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Never Too Old

Some people get to a certain age and begin to write off the future.

They start thinking, “I’m too old to reach my goals.” “If I were going to succeed, it would have happened already.” “Time’s up.”

Don’t throw in the towel too soon.

Have you often said, “I’ve been trying to do this for years and it didn’t work out?” That’s when you need to remember, if you’re breathing, there’s always hope. You never know what can happen.

Think about all the famous people who achieved greatness after they were in their sixties. For example, Winston Churchill. He always felt he was supposed to do something important.

But his mischievous childhood behavior was no indicator of his future as a leader. Just as Einstein’s less-than-stellar mathematical abilities belied his scientific mental prowess. Some people take longer to reveal their brilliance.

Churchill, however, was certain of the impact he would have. Somehow he sensed it and believed it. He was quoted as saying:

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

The fact that he didn’t take office as Prime Minister of England until he was 65 shows how his faith in himself never wavered. More interesting, he was re-elected when he was 76. He was a proven leader. People trusted his judgment and didn’t see him as an “’old man.” Instead he was seen as the best possible choice to guide the country forward. When others were going into retirement, Churchill began his political career. The ending for some was the beginning for him.

What would have happened if he thought, “Well, I haven’t been elected as Prime Minister yet, so I should just give up?” The world very well may have fallen under German rule. His answer to responding to this world threat was:

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will not eat him.

He couldn’t have encapsulated the possibility of global demise in better words. He realized the only way to survive was to face the challenge. He explained his actions this way:

It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

How many people use the excuse, “I tried really hard.” But, the answer isn’t in trying; it’s in finding out what else needs to be done. What other actions could you take to ensure that success? Did you do everything that was necessary or only what you were willing to do?

People who reach their goals only get there by perseverance, sacrifice and commitment. No one ever said it would be easy. If it were, more people would succeed. You must have the conviction Churchill demonstrated to his troops, his citizens and the watchful world’s residents.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; without victory, there is no survival. 

Granted, your goals may not change the course of history, only your personal course. But what if you took that same approach: invincibility. That you must win no matter what. Doesn’t just thinking like that instantly makes you feel more determined? As the old saying goes:

If you reach for the moon and miss, at least you will land in the stars.

When you think about your current age, consider these facts:

–       Michelangelo redesigned the Saint Peter’s Basilica dome from age 72 until his death at 88.

–       Galileo published his masterpiece, Dialogue Concerning Two New Sciences, when he was 74.

–       Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius) developed his most famous violins, the “Habeneck” and “Muntz” in his early 90s.

–       Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe at 59 and Moll Flanders at 62.

–       George Frederic Handel wrote debuted the Messiah at 56, four years after he suffered a stroke at 52.

Don’t let advanced age or limited education or past failures dictate your potential. A most appropriate comment by Churchill sums up this idea:

If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

Allow yourself to dream and plan and wish. Because wishes do come true…at any age. If you just believe they can.

Margo Berman is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.