Be honest, totally honest.
Are you living the life of your dreams?
If you were to shuffle off this mortal coil tomorrow, would you be happy and content if you looked back down the years of your life?
Would you feel that you’ve achieved everything that you wanted to?
Do you live each day aligned with the things that are most important to you?
Or let’s get a little tougher:
Are you waiting?
Do you think that you’ve left it too late to achieve your dreams?
Hell, do you even know what’s important to you?
It’s Never Too Late
Many people live an unfulfilled life. It’s a common problem. People will often say that they feel lost, isolated, demotivated, and trapped by their responsibilities. They believe that the issues they face are simply too significant to overcome. Debt, burnout, a lack of direction, trapped by a well-paid job that they don’t find rewarding any more, financial and family commitments, fear of failure, self-doubt…. the list is endless.
They feel so overwhelmed by these commitments that they believe that they don’t have space – emotionally, financially, and practically – to live the life that their heart truly desires.
So, they give up. Instead, they concentrate on surviving each day, going through the motions of what they need to do just to survive.
Although many of us harbor a deep desire to seek change in our lives, we often turn away from opportunities and experiences because the reasons NOT to do things weigh heavier than reasons to do them. Often, we believe that we’ve left it too late to bring about the changes we crave.
When this happens, we curtail our dreams. We like to think that we are practical and pragmatic, but the truth is that we are afraid. Plain and simple: we are scared of taking a risk and failing.
The fact is that it’s never too late to change your life and be who you want to be. Of course, people will always quote seemingly legitimate reasons, but if the desire is strong enough, there are no barriers that we cannot overcome.
In this article, we are going to dissect three of the most significant untruths.
1. It’s too late to change because: “I’m too old.”
For years people have set themselves life goals based on their age. “I want to have children by X; I want to own a house by Y; I want to have paid off the mortgage by Z.” This custom is ridiculously old fashioned, and we need to bury it. Of course, we should all have life goals, and attaching them to milestones can be useful. However, the world has changed dramatically, and this outdated view of personal achievement targets at socially accepted life points is now at odds with modern society.
For starters, life expectancy has increased dramatically over the last century, and we can no longer expect to roll over and retire in our 60’s. The majority of people live healthier lives and have better access to health care. Respective governments cannot afford to support this growing population, so we need to remain productive for longer. In other words, 50 is the new 30!
The concept of retirement is evolving, and people are now engineering more flexible lifestyles for themselves. People often have several income streams that enable them to live more flexibly, rather than one single career which enslaves them. Many see retirement in a much different light and thought leaders such as Tim Ferris have workable solutions that enable us to approach this period in our lives very differently. Today, many people continue to work into their 70’s doing things that they love.
Age is just a label
In short, the adage ‘age is just a number’ is true. Age is simply a measurement of time.
It does not need to be the barometer by which you measure and restrict your life. It doesn’t need to define who you are or be a barrier to you living the life of your dreams unless you choose to allow this.
The fact is this: the only time that it is too late to make a change is when you’re dead.
The world is full of people bringing about change in their lives at all ages.
The way we feel about our age is purely a limiting belief that we hold about ourselves. As with all limiting beliefs, we can reprogramme them with work.
2. It’s too late to change because: “Financial commitments trap me.”
Many of us approach our financial situation with an element of fear and trepidation. We feel emotional about money, and our past experiences greatly influence our relationship with our economic life. The chances are that if you’ve experienced real financial hardship at some point in your life, then this will have dramatically impacted your attitude towards wealth. We live with a restricted mindset towards money, i.e., we think we don’t have enough it, and this scares us. Many of us dream of feeling secure – of having enough money stashed in the bank so that we can sleep soundly at night.
Because our mindset towards money is skewed, our behaviour towards it can be emotional and irrational. Have you ever found yourself buying something to make yourself feel better even though you know you can’t afford it? Do you find yourself squirreling money away for a ‘rainy day’ just in case? Are you one of those people that bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich, trying not to think about it?
We perceive that money and power are the same things. We often compare ourselves with others, and this can leave us feeling jealous and defeated.
Our attitude towards money is a deeply rooted set of beliefs that we seldom question. However, everyone can benefit from a bit of reflection in this regard because it is possible to feel differently about our financial existence. Changing your attitude towards money can have a profound impact on the way that you live your life.
You will often hear people say, in some form or other, that they don’t have enough money. This limiting belief has a dramatic impact on our day to day lives. It’s an incredibly restrictive mindset, and it dictates, often without us consciously realizing, much of what we do – or do not do.
The real revelation is that the beliefs that we hold are often not an accurate assessment of our financial existence in reality. Instead, it’s our over-anxious mind seeking to protect us. Besides, there are lots of interpretations and metrics for what ‘enough’ really is.
Changing your attitude towards money takes time and hard work, but it is possible. When you have a deep desire to bring about change in your life, don’t merely rule it out because you can’t afford it. Take the time to think deeply and be honest with yourself.
What is most essential: happiness or wealth?
Does earning a bigger salary justify the negative impact on your health?
How do you measure returns on investment? For example, if you decide to spend $3,000 retraining so that you can change your career, do you need to earn that $3,000 back, or is the positive impact on your health, happiness, and wellbeing enough of a repayment in itself? Would that be a good ROI?
How brutal can you be with yourself? How far can you stretch your budget so that you can save more or pay off debts? What emotional spending can you cut out? We often fool ourselves about the things without which we absolutely cannot live.
It’s is a matter of priority. If the desire to bring about a particular change is strong enough, there is always action that we can take. Yes, it might take time and planning, but there is still something that we can do.
3. It’s too late to change because: “I don’t have time.”
Have you ever felt that sense of real achievement from committing to start a diet/ save money/ tidy the house/ look for a new job tomorrow?
You make that pledge, “Yup, tomorrow I’m, on it!” pat yourself on the back and immediately start to feel better. Starting things ‘tomorrow’ is a compelling and intoxicating strategy. You immediately feel more positive about something that you’ve been dreading taking action on, tackling jobs that you don’t want to do because you’ve committed. Sound familiar?
Well, why am I still overweight?! Despite consistently being on a diet for the last 20 years! The quick answer is because I rely on ‘tomorrow’ too much.
The fact is that this strategy is simply a form of procrastination. It’s a delay tactic that allows you to feel better about not taking action. It’s one of the biggest false starts that there is, and the only person that you are fooling is yourself.
If you want to bring about a change in your life, you need to start now. Yes, that’s right, now – right now.
It doesn’t mean that you need to go and climb Mount Everest this afternoon or start training for the Sydney Marathon by running 10kms this evening, it means that you simply need to move forwards by doing something.
We fool ourselves that we don’t have the time to take action, that it’s simply not practical or possible to do so. This is subconscious fear talking.
There is no magic solution to this other than facing the facts. You need to prioritise, decide what you want and what is most important to you. If you do want that change, then you need to find the time to make it happen.
The longer you leave it, the harder it will get. You will grow accustomed and accept that the dream will never translate into a reality.
An excellent place to start is to take a realistic look at your use of time. You might need to let somethings go so that you can create time for bringing about the change you desire. At first, this might mean allocating half an hour a day and building up gradually over time.
Regardless of the detail, it’s starting and doing something about it that will get you to your desired destination. Doing it ‘tomorrow’ is no use whatsoever. Null.
The only time it’s too late to make a change in your life and be who you want to be is when you’re dead. Apart from this, it’s NEVER too late. Of course, life is hard and filled with complexities. It’s challenging and stressful, and we all have bills to pay. However, it is most often our limiting beliefs and perceptions that make things appear harder than they are. Our subconscious does a great job of looking after us, but if we’re not careful, it can also restrict us.
Too many people still hold outdated opinions about age and wealth. We live only once. To truly experience the magic of life and to achieve our dreams, we have to ensure that we make the most of every opportunity that life throws our way.
We need to ensure that we prioritise what is important to us, work through our limiting beliefs, and take action.
You are in full control of your life. Make sure that you don’t look back with regret.
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