The older and wiser I get, the more I realise the power to become what we want lies within our reach. In most cases, our dreams and aspirations are actually on the other side of fear (I could write a whole article on ‘fear’ but I guess that will be for another time). Believe it or not, you can never be too old or too young or too ‘something’ to achieve what you perceive as greatness.
Sadly, many of us go through life thinking that we are either too old or too young or too ‘something’ to try out certain things or even venture into different fields. Consequently, we miss out on what would probably have been the greatest experiences in our lives. This should not be so. Truth is, I have come to understand that as long as a couple of factors come into play, then you can achieve greatness or a certain goal regardless of your age.
- Setting and writing down smart goals (my primary focus this time)
- Perseverance and Discipline
- Getting connected
Motivation: this is the fuel that gets you started and keeps you going when you hit pitfalls. Motivation can come in any form! Many times this sort of motivation comes from being out of your comfort zone. For example a 70-year-old person can learn a new language perfectly as long as the motivating factors are there; if he/she moves to an area where the only form of communication is a foreign language then that would be motivation enough to learn that language.
Setting and writing down smart goals: always write it down and follow through! One of the greatest forms of motivation is setting goals and evaluating yourself afterwards. There’s immense satisfaction that is derived when you hit a goal. Say, if you looked at 8 year olds playing football, the child that scores a goal is filled with utmost joy and will definitely run around jubilating. In a sense it’s this same euphoria that will fill you when you set a goal and hit it in the given time.
Setting smart goals in life is something a number of people don’t really put into consideration. However, it is a vital process in development especially at a personal level. Of course, goals without evaluation are of minimal benefit. Goals do help us achieve what would probably be considered as tough or difficult because they are a motivating factor as well as a checkpoint. In my case, I learnt how to swim at the age of 25 and I can say I am probably better than many that have been swimming since they were little children; the secret here was I set it as a specific goal with a time limit that I had to work towards. So if you are out there and think you’re too old or too young or too ‘something’…snap out of it!
Before you can embark on your new adventure, remember that goals need to be SMART (acronym). A Specific goal is easier to evaluate; this goes hand in hand Measurable as well as Attainable; goals should also be Realistic and Time-bound. Time bound goals are essential in setting the platform for evaluation.
Example: “to set up my online craft business that will amass a profit of $100,000 by the end of 2016” #Specific: craft business #Measurable: profit of $100,000 #Attainable: do I have the skills, abilities, financial capability? YES #Realistic: am I willing and able to work towards them? YES #Time-bound; End of 2016
Perseverance and Discipline: the dictionary meaning of self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; it’s also the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Perseverance is the steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success (dictionary meaning). I believe these two go hand in hand when venturing out to achieve goals. Gene Hackman was voted ‘least likely to succeed’ in his acting class at the age of 26; he did not give up and it took him 11 years to get his first film role and the rest is history.
When self-discipline is aimed and applied at a particular thing without giving up even in the face of ‘naysayers’ there is literally nothing that can stop you. You will be like an avalanche and the whole world will scramble to get out of your way.
Getting connected: It’s also of importance to have an accountability partner or mentor who can come in handy during self-evaluation (this of course depends on what someone has set out to do). Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is also a great factor. If your goal is to lose about 20kg and to lead an active life then it will be easier to achieve that goal when you connect with others that are actively working out.
When closely examining Reid Hoffman’s career story, you will realize what he is today is because along the way, he worked in places that helped shape his own ideas. Hoffman is currently a billionaire, with a net worth of 3.6 billion USD. He had a job at Apple for a while, before starting SocialNet. He then moved on to a job at PayPal, where he learned about entrepreneurship. And finally he began work on LinkedIn, which has now earned him about $3.6 billion. He got connected carefully and purposefully.
In other words, network, network and network!
Here is a list of people who beat the odds and didn’t think of what they were or were not;
Oprah Winfrey was 32 when the Oprah Winfrey show first premiered.
Dr Josephine Nambooze was the first female doctor in Uganda at a time when medicine and most other fields were the exclusive domain of men.
Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952, which he would sell for $2 million 12 years later.
Harriette Thompson completed a marathon at the age of 92 years and she began running marathons at age 76.
Essynce Moore began her career at just 6 years old. Moore is the owner of Essynce Couture, LLC. She is a motivational speaker, stylist, fashion designer, and author. Moore is the author of the 6th grade Middle School Chronicles.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 78. In 2006, one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million.
The ultimate winner for me was the 88 year old man in Kenya who enrolled into school at primary 6 level (11 year olds) a few years back and believed that he will be a medical doctor. Need I say more?
In reality, you are never too old or too young or too ‘something’ to get to where you want to; it’s just a matter of motivation, setting and writing down goals, perseverance & discipline not forgetting to get connected.
All the best! I believe you can do it!!!
Never give up!