Many times, we hesitate to pursue what we know we should do because we believe it’s too late for us. Understanding when it is genuinely too late and when it is not is crucial. It would be wonderful if we had a way to recognize when it’s not too late for us, wouldn’t it?
Here are a few cues that have helped me realize when it’s not too late and when I should push myself to achieve the desires still in my heart:
Consider the years you have left: I recall when I was 23, thinking it was too late to learn a musical instrument. However, my 27-year-old boss started learning at the same time and became proficient in just two years. He showed me a simple calculation: I have more years ahead of me than I have lived. That perspective stuck with me.
Think about your children’s accomplishments timeline: Whenever I feel that pursuing a master’s, Ph.D., or becoming a professor is beyond my reach, I remind myself that my children haven’t reached the academic milestones I have. They still have time to achieve these things within my lifetime, so why do I think it’s too late? The concept of lateness is merely an illusion.
Consider the time it takes to build something significant: My benchmark is 10 to 20 years. If you dedicate yourself to something for 20 years, it will undoubtedly reach a great level of success. There will be ups and downs, but the outcome will be remarkable. A friend once shared with me that his father completed his first degree a few years before he did and even became a lawyer before turning 70. The remarkable part is that he’s earning more now than ever before.
Assess your ability to learn: The day you stop learning or lose the willingness to learn is the day it officially becomes too late. Until then, it’s never too late. Don’t let the fact that you’re 80 years old discourage you. As long as there is life and a desire to learn, you can still achieve many things. If you can’t do it alone, as you shouldn’t, it’s also never too late to ask for help.
What are you contemplating doing? It’s not too late. God doesn’t give us an appetite for a feast He hasn’t prepared. The desire within you is proof that the feast exists.