I had a few conversations this week with various people who told me, “I’m too old to…” (start a new business, create a big impact, change what I’m doing, learn something new, make a difference…). This prompted me to research the relationship age has to making a difference and being successful. Do you sometimes use your age as an excuse not to do things or “go for it”? If so, read on.
Advancing age brings regret
The studies show that although wisdom earned over the years provides the greatest value to creating an impactful life, advancing age also bring regret for what could have been or opportunities missed. Studies show that regret tends to build and peak when we are in our late 40’s.
And…because it’s human nature to find a way to relieve pressure, those with the most “regret pressure” start adopting the belief that the focus needs to be on the next generation as it’s the young who will make a difference in our society. This conveniently relieves the pressure to have to make a difference, take risks, start something new, or take advantage of opportunities.
In other words, the older we get, the easier it is to adopt the attitude that we are too old to do anything significant.
Advancing age is an advantage
Although Einstein once said, “30 years of age is the peak for a person to make a difference,” the data now shows that in this day and age, it’s the mid to upper 30’s and 40’s that is the true peak. So…age is actually an advantage. Though the young gain cognitive skills faster, those between 39 and 69, gain the most cognitive performance (inductive reasoning, verbal ability and verbal memory). These are the exact skills that are critical to identifying solutions, and are the very skills one needs to achieve success at at the highest levels – no matter what you want to do!
Make a difference and be impactful
The studies now show that age is an advantage to making a difference even if you are over 50. You could be 60, 70 or 80 and with the right frame of mind, be successful and impactful because of the experience and wisdom you have that allows you to make a greater difference.
In closing, don’t use age as a cop out! What is it you want to do? You can have an impact and inspire others when you embrace the knowing that you are truly never too old to make a difference.