“It’s only too late if you don’t start now”

“It’s only too late if you don’t start now”
Last Monday, we had a very small water aerobics class, so it was the perfect time to ask every individual—What was your childhood dream?
One said, “I wanted to be a cheerleader.” Another said, “I wanted to be a jockey.” The third dreamed of being a wife and mother. As for me, I knew at age 4 that I wanted to be a teacher.
The cheerleader almost made it. But unfortunately, a new girl arrived on the scene. The school chose only three cheerleaders and she was fourth in line.
The jockey grew too tall by the time she was in high school. The wife and mother made her goal, and I taught for six years.
But, whatever our early dreams, new goals soon took their place. And we all agreed that we have good lives now. The cheerleader is a substitute teacher and a 20-year La Leche volunteer. The jockey is a wellness director at a retirement center. The wife and mother loves her job at the historical museum, and I love writing my column.
All four of us have reinvented ourselves, creating new dreams and goals as our lives unfolded before us.
What inspired our discussion that morning was a book by Barbara Sher that I had been reading.
Sher is a motivational specialist, therapist and career counselor with six best-sellers to her credit. Her first book, “Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want,” has sold more than a million copies. Other books by Sher include “Live the Life You Love,” “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was” and “It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now.”
In “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was,” Sher cites a 1980 study of people who called themselves happy. The study, conducted by two Harvard psychologists, asked what these happy people had in common. Money? Success? Health? Love?
But the answer was none of these things.
“They had only two things in common: They knew exactly what they wanted and they felt they were moving toward getting it,” explains Sher.
Having dreams and goals is especially important this side of 60 or this side of 80. After all, you don’t have too much time left, so you should be doing what you love.
It’s time to recapture long-lost goals, to decide what you want to be and live your dreams. It’s time to stop waiting for luck—and start creating it.
According to Sher, a wonderful life begins with “goals” and “dreams.” She also reminds us that we should listen to our childhood dreams. The dreams you have given up as a responsible adult.
If you wanted to be a jockey as a child, maybe you should own a horse. If you wanted to be a writer, why not write your autobiography. If you wanted to be an artist, take a painting class. If you wanted to be a farmer, plant a small garden.
Sher says that growing older is a great liberator. You don’t have to impress other people. You can do things that really matter to you. You can have more fun than ever.
And always remember the advice in Barbara Sher’s book title, “It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now.”
Copyright 2004 Marie Snider
Marie Snider is an award-winning healthcare writer and syndicated columnist.
Write Marie Snider at thisside60@aol.com or visit her website at www.visit-snider.com

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