“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.