I remember growing up feeling like I was too young to do things alone. Too young to cross the street alone. Too young to go to the movies alone. Too young to go to New York City alone. Eventually, I became old enough to cross the street alone. Then old enough to go to the movies alone. And finally, old enough to take the train into New York City alone. I was growing up. But the feeling stayed.
Into adulthood, I was too young to know what I wanted to do. I was too young to be a division manager. Too young to get married. Too young to have children.
One day, I started to feel too old. I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to accomplish as quickly as I wanted. In my thirties I wanted to own a business. It didn’t happen. In my forties I wanted to be a vice president of a small manufacturing company. It didn’t happen. In my fifties I wanted to travel the world. It didn’t happen.
I feel like I have spent half of my life being too young, and now I feel like I’ve spent the other half of my life being too old….
But it is only a feeling. I don’t remember becoming an adult. It just happened.
Recently, Hannes Schwandt, published some interesting research about how people predict their self-satisfaction during their lifetime. Around age fifty most people give up on the regrets they have about the dreams they held in their earlier years. They realize they are not going to accomplish as much as they wanted to. And as regret about unmet aspirations diminishes, satisfaction with life starts to increase.
Are you too old? Really!
Or is this a self-inflicted roadblock?
From an independently organized TED Talk in Brussels, Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein’s presentation, “It’s Not Too late to Make a Difference” just may open your mind and your heart in answering the question you may be asking yourself, “Just when are you too old to make a difference?”
(A grateful “tip of the hat” to Seth Godin for his recent post, “The stories we tell ourselves.”)