Make a change in the new year.
“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities..” -Terry Josephson
Late Saturday night, many of us watched as the clock ticked toward midnight. We waved goodbye to 2022, hoped for a better New Year and even made resolutions to ensure it would be even better than the last. And although only 24-hours into the New Year, many of those resolutions have already been broken!
Well, a conversation years ago in a café reminded me not only of our ability to excuse away opportunities, but of the chance we still possess to learn from yesterday, embrace the miracle of today and resolve to make tomorrow even better.
A good friend of mine had asked if I’d spend a little time visiting with his son. The young man had been in and out of various colleges, switched his major several times, and was finally a semester from finishing a business degree. As adulthood loomed, he seemed listless and uninspired, unwilling to apply for jobs or truly anticipate what might come next.
After making some small talk, I asked the young man what he planned to do after graduating. Lowering his coffee mug, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat and said: “I don’t know. I assumed that’s why we were meeting.”
So, I asked him what he wanted to do with his life- business degree and profession aside. “If you could do anything after graduation, and you knew you would not fail, what would you do?”
He looked away from me and out the window. A smile lit his face. And he spoke about his love for airplanes. In fact, for the first time since we sat down together, his voice came alive and seemed to sing with excitement.
He told me that for as long as he could remember he loved the idea of flying. He used to make model airplanes as a kid, he drew them in his free time and knew that someday he wanted to work around them.
He didn’t care whether he was a pilot, a flight attendant, an aviation mechanic, or the guy who cleans the airplane lavatory; he just wanted to be around planes.
I listened intently and then asked the obvious question: “So what’s holding you back from doing exactly that?”
His smile disappeared. He looked out the window. Took a sip of coffee. Looked up at me. And responded: “I am too old.”
“How old are you?”
“Dude!” I responded. “I have ties that are older than you!”
But he shrugged off my comment. “Like I said, I’m too old. I’ve already put all this time into this degree. It’s too late.”
My friends, on the second day of this New Year, some of us feel like it’s already too late. Too late to recommit to a goal, to get clear on what matters most, to rectify an old relationship or to pivot in a new direction.
But I remind you today what I shared with him then: Live now. Don’t passively atrophy, don’t slowly fade away, don’t raise high the white flag of surrender simply because of a few missteps.
You have one life. It matters. Act like it.
So, my friends, although I may not know your New Year’s resolutions, I do know that your life is a gift, your mistakes don’t ultimately define you and your best is yet to come.
And I know this: you’re not too old to start living inspired today.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.
7 replies on “You’re Not Too Old”
John, can I just say I absolutely love you! I just finished reading On Fire yesterday. I found a copy at the Goodwill a few weeks ago, and imagIne my surprise when I opened it up at home to see it was a signed copy! I have been listening to your podcasts and reading your blogs for about five years now and your work has really helped me to change my life. I was in a very low place in 2017 when I was praying in a church and I picked up a CD with a talk by you. Talk about an inflection point! It was just what I needed at that very discouraging time. I have been following you ever since. Thank you for picking up your pencil to start writing all those years ago, and walking in to speak to those Girl Scouts when the thought of public speaking made you sick! 😀 I am so grateful for you. God bless you in the New Year and beyond!
Thank you so much! I’m excited to get your newsletters!
Awesome advice, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing John! Have an amazing 2023, I know I will! :–)
I love this story. If he only realized how young he really is.
Great article and advice! I had gone through something similar at that age – it’s tough for most people under 25 to truly know what they want to do with their life, and not feel like they’re already too far down the road with something else. I know this from personal experience – thank you for being a constant inspiration. Like you said, never too late!
Thank you. I want to know what the young man decided! Airplanes, I hope. Airlines and shipping companies need smart, passionate people. The world has options for him. Many of them.