You’ve probably never heard of Fauja Singh. He was born in India and now lives in England. He enjoys running and has a particular affinity for marathons. This might not seem all that unusual to you; lots of people enjoy running marathons. 27,000 people ran the 26.1 mile course in Boston this year alone. It has been several years since Fauja ran his last marathon -six years ago to be precise. What makes things a little more interesting is that Fauja started running marathons at the tender age of 81. Yes, 81. In 2006, he completed his final marathon at 91. He turned 100 years old in April and although his workout routine has decreased significantly from his training days, he still manages to cover 2-3 miles per day.
Myth #2: It’s too late/I’m too old
It is NEVER to late to follow your dream. Or as George Eliot so famously penned “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
I mean seriously, if a man can start running marathons in his eighties, can it be too late for you to start anything?
I will concede, however, that it might be too late to follow a dream in it’s original, specific form. For example, if you are 65 and taking tap dancing lessons for the first time, you have, most likely, missed the boat to join the Rockettes. It is not too late however, to become proficient enough to perform in public. Think you’re too old to record a rock music CD? Do you know how old Steven Tyler is? (63) Frank McCort, who wrote Angela’s Ashes, first began to write in his 60’s. Socrates learned to play musical instruments in his 80’s. Grandma Moses was recognized as a significant artist in her 90’s.
People change majors, change careers, some people even change genders. Living an authentic life doesn’t concern itself with the constraints of time. As far as dreams are concerned, there is always time. Start living yours.
Myth #3: It’s too soon/I’m too young
This is the flip side to the coin. I’ve seen many people push away the success they found simply because they felt they hadn’t worked hard or long enough to deserve it. They had in their minds a image of the type of work they had to put in to be successful and when they got where they wanted to be faster than expected, they didn’t believe they deserved to be there yet. If you get there by living an authentic life, you deserve your success regardless of the amount of time it takes you to achieve it.
I remember in high school thinking about being in college and feeling like that when I got there, I could finally spend time playing my guitar, writing music and performing in front of people. Imagine my surprise when I got there and met others who had been doing that exact thing since high school! I used to fall into the trap all the time of thinking I was too young to try a great many things. Now that I am much older (and hopefully, slightly wiser), I wish I hadn’t limited my thinking back then.
The time to do anything authentically aligned with your dreams and passions is now. It is never to early or too late to start and you’re not too old or too young. You are ready today and the time is perfect. Just start where you are and see where it takes you.