You may be too old to audition for American Idol, but you’re not too old to sing.
You may be too old to old to become a 16-year old olympic figure skater, but you’re not to old to love figure skating.
You may be too old to become a child prodigy pianist, but you’re not too old to learn piano.
You may be too old to get on the “Dumbo the elephant” ride at Disneyland, but you’re not too old to have fun.
You may be too old to relive your childhood, but you’re not too old to recapture your sense of wonder.
You’re not too old. You’re not too old to learn how to read. You’re not to old to write a book. You’re not too old to find your soul mate. You’re not too old to become a parent. You’re not too old to begin living an inspired life. You’re not too old. Period!
Too old to be impressive?
Part of the fear of being too old to try something new is really the fear of being so old that nobody will find it impressive when you actually get around to doing it.
When dealing with children, it’s common courtesy to praise every effort they make to be creative. If a child shows us a bunch of crappy looking crayon scribbles on a half-torn page, we gasp and say “Picasso!” It’s our way of building their confidence and self-esteem. But by the time you’re an adult, we lose time for such patronage. When you’re an adult, it’s time to put up or shut up. If someone tells you that you have a lot of potential when you’re 30, that’s an insult.
If you’re 8 years old and you can play classical piano, we’re doing the best we can to get you on a televised talent show. If you’re 16, it’s still pretty interesting. If you’re 32, then you SHOULD be good. If you’re 50 or older, there are probably people half your age who are twice as good.
Depressing? Well, only if you use depressing standards like this to determine the value of your pursuits in life.
Being impressive isn’t the same as making an impression
Are you doing what you do, because there’s someone you’re trying to impress?
If so, let me save you some valuable time. There is a high likelihood that the people closest to you will be the ones who are least impressed by what you do. NBA Hall of famer, Michael Jordan, said his children’s favorite basketball player was B.J. Armstrong. A close friend of mine, Jazz musician Shawn “Thunder” Wallace, frequently says “an expert is someone who lives 500 miles away.” Jesus said “a prophet is rarely accepted in his home town.”
It is frequently reported by successful people that the individuals who love their work the most are people who emerge from unexpected places. If your prime motivation is to impress someone you know, you may be setting yourself up for an uphill climb.
Fortunately, the options don’t stop there.
Happiness never gets old
What if we stopped evaluating the value of our lives, accomplishments, and interests by how impressed someone else is?
What about good old fashioned joy?
Are you too old to be happy?
At what age does feeling good cease to matter?
What if you made joy your motivating factor in the interests you pursue?
I believe the fear of being too old falls away when we center our priorities around personal satisfaction and spiritual fulfillment.
If the thought of learning a new language, traveling abroad, making a career change, taking voice lessons, or anything else feels exciting to you, then there’s nothing to lose and your entire soul to gain. Nobody needs to be impressed with you in order for you to follow your highest excitement. But here’s the paradoxical aspect of it all: When you dare to pursue your bliss even when the world says you’re too old, you will always make an impression on others.
There’s never been a happy, enthusiastic, and inspired older person who struck the world as boring. The boring ones, young and old, are always to be found in the same area: sitting on the sidelines with their excuses as they yearningly watch those adventurous souls who dare to do what their hearts demand of them.
At least that’s my two cents,