Too old to start over and too young to lie down and die

‘I want to die young at a ripe old age.’ Ashley Montagu

Does all success in life require an early start? If so, does this mean that many have lost their chance?

Not according to a man named Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds. I recently read that he launched the first branch of McDonalds in 1955 when he was fifty-two. Mr Kroc who, until then, had achieved modest success and was plagued with poor health, decided to muster enough courage to get his newest idea off the ground. Kroc lived to see his iconic brand, which is instantly recognisable to young and old alike, spread all over the planet. Next to Coca Cola, the McDonalds brand is now the second most recognisable in the world. Here was a man at a late stage of his career, creating and realising a dream, which became a global business empire.

The story of Ray Kroc should serve as encouragement to everyone out there. It is never too late in life to make an impact. If you dare to dream, then age and time is no obstacle. Age should not be used as an excuse for not achieving what you want in life. And yes, I believe that it is possible to teach new tricks to older dogs.

The road to achieving your dreams won’t be an easy one, and you can expect many challenges and obstacles along the way. Especially in these early years of the twenty-first century, many people are experiencing feelings of discontent and discomfort in the workplace. This may be due to the economic slowdown, downsizing, budget limitations and stagnation in many workplaces. These feelings and conditions won’t necessarily go away, either. I predict that the way in which work is performed will remain in a constant state of reinvention and change. Technology, especially online commerce and globalisation, will continue to drive this change.

The good news, though, is that I also get a sense of a strong rise in the entrepreneurial spirit of people, and believe that entrepreneurship will be the defining trend of the next decade. Now is a great time to become your own boss; to take advantage of the changes in the workplace and the economy and pursue those dreams of owning your own business.

The challenge is to avoid mental obstacles and barriers. Don’t be so idealistic, It’s not wise to be so daring and What if you fail, are the words that will challenge your resolve. Be careful. Even if they are not trying to, other people may deflate your dreams.

Like Ray Kroc, we need to create our own dreams and our own opportunities, not just in business, but in every area of our lives. These big dreams keep us engaged with life’s endless opportunities and possibilities, so that we don’t succumb to the easy temptation of old habits, fears and frustrations. These great goals are important in our careers and vital in our lives.

Time won’t wait for you. We have to get old, but we don’t have to think old. It’s never too late to make a difference. Remember, we only get one shot at this life; make the most of yours – now!

‘And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

(This story is an extract from my book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.)

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

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