Your best is yet to come.
How you viscerally respond when you read that statement depends on the stories you’ve been telling yourself lately.
Have you been telling yourself that you’re too old? That your window of opportunity is rapidly closing? That you’ve already peaked? That it’s too late? That the odds are against you? That you are trapped within your own life? That you can’t learn any new tricks?
How you viscerally respond to that statement also depends on how you are currently defining that word – “best.”
What is the vision you have for what is possible for yourself? Did that vision come from inside you, or has it been shaped by someone else’s orthodoxy, standards, traditions, or desires which you have accepted as your own?
If you are willing to change your stories and definitions, you can literally change your life.
And that is true no matter how old you are.
But don’t take my word for it, meet a few of my idols – all of whom led early lives that provided little indication that they would make such significant shifts:
British author Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book at age 59.
At age 63 she won the prestigious Booker Prize for her third book, Offshore (which I loved – I just finished it for my book club this month). “In 20 years she published nine novels, three biographies and many essays and reviews. She changed publishers four times when she began publishing and she never had an agent. By the end of her life she had been shortlisted for [the Booker prize] several more times, won a number of other British prizes… and became famous at 80 with the publication of The Blue Flower” which won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award. “Yet she always had a quiet reputation. She was a novelist with a passionate following of careful readers, not a big name.” She died in 2000 at age 83.
Sourced and quoted from Hermione Lee’s 2013 preface to Offshore.
With no agent, no manager, no credits, no contacts, and no spouse, Kathryn Joosten packed up her truck and moved to Hollywood at the age of 56 (after dipping her toe into community theater at age 42). In 23 years, she amassed 118 film and television credits and won two Emmy Awards (for her role on Desperate Housewives). She received her third Emmy nomination posthumously after she died in 2012 at age 79.
Sourced from IMDB.
Then there’s Julia Child. She became a “foodie” and started cooking school at age 36. She published her first book at age 48. She starred in her first television show at age 50. “In 2000, at age 88, she received the French Legion Of Honor and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.” She died in 2004 at age 92.
This is an excellent audio book detailing her life’s journey.
Sourced and quoted from Debra Eve’s Later Bloomer blog.
At age 50, Louise Hay wrote a small pamphlet that she titled Heal Your Body. Eight years later, she expanded her pamphlet into what would become her New York Times bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life. However, because no one would publish the book, she founded (at age 58) her own publishing company, Hay House, which, as of 2015, “has become the largest and most influential self-empowerment publishing company in the world.” At age 89, Louise remains the figurehead of her media empire.
Sourced and quoted from Wikipedia and HayHouse.com.
One of the all-time greats…
Anna Moses, better known as “Grandma Moses”, whose paintings hang in nine museums in the United States and in Vienna and Paris, turned out her first picture when she was 76 years old. She took up painting because arthritis had crippled her hands so that she no longer could embroider. During her lifetime she painted more than 1,000 pictures, twenty-five of them after she had passed her 100th birthday.” “One of her works, Sugaring Off, was sold at an auction for $1.2 million.”
Her paintings were discovered in a drugstore window… by a prominent collector… and a New York gallery show led to world-wide fame in 1938″ when she was 78 years old. In 1946, sixteen million Grandma Moses Christmas cards sold. In 1953, when she was 93, Time magazine featured her on its cover. She died in 1961 at the age of 101. (In 1969 the USPS honored her by choosing to put her work on a stamp.)
Sourced from psychologytoday.com and The New York Times.
Keep betting on yourself – I believe in you,