When is the right time to start following your passion? Is it too late? Are you too old?
For this episode of the Passionative Podcast, I want to share why this – right now – is the best time to start following your passion.
Listen to the episode below:
“I am too old to follow my passion.”
“It’s too late to do what I love to do.”
This is by far the most common reason — I won’t call it an excuse — that people have whenever you ask them why they aren’t doing what they’re passionate about.
This is something I’ve struggled with personally — I’ve always thought that I’m too old to do what I want to do, even though I’m just 28 as I write this.
No matter what we are doing in life, we tend to say that this was how it was meant to be, this is our destiny. Even if you’re in a job with a crappy boss, you think this is how it was meant to be.
And just to make ourselves feel good, we add: “I’m just waiting until something better comes along” or “Once I have enough money in the bank, I’ll get back to whatever your passion is”
We keep waiting, until a point comes where we start to believe, not just think, that it is never going to happen because it is too late.
Too late to be an opera singer.
Too late to be a choreographer.
Too late to be a Yoga master.
“Too late, too late, too late. Too old, too old, too old.”
We go from “I’ll do it someday” to “I will never be able to do it now” rather quickly. We just accept things the way they are.
But when you think about it, destiny is a very fluid concept or thing. It’s not already a given. What we call destiny, is called so only in retrospect.
And what that destiny would be is something that we are constantly shaping in two ways.
First, by what we decide to do.
And second, and I believe more importantly, by what we decide not to do.
So when you decide not to follow your passion because you’re too old, you’re shaping your future to be where you’re some who didn’t follow their passion.
When you say that it’s too late to do what you love, you cement your destiny to be one where you only have the regret of not starting it back when you had the chance.
And I find it a bit funny how as you get near to completing a decade, the belief that the last decade was the best decade to have started it starts to creep in. Around the middle of every year even, the thought that you should have started back last year when you made that new year resolution shows up over and over.
I think there is a certain owning up that we need to do for being where we are.
Having said that though, age is a very real thing, it’s a very real number. It’s not stamped on our foreheads and yet your mind is always aware that you’re getting old… or, older — if that makes you feel any better — that’s a George Carlin joke right there.
Anyway, getting back to age being a real factor — age IS a real factor, and there’s possibly an ideal age to start doing what you love to do.
Maybe it’s 5 years old, that’s when Mozart started out and he produced some of the greatest music in the world.
I think this whole idea that we’re too old comes from us looking at our idols, people we look up to. When we think about where we want to go with our passion, we see celebrities, or the top people in our area of interest.
I look up to a lot of pop and rock artists because I am a singer/songwriter myself, and I see that they are really passionate about what they’re doing, they love it and they’re coming up with this awesome stuff all the time. New albums, sold-out concerts, features on other people’s songs and what not.
I know they’ve put in a lot of hard work behind that and that’s why it seems impossible that I’ll ever make it sitting where I do. It’s only natural.
So that didn’t work out — I couldn’t look at my idols and mimic what they were doing.
My next step was to look at people who were like me — people who were starting late or people who had a job, a business, a spouse, kids, mortgages and so on but were doing something they really liked on the side — giving it an honest shot. So I turned on shows like America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent and so on — where people like you and me were getting recognized for what they loved to do.
But, even after looking at someone who’s starting a singing career at 40 or delivering an amazing dance performance at 80 years old didn’t drive me to follow and live my passion.
Here’s why: I was looking at those people and seeing their success. I’m not talking about my idols, I’m talking about people like you and me who got on these shows and got recognized doing what they love to do.
So we are always looking at successes, no matter who we look at. And often, people who are successful have a very similar story to us: similar struggles, problems, challenges and life stories. But looking at them doesn’t drive us simply because them being successful makes them NOT like us.
Why? Because we believe success happens at random, and there are simply too many variables that are out of our control. THEY know those variables because they’ve put in the time, and you, of course, don’t.
So we’re old, and on top of that we’re too old to reach that level of success.
That’s when I realized I was looking at it the wrong way. I may be too old to get where I want to be, but if it is simply about getting where your idols are, then you’re following your passion for the wrong reasons.
I think we’ve got to stop looking at success stories for inspiration and start focusing on actions instead. Even if you could find someone exactly like you who has had success, wouldn’t success still have the same variables behind it?
And the way I’ve tried to tackle it is to tell myself that I’d rather write a song today than not write one at all. No, it’s not gonna be on the Billboard Top 10 (I don’t even qualify cause I don’t write in English), it’s not gonna go viral, it’s most likely going to suck and sink in the ocean of music that the Internet is. But I’ll write it and release it. Just because.
Your age is not why you can’t start up with your passion. Your age should be why you do.
Follow your passion because it makes you happy. Follow your passion because it fills you up with energy. Follow your passion because it helps you relax. Follow your passion because you lose track of time when you do it. Follow your passion because it leaves a smile on your face. Follow your passion because follow your passion.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, insights and questions! Please leave a comment…