This is Question 1 from my book Your Biz Your Way: Q1 Have I left it too late?
I checked with you before I answered this one. I wanted to know how old you are. And you told me that you are “45 – just starting a second career as an entrepreneur after 20 years in communications and marketing. Got to the top of the ladder and didn’t like the view!”
45. Dear God, you are a CHILD!
OK, we can do this scientifically, or we can do it based on our beliefs. Or both.
You are going to outlive your mother and her mother. By a long chalk. I am planning to live until I am 100 and you are going to probably outlive that because you are 20 years younger than me. The outliving your mother and her mother thing comes about because you are a woman and what happened to their lives and health and death has some genetic impact, to the extent you choose to believe it does, on yours. Both my parents shortened their own lives (booze and fags), but my grandparents lived until their mid-80s and that was two generations ago. So I’m on for 100. At least.
So you have 55 years left in you, possibly more. Imagine! I’ll wait while you do that…
I once went to a workshop with Michael Neill and he got us to do this exercise where you draw a grid on a piece of paper which is 6 squares by 5, representing the next thirty years of your life. And you write into each box your plans for as far into the future as you can possibly imagine. When I did that exercise, I only used up the first three boxes with all my wild and extravagant plans for the rest of my life, which left me 27 years free at the end of that. Which was precisely what Michael wanted us to see. See further tips on how to do this exercise below.
There is plenty of time. For everything.
There is no shortage of time, that’s an illusion. You know all those things you read about how short life is? Stuff and nonsense! Life isn’t short for most of us although I’ll grant you it can sometimes feel like that.
You know how when you are doing something you love, time goes really quickly? And when you are doing something you hate or dread, or when you are wishing your life away, the hands on the clock slow down or even stop. Time drags. I used to go to Italian classes at the tech in the evenings when I was at boarding school. Even though that was my choice and I loved learning Italian, I would watch and listen to the clock and every single one of those 120 minutes tick by and feel every single one of those 7,200 seconds. Waiting for the lift, or the bus, or anything you are impatient about, feels interminable, doesn’t it?
There is loads of time, honestly. Nothing is ever too late.
I take lots of comfort from all those stories you read about people who started things “later” in life. 45 isn’t late, it’s barely past early. It will flash in the blink of an eye, yes. And it does appear to go faster the older you get. But there’s still loads of it, and it’s stretchy.
I just thought I’d Google for you – achievers in later life – and straight away I found a wonderful article on Psychology Today called The Top Ten Late Bloomers of All Time (which neither of us is, by the way, you starting again at 45 least of all) and it is subtitled “never too late for old dogs to do new tricks”!
EXACTLY! I rest my case.
I know you know this is bonkers. Time to stop believing in the messages from that other side of you, the side that isn’t really you at all.
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