There’s a famous quote from George Eliot, an English novelist from the 1800’s that says, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” This quote is more than just clever, it’s deeply profound.
There are times in life when we feel it’s simply too late to fix a relationship, rebuild a business, or learn a new critical skill.
The reality is it’s almost never too late. There are cases of divorced couples remarrying, companies re-emerging from bankruptcy, and septuagenarians getting a college diploma.
Much of our existence is spent in a battle with our minds. Dale Carnegie said in his classic book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living that 90% of what we worry about never happens (or at least to the degree we imagined). I’ve found this to be true in my life and you’ll likely see the truth in yours if you sit down and think about it.
Not only are our minds a source of unrealistic worries, but they’re also a fountain of defeatist feelings that tell us it’s too late to reverse circumstances we’re unhappy with. Other times this negative thinking is coming at us from the minds of those around us. What’s critical here is that we get at a deep level that it’s never too late. Then, upon realizing that we must act to change what’s happening.
The Growth Coach has a saying, “We don’t get what we want. We get what we think about, focus on, and act on.” Here’s an example of focus and action to think over. Did you know that Harlan Sanders, the creator of Kentucky Fried Chicken didn’t get his break until he was 65 years old? He started with his $105 Social Security check!
Next up, the story of Sylvester Stallone. Did you know that after writing the screenplay for Rocky in just 24 hours he shopped it around to production companies and was turned down over and over for months? He didn’t give up though and kept at it. He finally found a company that wanted the screenplay as long as he wouldn’t star in the movie! Well, we know how that negation went, but the interesting part is that he accepted much, much less for the screenplay so he could star in the film. That’s how much he believed in himself.
The Colonel and Rocky knew it was never too late to be what they might have been. How about you?