I am a somewhat inquisitive person especially when it comes to people. I watch human interaction all the time. Sometimes, I can be accused of staring when I am actually studying or nosey when I am eavesdropping on conversations in cafes or restaurants. It all comes with what I love to do; help people change to get the results they desire.
Recently, I have been discussing and over-hearing, the issue of time and time-age related issues. People in their 30’s worried that time is fast running out on them and for them to achieve their goals. I hear it in the conversations I invade from people who are over 40 that there is no point in pursuing their dreams or goals any longer. Now, because of their age, dreams must be filed away in the folder of things that have slipped them by, for there is surely no more time, or not not enough time, to pursue them now.
It’s now too late to change careers, learn a new skill, start that business or follow passions. Or at the very least it is something we can easily be concerned with.
Of course it’s not entirely their fault for thinking this way. Global conditioning and constant reinforcement of retiring at age 65 is mostly to blame. Not the retirement age itself necessarily, but the largely accompanying message that life is over once you retire. And that at 65 you must stop contributing, pull on your slippers and get yourself a chair facing the window. At 65, you are needed and wanted no more.
This conditioning is a powerful message. Even I, at the age of 52 and having recently started 2 new businesses, have fallen prey to it. Fortunately, my self-awareness is still razor sharp so I haven’t dwelled on it. Instead, I have seeked out some evidence contrary to this world view or as I like to term it, Global Myth. Lo and behold I have found some.
I have 46.6% of productive years left in me. How many do you have?
In his great book, Never Too Late To Be Great, Tom Butler-Bowdon uses a model originally devised by the author David J Schwartz, who wrote the famous self-help book, The Magic of Thinking Big, to calculate our productive years and how many we have left.
Butler-Bowdon argues that due to increased longevity we have around 60 years of productive years (He has extended Schwartz’s version due to this) in us, providing we retain reasonably good health. Bowdon puts the start date at age 20. This means we can be productive until we are 80 years old.
Anyway, for anyone over 40 this formula is exceptionally inspiring but can be used no matter what age you are. It’s a real eye-opener.
Here it is: Let’s take my age which is 52. I deduct this from the age of when I can be considered last productive which is 80.
80 – 52 = 28.
That means I have 28 years of productivity left in me. Twenty-eight!! How good is that?
If you also like percentages I will show you how you can calculate that too.
You simply divide the years you have left by the productive span, which is 60, and multiply by a 100.
In my particular case this calculates as follows: 28 divided by 60 x 100 = 46.6%
46.6% of productive years left in me! That’s nearly half! Nearly half! How great is that? Plenty of time to be a raging success in both of my businesses!!!
If you have been caught up in the global myth of time and feel it is is running away from you then I strongly recommend you get your calculator out or the app, and do this for yourself. And I also recommend you read Butler-Bowdon’s book.
I am excited. Finding this formula has given me a sense of renewed optimism if you like. Like I said, global conditioning can be a powerful weapon.
For the rest of today I shall be glowing in the fact that I have 28 productive years left. That is a whopping 28 years to pursue my passions and fulfil more of my dreams. I have been highly successful in my past, I can be highly successful again. I just need to apply the same strategies I used previously.
By doing the simple calculation above it can alter your attitude to your age and whether it is viable to start something new or to finally go for your dreams and pursue your passions. Even if you are starting from scratch, you may well be surprised that there is indeed time to be successful and fulfilled in what you do.
So my friend, as I hope you can now see, it really isn’t too late to pursue your passions, learn a new skill, go to University, start that new business or go for that dream job as I have often been advocating.
I myself learnt a whole new skill at 47 that gave me a different career path. I became an author at 49 and as already stated, I have started not one, but two new businesses at age 52. So although I had fallen foul to the ‘age obsession’ of modern times, I haven’t let it paralyse me, I have still acted despite it.
If you have been in the same quandry I hope this post can go some way in helping you discover that there is still time for you too.