Never Too Late

Do you think that it’s too late for you? Think again.

It is always too early to decide that it’s too late.” -Unknown

I remember reading the above quote on the Facebook page of one of my favorite blogs, and ever since then, I cannot stop thinking about it.

In life, it is far too common for people to believe deeply in the myth of “too late.” Maybe you’ve believed in it too. I know that I used to believe in it at one time.

Be honest with yourself, have you ever said or thought any of the following things?

It’s too late to completely change careers.

It’s too late to start a new diet and/or exercise program.

It’s too late to fix my credit.

It’s too late to get a college degree.

It’s too late to tell (insert person here) that I’m sorry.

It’s too late to write a book.

It’s too late to find true love.

It’s too late to move to a new city with warmer weather.

It’s too late to learn a foreign language.

It’s too late to start my own business and be my own boss.

It’s too late for me to be a better mother/father to my kids.

It’s too late to stand up to my coworker who is making my work life a living hell.

It’s too late to leave my significant other.

It’s too late to travel the world.

It’s too late to make any meaningful changes in my life.

It’s too late to have a bigger impact on the world.

It’s too late to be happy.

If so, stop it.

It is never too late for you. Yeah, I said it. Never.

In the words below, it’s my hope that you’ll see exactly why that is true.

All the Proof That You Need

If you’ve ever thought that it was “too late” to live your dream, “too late” to do the one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, or “too late” to be the person who you’ve always wanted to be, please take a moment to marinate in this quote:

Here is the test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.” -Richard Bach

There it is.

If you’re breathing and able to read these words, then it is not too late for you to go after what you want.

In fact, it will never be too late because there is no such thing as “too late” when it comes to pursuing your dreams.

Okay, that’s cool and all, but do you believe it?

It’s easy to say that it’s never too late, but it’s an entirely different issue to actually believe it.

To be honest, I know that I didn’t always believe this.

Instead, I believed in the silliness of staying in soul-destroying jobs, emotionally-abusive relationships, and even living in a crappy town in upstate NY for way longer than I should have, all because I believed that it was too late to make a change.

Even worse, I convinced myself that since I have already invested so much of my time into my soul-destroying job, my emotionally-abusive relationship, and into living in that crappy town that it somehow meant that it was too late to change course now.

If I did, that would be like admitting that all of those years were a total waste of time.

Thankfully, I now know how incredibly flawed that logic was.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” -Albert Einstein

Looking back on it now, staying in a miserable situation because I thought that it was too late to make a change, and because I’ve already committed so much time to the miserable situation, is well…insane.

Equally as insane, is that I consciously chose to continue down a road that I knew would never lead me to a positive destination, but I still kept going full speed ahead anyway.

The good news is that this form of insanity is temporary and very curable.

The cure begins with us reclaiming our relationship with time, and never believing that it’s too late to do or be anything that we choose.

The fact that you have breath in your lungs and blood pumping in your veins is all the proof that you will ever need to know that it is never too late for you.

The only question is this: will you say, “yeah, that sounds good,” and then choose to continue down the same road like I did and burn years off of your precious timeline?

Or instead, will you declare today–or better yet, right now–that it’s not too late for you to live your best life?

Take it from a guy who has first-hand experience of both options:

There is only one choice that makes sense.

Your Dreams Can’t Die

Our dreams are often very misunderstood.

Many people look at dreams as luxuries.

Many people think of dreams as the things that they’ll get around to doing once they have some free time.

Many people think that dreams are for the special people.

Please don’t buy into the lies for a moment longer. In this case (and lots of other cases, to be honest), “many people” are dead wrong. 

Dreams are for all of us. Especially us.

Our dreams are very special things. They absolutely refuse to be ignored. They refuse to be beaten into submission.

Most of all, they refuse to die.

That’s because our dreams can’t die. They’re invincible.

Attempting to silence our dreams by ignoring them, discouraging them, or worst of all, by saying “it’s too late” will only succeed in causing us enormous emotional pain in the long run (actually, in the “short run” too).

Fighting against our dreams will always be a losing battle.

That persistent voice inside of you that says “you can do it, just give it a try” will never stop talking to you until one of two things happen:

1) You either take the necessary action needed to make your dream a reality, or 2) When you finally die.

That’s it.

If you think that your inner voice will stop pleading with you because you’ve convinced yourself that “it’s too late,” you couldn’t be any more wrong.

Much worse than that, saying that “it’s too late,” is like an open invitation to be haunted by the ghosts of regret and the demons of “What If?” for the rest of your life.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Whether you’re constantly daydreaming about traveling the world, finally writing a book, or leaving your deadbeat boyfriend, please believe that your vision for a better life came to you for a reason.

Your daydream wants to be so much more than just a daydream.

It wants to be real.

For example, if you’re reading this and thinking that it’s too late to graduate from college, think about this: a few years ago, a 95-year old woman named Nola Ochs became the oldest woman ever to graduate from college.

I don’t know Ms. Ochs at all, but if I could ask her about her dream, I bet that she would tell me that her dream of eventually earning her college degree was one that refused to die.

More importantly, what do you think that she would say to you if you told her that “it’s too late” for you to achieve your dream?

Would she say, “you know what, you’re right–it probably is too late for you,” or would she knock you upside your head with her cane, look you square in the eyes, and tell you something that you already know?

It is never too late to be who you want to be, or to do what you want to do.

The Fear That Should Scare You The Most

Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?”  -Caroline Myss

I have always found it so strange when people say that they’re fearless. Let me tell you upfront that I’m not one of those people.

Just like most rationally thinking human beings, I have fears (quite a few, to be honest). And without question, this is the fear that scares me the most:

Looking back on my life and realizing that I haven’t lived fully.

If you are going to be afraid of something, don’t be afraid of what may happen if you decide to fully live your life and chase your dreams.

Instead, be afraid of what will happen if you decide not to fully live your life and allow the ghosts of “what might have been” to haunt you relentlessly for the rest of your days until you finally die with a pitiful whimper.

That’s freaking terrifying to me. It should be for you too.

As long as we’re alive, it is never too late for us to live our best lives. Like I said earlier, your dream of a better life will never leave you alone.

It will always whisper to you, “C’mon you can do this. Just take a step forward…”

The choice to step forward (or not) is always yours, but remember this:

If you don’t take a step forward, you’ll always be in the same place.

Sure, if you choose to move forward, some haters may laugh at you, they may tell you that you don’t have what it takes, they may tell you numerous reasons why you’ll fail, or they may even tell you that “it’s too late” for you.

Fortunately for you, they’re wrong.

The fact that you’re alive and breathing is all the proof that you’ll ever need to remind yourself of how wrong they are.

It will never be too late for you.

Unless you say it is.

Your Turn

Is there an area of your life where you’re allowing the idea of “it’s too late” to stop you from going after your dream? Have you ever overcome the idea that “it’s too late” and achieved your dream anyway? Either way, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Shola, thanks for your powerful and inspirational messages. It’s ‘Never too late to live life’ deeply resonates with me. After 10 years as an attorney, I left the small island of Bermuda and relocated to Bangkok to chase my entrepreneurial dreams. I didn’t necessarily choose Thailand as the location in which to launch my venture but as the interim venue to de-stress and collect my thoughts. Having lived there for 7 months, I did just that and was able to develop an innovative tech commerce start up. From there I was invited to Tennessee to join a female focused start up accelerator program for 3 months which ultimately led me to NYC where I currently live. I should’ve prefaced this by saying, I am 37 years old. Being too late never crossed my mind. I knew that remaining in a stifling place and a mundane job would be my biggest regret. I threw caution to the wind, packed up and sold my belongings and journeyed across the world and it has been the most amazing, rewarding and fulfilling decision I have ever made. You’re absolutely right! It’s NEVER too late to live the life of your dreams. Thanks Shola.

    • Good for you, Kiyah! I am SO with you on everything that you wrote–the biggest risk in life is settling for a ho-hum and mundane life until we finally die a meek and quiet death. The fact that you had the guts to travel around the world and do so many amazing things is a reinforcement to me (and to anyone else reading this) what is possible when we stop making excuses about why it’s “too late” to go after our dreams. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us–you truly are an inspiration!

  2. Yes you are absolutely correct for NEVER TOO LATE, Actually in our life nothing is impossible;
    If anyone can do it then why not you?
    But there should be hard work and strong mental positive attitude …

    • So true, Hiteshkumar–the limits that we experience in our lives are often limits that we’ve created ourselves. And one of the most dangerous ones is the idea that “it’s too late” go after our best lives. The key was in your comment: we can overcome the “it’s too late” mentality with hard work, and most importantly, a strong positive attitude.

  3. Hey Shola, I absolutely LOVE this topic as it fits with how I have been feeling the past 2 weeks. I am 27 and although I don’t feel it’s “too late” for me, I’m battling with starting over. I have been indecisive about what it is that I want to do and I have a serious problem of finishing things I start so I tend to feel like a failure or I quickly lose motivation to finish because of my fear of failure. However, in 2010 I began Cosmetology classes to pursue my Cosmetology license and in the midst of I became pregnant and sick so I had to take a leave of absence until after pregnancy. Anywho, while on leave, the school lost a lot of my paperwork so I have to pay the FULL tuition back before hours are released, of course I don’t have $15,000 to just drop off to once but I lost my drive after that. I have been back & forth w/finishing my Bachelors of Business in HR. I want to finish my degree but I have not let go of my dream of having my own chain of Salons/Day Spas and my own hair/skin cosmetic line. Also, with some very tough love from my Fiancé who is totally opposite of me, he goes after what he wants & finishes so it hurts him that I possess so many talents but lack the motivation to finish and pursue my dreams. I question what is God’s calling over my life all the time and feel I’m not doing anything more than reading motivational books or making small steps then stopping. I am currently on break from online classes but have the strong desire to just stop to take the next 9 months to start over with pursuing my Cosmetology license because I am great at it, had great clientele while pursuing it me love making women feel great about themselves. My only thing is being afraid of stopping school again to finally receive my license but my Fiancé and parents feeling I’m dropping the ball on finishing my degree and just focusing on Cosmetology school, but I know they both agree that I should have my own salon by now because I’m very good at my craft. I want to just say screw it and go Apply at Paul Mitchell School today but I’m stuck. I’m dealing w/fear and doubt AGAIN but trying to do what’s on my heart which is start and finish my dream. I just need sincere advice- HELP! Lol

    • Mel, I can definitely relate to your story! I used to be the guy with “tons of potential” who spent most of my time starting ideas (then predictably stopping a little while later), and burying my face in motivational books hoping that I’d read something that would get me moving. The only thing that finally woke me up was when one of my mentors gave it to me straight by saying, “Shola, you’re always talking about what you’re going to do, but you never end up doing it. You need to stop acting like you have all of the time in the world to live your life, because you don’t.” My mentor’s message hit home even harder when one of my childhood friends died of cancer a few weeks later. Ever since then, I committed to stop putting my dream on the back-burner of my life, and I would encourage you to do the same. If your passion is to get your Cosmetology license and eventually own your salon, then you need to make that a priority. Should you do it now or wait until you’re done with your Bachelor’s degree? Only you can answer that, but I can tell you that going after your Cosmetology license must be a part of your future plans. You’ve been given a unique talent, and you need to share that talent with the world. Good luck!!!

      • Thank you Shola! I have my mind made up to finish what I started and get that license so that’s what I’m going to do! I can’t keep saying “What if?” Just have to step out on Faith & make it happen! Thank you!

  4. I agree 100% Shola! It is never too late. As long as we draw breath, we have yet another opportunity to reach for our dreams and to make our world a better place.

    Lately, I made some huge changes. I had gastric bypass surgery, so after living my entire life as a morbidly obese person, I have finally taken action to change that. I’m 55 lbs down and 46 lbs away from my goal and a healthy weight!

    I also changed jobs. I had been working in a soul-sucking position for over 6 years and could take it no longer. Now I am in a new position, in line to reach my dream job, and loving it! And my soul is right where it is supposed to be!

    I’m 44… some would say I’ve waited too long for these changes, but not me! I am ready for whatever change my be lurking around the corner. It is all good, Shola!!!

    Have a blessed week and thank you for your powerful message!

    Kathy

    • Yes, yes, YES! This is exactly what I’m talking about, Kathy! I hear so many people delude themselves into believing that it’s too late to lose weight and reclaim their health, or that it’s too late to leave their soul-destroying job. You are living proof that neither are true. And because you found the courage to take steps toward a better life, look at you now! Thanks for sharing and for showing us all that “it’s too late” is just a self-imposed limitation that we can smash into tiny pieces at any time.

  5. Happy Monday Shola. Great reminder for all , especially those of us in ripe old middle age and beyond. 16 years ago, I was watching tv, when a Tony Robbins informercial came on. I rolled my eyes but was too lazy to find the remote and change the channel. Thank God for that. He gave his little talk about it’s never too late, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, you have a right to want to do more with your life, even if the people around you are telling you that you should be grateful for what you have and settle down. It hit home with me. I had put off getting my act together for my entire adult life, thinking, “there’s plenty of time, I’ll worry about it later”. Then, I was 40, and my friends all said, “Well, whatever you are at 40, that’s what you are. Be grateful for what you have. Think of all the people who don’t have what you have.” I was giving in to that emotional blackmail (from friends were letting their own lives slip away), until I heard that pep talk. I ordered Personal Power on the spot. That course changed my perspective and through doing the homework, I changed my default settings, to be a proactive person with dreams, and dropping any “friend” who just isn’t “with it”. I’m 56 now, still have lots of irons in the fire, and starting new projects. This was a great Monday morning pick-me-up, because this topic gets me super enthused. It’s never too late and we all have so much we can do and so much more to give!

    • Donna, I love that you love Tony Robbins as much as I do! I still have his Personal Power program on my iPod to this day, and his message and his wisdom have played a critical role in positively changing the course of my life. Just like you, I spent a large part of my life “Living for Someday” thinking that I would have plenty of time to go after my dreams. And also, when I crept toward 40, I also heard “well-meaning” friends who would tell me that there’s no use in making drastic changes in my life at this age. I’m glad that you and I didn’t listen to them! Props to you for dropping the friends who aren’t with it, and most importantly, props to you for continuing to start new projects and for fully living your life each day. That’s what it’s all about!

  6. Hi Shola. Great post this week. I feel like you are speaking directly to me. I often find myself thinking “I wish I would have…”. I need to start thinking “I’m going to…”!

    Have a wonderful week!! 🙂

  7. Wow. Just wow…

  8. I completely agree with you Shola! There are so many different areas in my life right now where I feel are just hopeless cases. Lately I have not even bothered putting in effort anymore just because I feel so down about them. Like for example, growing up my family has let me down in such tremendous ways that I seriously find it too difficult to be a part of them, interact with them or to just even say hello. But, after reading what Shola had to say about this week’s topic I see that so long as you are alive there really is no such thing as to late to turn around the things that I so badly always wanted to.
    Thanks Shola

    • That’s so awesome to hear, thanks for sharing Seeree! The truth is that it is never too late to turn a situation around, especially if it’s your deepest desire to do so. Best of luck and thanks so much for sharing–I’m rooting for you!

  9. Shola,

    You are so right! I graduated from college at 40 and one of my classmates was 75. I honestly believe I wouldn’t have enjoyed college as much had I been the traditional (young) student. I am 55 now and still working on my dream of actually selling my artwork 🙂 It is difficult at times and I falter quite often but, I continue and probably will until I fall over dead.

    Kat

    • Nice! You’re another example of it never being too late to graduate college! And speaking of which–how cool is it to graduate college with 75 year-old classmate?? As for your artwork, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re going to see your dream happen. The key is staying persistent and refusing to believe that it’s “too late” to make your dream a reality. Keep working Kat, you got this!

  10. I am of the same mindset, Shola. We are full of excuses as to why we can’t but the truth is that we can. We can do anything at any time. It is never too late. I left my career at age 42 to start over. Scary? Very, but I didn’t use it as an excuse not to pursue my dream..

  11. Hi Shola. Good stuff. Scary stuff. But…what about money? I have big goals and dreams, but I am afraid of failing. (Not succeeding. Failing.) Here it is: I have put off going to a very expensive, prestigious art school, due to the idea of carrying around a huge amount of debt. But there’s this voice in me that knows it’s the right choice for me. (Or something like it.) I tried to find something I could get into whilst doing a 9-5 job and almost found it with this program. It is 80% online except for the fun part: 6 week intensives in the summer, with amazing artist mentors. But of course, that part doesn’t jive with a 9-5 job. (Before you suggest something beyond a 9-5: I don’t want to bar tend and retail is the devil. I am very, very socially introverted/anxious and at least desk jobs allow me to focus and be quiet when I need to.) Anyway: this school program was also incredibly expensive, and going to cost well over $80K. A lot of that moolah was going to fund the visiting artist mentors. I did lots of research, and sat in both decisions. So I deferred a year, and am still thinking it out. The point of going to school would be to do my art, make connections, have the knowledge, which lasts (forever), and then find ‘my people’ – my collaborators and spirit animals…and thus, stay far far away from 9-5 jobs thereafter. But money…money is a big factor. And the intangibility of what all of this will turn into. It’s kinda exploratory and when others ask what it’ll ‘turn into’, post degree, I don’t have an answer. But the debt…that is tangible, and of course, my family pointed that out, and is against that part of it. I can see where they want to keep me safe. But the safety is smothering. Maybe there’s another way to get to my dream, beyond a lot of money. Any advice for making it happen ‘now’? By the way, I am in my 30’s and this would be for grad school, so I have thought long and hard. To my family, I am of course ‘being a dreamer’. But I don’t want to wait. I want to go to school with the best, to challenge myself. I just am afraid of that much money standing just behind my name, in my life. Uh, and by the way, I still owe $20K from undergrad. Maybe you’re also a financial analyst in your free time? Regardless, love your blog.

  12. Hi shola thank you for this inspiring article. It’s fantastic to have a forum to discuss this issue. I feel like I’m too late to pursue my dream of being a successful singer songwriter with my songs playing on radio.I’m 32 and the music industry is very ageist. Most would probably consider me too old to have any chance of a label investing in my music to put to air. I will always write and sing, but I feel I’ve wasted my talent by not trying hardenough. Every year seems to go by faster and faster its scary. It’s even scarier knowing I may die with an unfulfilled dream. I wish my dream didn’t have an age limit its a very painful realisation. I really feel torn. It makes me feel sad often, and the what if and regret is ongoing torment.

    • Eve,
      Don’t tell yourself the industry is ageist. Look at Susan Doyle and all the rockers in their 60s. You have a lot of ways to get your music out into the world. Go on YouTube, sing in local venues, you can put your stuff on iTunes. Hook Reach out to others who are doing what you are doing in your area. You don’t have to do it via a record label. If you see yourself as a singer songwriter, act like one.

      • Great advice mj! Eve, keep going. Im 48 with more demons than you 🙂 However, I never stopped being persistent about my passion-music. Hiccups? Yes. Drama? Yes. Regardless of all of it you will here my story soon:) Success in music or any field can happen at any age. But you can’t be deterred by “No.” Rather embrace it. If you were 15 you’d hear it. Your “Yes” is out there. So go make great music, and the world will know your name. I’m looking forward to seeing your name in the bright lights.

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