark on another new career.

  • Thank you so much for your comment Patricia. How inspiring to hear of your new career change. I wish you all the very best on this new journey. Is it wrong of me to agree with your surprise even though I wrote the article? When I look back on the past 30 years it sometimes feels as though I should be older. Sometimes I even feel older (not in a good way). A great deal has happened for me in this time and, as a result, I was feeling as though I had just one more shot. Your wonderful comment reinforces the fact that I was wrong in this. Warm wishes.

  • Tracey

    I am 46 years old and in my second year of college, I got a late start. Everyone keeps telling me that you’re never to old to start something new. Sometimes I have doubts. I don’t know yet what I want to be when I grow up!

  • Oh Tracey. Thank you so much for your beautiful and heart-felt comment. Remember, doubts are just thoughts, we can always choose to think differently in moments of worry. It sounds like you are on such an amazing new journey and I am so excited for you! Finding your truth is hard, be kind to yourself and really listen moment to moment, it will come. In the meantime, enjoy the journey, there is such meaning in it. Warmest wishes!

  • Kris

    Genevieve, thank you so much for this. At 53 I have finally decided to leave a career that has sucked the life out of me. It was not an easy decision to leave behind something I have been doing for 25 years but I have turned into someone I neither recognize or like anymore. The last 6 months have been a difficult yet wonderful journey, trying to recapture that fun loving, live in the now person I once was. I don’t want to be that 20 year old again but I would like to be an older wiser version of her. I’m actually starting to catch glimpses of her and in time I think she will be here to stay. I’m also in the process of creating the path to living my passion which is terrifyingly exhilarating. I found Tiny Budda a month or so ago and have found so much inspiration and strength I cannot put into words how much it has helped. Thank you

  • Dear Kris,
    I just thought I would check in with my first post on here and your beautiful message was the first new message I saw. Thank you so much for your comment, I am so pleased that my article, and Tiny Buddha on the whole, has helped you in such a profound way. Wishing you sunshine and blessings on your beautiful journey and congratulations on beginning to live the life that lights you up ~ Genevieve <3

  • T

    Excellent. Thank you for the inspiration. It is very helpful.
    At 45, I am again changing careers. I am pursuing a job in the firefighting/ems field. Most find this incredulous. But I am fit and my resolve is strong. It is mainly my internal fear that presents the largest stumbles.
    Thank you again.

  • The FreeBird Project

    I feel like you were writing that article to me! I will be 30 this summer and I am quitting my job in 2 months to pursue my dreams as well. It is so inspiring to hear that other people feel the same way I do about feeling “too old” to chase my dreams. Thank you so much for what you wrote.

  • 30 is really young

  • you had over decade of experience and still have the vitality and energy…..go for it, what ever it is.

  • Samia

    If I had life to do over again, I would focus on the things I love, the values that are important to me and work that gives me deep satisfaction.I would have faith that I had the capacity and intelligence to get where I wanted by doing what I wanted. I would trust my instinct. I would not try to fit where I never could following rules and processes I don’t believe in. I would find success in an environment that fostered my skills, ambition and creativity. I would not contribute to establishing and reinforcing the very things I believe need to change. I would stay true to that little voice in my head that has never really steered me wrong.

    I am 32 – I have been behind everyone in everything for my entire life and it has never stopped me from trying something new. The last two years I tried to “grow up” and “stabilize” and “do what was right” in terms of work and relationships and homes……I can never tell you how wrong it has felt and how wrong things have gone. Go with your gut. It knows what it is
    doing. I really think that is the only way to live.

  • jason

    30 “old” lol you are still quite young and to me you are just a kid i am 48 year old and i have lots of plans too and i dont want my age as an excuse .

  • John L

    ^”because later is definitely not so good.” doesn’t that oppose the author’s idea that you’re never too old? 🙂 more specifically, I think you are right about realities like worn body parts. IMHO the author is too young to be writing that you’re never too old. she doesn’t know what old is. try being 48 and applying for certain jobs, where you don’t meet the maximum age limit (ex., air traffic controller) or job age discrimination of young people like the Facebook CEO who stated that younger people are just smarter. an actual old author would have more credibility to people who are old. if your audience is a 30 year old, the title should be “actually, you’re not that old to …”
    ~ written by cranky old guy who’s tired of young people claiming to be old.

  • David

    I really hate it when people like yourself spout false hope. I’m 56 living with realities that I can’t change. I have pursued dreams and fell flat on my face. Some of us live in the real world where you have to accept reality. Your claims show ignorance and insensitivity to many people’s realities. Those may include mental illness, physical limitations, or overwhelming circumstances.

  • Cheryl Kohan

    Well, just so you know…I’m 72 years old and going strong. I’ve been blogging, traveling and learning for as long as I can remember. There are so many experiences that I still want to explore and have every intention of doing so. So, you are correct…it’s never too late.

  • David G Stone

    Such a well written article. I always knew what i was doing wrong but could not quite articulate it to sink into my soul. Reading this i finally feel like i get it!! This is exactly what i needed to hear. I turn 40 next year and for the first time in life i know exactly what i want!! Perhaps i knew it all along but have been so busy trying to suppress it and not believe!! haha…in any case THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE & MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!!