What does Age have to do with it?

Recently a dear friend sent me a book entitled “5”, written by Dan Zadra, in celebration of her five successful years in business. I love this book! It is simple, inspiring and liberating in its approach and message. One particular excerpt of this book hit home, as I have recently been coaching a few leaders and executives who feel the best years of their lives have passed them by. They lament to me that they are not where they thought they would be or where they want to be at this stage in their lives. We know intellectually that nothing is stagnate, and yet often we get stuck. We get riddled in our own stories of where we think we ‘should be’,  where we think others think we ‘should be’, or simply paralyzed by the hurdles which test and often hinder our forward momentum.

This book asks the penetrating question: “Where will you be five years from today?” It is chock full of provocative exercises to challenge our limiting beliefs and reinforce the fact that there is no time like the present. I found one particular passage particularly relevant and motivating to those of us who still have a lot we wish to contribute in life and find our life zooming past at lightening speed. The author compiled a list of individuals of varying ages and when and how they contributed. An excerpt:

Age 7 – Mozart wrote his first symphony. Age 17 – Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France. Age 21- Fred DeLuca founded Subway with only $1000 in the bank. Age 45 – George Foreman, the boxer, regained the heavyweight championship of the world. Age 54 – Willie Shoemaker won the Kentucky Derby. Age 57 – Ray Kroc founded McDonald’s. Age 78 – Grandma Moses started painting and continued exhibiting one-woman shows well into her nineties. Age 84 – Titian painting his famous Allegory of the Battle of LePanto. Age 86 – Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours.

So, when we think life is passing us by and we have not contributed in the manner in which we had hoped up until now – what is holding us back from diving in? We need to forget our age and just go for it! Many years ago after a serious surgery, I remember telling my father, “I wish I knew what my purpose was.” Without missing a beat, he said, “Well, you have one, otherwise you would not be here, you would be dead.” Perhaps a bit morbid, yet so very true. We will never have more time than we do right now. So, for those of us who think we have ‘missed the boat’  – lets get in the water and swim.

13 responses to “What does Age have to do with it?

  1. Kristin – this is an outstanding and much needed post. Reading this should bring out a passion in everyone. Thank you for encouraging all of us to get into the water and swim at any season of our life. You hit the mark again – Thank You!!

  2. A daily existence is too precious to waste. In deciding to do any task, unfortunately, not to decide…is to decide. Live in the moment–don’t let age ever hold you back. The reward is you have no one to please but you. What a prize–satisfaction within one’s self!

    Thanks, Kristin, for this special reminder.

  3. Kristin–Great commentary about how chronological age doesn’t always relate to ones’ ability to still be creative and have passion to continue to achieve. The folks who are real achievers and goal oriented will always continue to drive towards significant accomplishments no matter what stage of their life and careers they are in.

  4. Age and circumstances change, and with your good counsel, we will all be prepared to recognize, embrace and grow with these changes. Great commentary, Miss Kristin!

  5. Kristin, more than age, I think your commentary is about that self-condeming thought or fear that we aren’t where where we should be. Sometimes we feel “behind” our counterparts, but this really isn’t a race. It is a journey and we were each called “for such a time as this.” Thanks for the reminder.

  6. I agree completely! I’ll be 47 on Saturday, but feel and act 27! I was raised by a sassy mamma on a street with exclusively boys and have wored in a male dominated industry my whole life… and though it could be challenging at times, I actually enjoy my position and differentiation and use it as a strength! I’ve always been athletic and beleive some of the lessons and disclipline learned on the game field is critical to success in life… At 40 i began to play tennis and now I play competitively at a national level and raise my 17 and 14 year old girls to believe they can do anything they work to achieve regardless of their sex or age! Never let anyone convince you that you can’t do whatever you have the drive to pursue! Thanks for your inspiration Kristin!

  7. Kristin, thank you for this. I purchased that book a month or so ago, planning to save it for an upcoming spa weekend. Your putting it in perspective is excellent preparation — puts me in just the right (and positive) state of mind to get worthwhile, forward-moving ideas from it. As always, you are spot on.

  8. My mood elevator just went to the top floor. At +60 I often vicitmize myself for not achieving more but it is suttle reminders like this that cause us to dig in and show our stuff. So as I dig in (jump in the water) I leave you with this quote from the late Carlos Castenada:
    “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same”

  9. Thanks, all, for your comments. This entry was autobiographical (as many of my entries are) – as we often look to the ‘left and to the right’ and see those younger and think……would’ve, could’ve, should’ve…..and I, for one, believe we have SO much to offer up until we literally take our last breath. What are we waiting for? Forward momentum……

  10. Kristin, thank you for your always insightful words of wisdom. I especially appreciated this post as I will soon take a leap of faith after accepting an early retirement offer (aren’t I too young and vital for this!!??) I will be starting a new business that notoriously attracts a younger worker selling to a younger customer. As this idea and business concept has been my lifelong passion, I feel very fortunate that I am finally able to do this. I feel young and have more ambition than ever so . . . .why not! At least now, I will be in control of my own destiny rather than having someone else tell me it’s time to go.

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