"For of All Sad Words of Tongue and Pen, the Saddest are These, It Might Have Been....." -John Greenleaf Whittier
Imagine reaching a point in your life where you looked back over the years and deeply regretted not having done something you whole-heartedly wanted to do. Now imagine the reasons. Did you not pursue your dream goal because you put yourself second or third to everything and everyone else in your life? Or maybe it was because you were afraid to try and become dejected over not being good enough to "make it immediately"?
"It might have been" is a sad commentary to describe a life. That makes it a life lived without personal fulfillment. Unfortunately those words will become prophetic if, for whatever reason, you aren't nourishing your dreams.
What is sadder still is never having even tried because you felt at a certain age that it was too late for your success. However, dreams should have no age limit.
The great news is that it is never too late to begin to put yourself at the top of your list, prioritize, and do what you've always wanted to do. No matter if you're in your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond, you can still have your chance. Becoming successful is not limited to one certain age or even one career. In fact, the most successful people are the ones who have reinvented themselves, tried, failed, and tried again. Let's redefine the word failure as simply a plan that didn't work the first time around. It may just need a few tweaks and perseverance.
The following are great examples of people who did exactly that; they kept trying.
F. Murray Abraham got his first decent screen role as an actor when he was forty-five. The role was in the movie Amadeus and he won an Academy Award for his brilliant portrayal of Antonio Salieri. He had thought of giving up acting just two years before but thankfully didn't.
Andrea Bocelli didn't start singing opera seriously until the age of thirty-four. Some "experts" told him it was too late to begin.
Phyliss Diller became a comedian at the age of thirty-seven. She was told by many club owners that she was "too old" to become a success.
Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was forty-three when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was forty-four when he created The Fantastic Four.
Julia Child didn't even learn to cook until she was almost forty and didn't launch her popular show until she was fifty.
Elizabeth Jolley had her first novel published at the age of fifty-six. In one year alone she received thirty-nine rejection letters but finally had fifteen novels and four short story collections published to great success. Mary Wesley was seventy-one when her first novel was published. Talk about not giving up!
Ricardo Montalban had his dream house built at the age of sixty-eight. That was when he was finally financially able to do so and he went full-speed ahead with it.
Harlan Sanders, the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, was sixty-six when he began to promote his style of cooking and create an empire.
Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing as a columnist in her forties. Contrary to a belief begun by the TV series about her family, the popular Little House books weren't written when she was a young girl at all. They were written and published when the "girl" was in her 60s!
All of these people were discouraged at times and afraid. Being human, they thought about giving up but didn't; they kept their dreams alive and continued to strive for what they wanted. They didn't assign an age limit to their dreams and neither should you.
If, as John Greenleaf Whittier says, the saddest words are
the next saddest have to be
"it might have been,"
"I should have tried."
Trying is in itself a form of succeeding. Succeed at valuing yourself and go for it!
copyright 2010 Kristen Houghton