Are you too old for this….

I often have people tell me they think they are “too old” to: learn another language, go back to school, rebuild broken relationships, follow their passions, start a business – and the list goes on and on.  Have you ever used that excuse for not doing something worthwhile?

Here’s a site where you can plug in any age and see some notable things done by others that same age.

Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age:   You’re Not Too Old Just go here, put in your age and prepare to be encouraged – you can do more than you think!

  • At age 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji
  • At age 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, Lord of the Rings.
  • At age 46, Golfer Jack Nicklaus became the oldest man ever to win the Masters.
  • At age 32, penniless and unemployed, Buckminster Fuller decided against suicide, resolving instead to live out the rest of his life as an experiment to see what one person could do to help humanity.
  • At age 19, Henry David Thoreau delivered a Harvard commencement address. Expanding on Emerson’s 1836 essay on “Nature”, he proposed that man should work one day a week and leave six free for the “sublime revelations of nature.”
  • At age 27, Fred Smith founded Federal Express.
  • At age 12, Filmmaker Steven Spielberg got his first movie camera and spent hours writing scripts, drawing storyboards and making movies of subjects such as head-on miniature train crashes and an exploding pressure cooker full of cherries jubilee.
  • At age 17, Artificial heart developer Robert Jarvik began working on his first invention, a surgical stapler.
  • At 26, Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Italy

Okay, so maybe you won’t conquer any country this year, but I’ll bet you could do more than you have planned at this point.

So what have you done today??

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37 Responses to “Are you too old for this….”

  1. joe Says:

    Great post! After being out of work for a few months now for the first time in 18 years I’m finding it hard to think clearly. At 46 with no real education even the thought of going back to school is troubling….can’t seem to overcome the negative thoughts of what if……

  2. Marlan Says:

    I’ve started a blog (while still working) and it will be the starting point of a my new business empire.

    Well, maybe not, but at least I’m learning a great deal! Joe (prior poster) you CAN do it! Just pick something – like Dan says – make some great deposits of success no matter how little or small.

  3. Terry Says:

    I’m too poor (income 98 percent of poverty level) and broke to go back to school. I have not yet found a school which doesn’t require its cash paid up front.

  4. David Says:

    I am neither too young or too old for anything!
    Great reminder


  5. MikeW Says:

    Terry, Change Something! Lots of companies will pay for your books and tuition while you work for them in entry level positions. Lots of colleges have night time programs. Get a roommate. Think outside the box. It won’t be easy, but that just makes the reward better.

  6. Terry Says:

    Sigh. I’m over 50 and have no marketable skills; it’s objectively highly unlikely an employer will pay for my tuition now.

    And I’ve identified a market niche on eBay where (through tedious compilation of knowledge) there are frequent opportunities to buy low (say $5-$10) and sell high ($10-$25-$50). Basically, there is no recent published database or price guide of this niche – I’m working on that – and many sellers (e.g. resellers and liquidators) don’t know enough about these items to optimize their listings. As a result, $25-$50 items frequently sell for $5-$10 because the bidders don’t know enough about the items to bid higher.

    Well I have six roommates right now and one of them (who has since moved out) recently stole over $1,000 worth of stuff I had bought intending to resell. (I can’t sell anything until I get home internet, but I need a Windows PC first.).

    Time isn’t my barrier to college, money is.

    Maybe I got greedy, thinking I could make money reselling.

  7. Frank Says:

    Dan, as always, excellent information!
    I passed this on to others via twitter and facebook.

  8. Ralph Says:

    Well, I see some gloomy posts so far. I too got booted from my despised job and career two years ago this coming April. I have only had a few sporadic temp jobs for a few weeks at a time here and there since. I had thought of going back to school too, but now I am glad I didn’t. I have a B.S. degree and 15 years experience in my field. If no one needs me with that, then I certainly don’t need more education! ANyway, just do something! Get out and market yourself with what you can do. Maybe mow yards, clean, do gutters, maintenance jobs, etc. You will be surprised as how easy it is to make money.You will meet people and they may have a lead or suggestion. This is what I am doing, and I absolutely love it!! I never know what I will be doing next week!! I have now found myself sitting with an elderly gentleman for 6 hours one day a week while his daughter runs errands. She pays $100.I have many other things going, and it spawns my creativity. I come up with a new business idea everyday it seems. Moping around all day sending out endless resumes to a dark hole feeling sorry for yourself wont cut it. So go do something even if you only make 5 bucks.Believe me, it will stimulate you and motivate you. Yes, I am practically destitute and impoverished, but it has been the most liberating experience im my life. Read the book ”How Starbucks Changed My Life.” It will enlighten you.

  9. MikeW Says:

    Terry, Listen to Ralph; he is right! Scoop snow off of walks for free. Most people will reward you when you’re done. Help a construction contractor for free and show him what you can do. Work harder for free than his paid workers, then watch what happens. Too many people have the mindset of “pay me and I’ll show you what I can do” when it should be “I’ll show you what I can do, then you will want to pay to keep me”. You mentioned two barriers keeping you from succeeding in taking classes and starting your business. You said companies won’t let you take college classes because of your age and that you need internet access and a windows PC. If a company has the college benefit, they have it for all employees and don’t pick and choose because that will create legal problems for them. In response to needing Internet access and a PC, the library has them for free. How bad to you want it?

  10. Terry Says:

    Thanks Mike, but the economy is quite shot where I live. No snow to shovel – an average approx six inches of snow annually and none so far this year. I am renting a room from a laid-off construction worker who says he’s been calling contractors who say they have no work currently available. (And I see a crisis looming when his unemployment benefits run out in two months – he;s been enjoying free housing (net of the rents he collects) but not saving up those unemployment checks for the rainy day which is looming.

    It doesn’t help that I live in a city with many thousands of un(der)employed young college graduates – think barista.

    Problem is, I’m chasing the same unskilled jobs as the younger cohort, and at my age, I don’t know how to win that competition.

  11. FinancialBondage Says:

    its great that Dan and others have a positive perspective on things, but is it not true that sometimes there are barriers that are real and could be tough to overcome? perhaps even impossible?

    for example, you want to go back to school but have no money. You can’t just make money appear by waving a magic wand. So that is a real problem. You are working 2 jobs (you’re not lazy) but neither one pay that much… no chance of higher income anytime soon.

    you want a better paying job but you don’t have the education needed for it. So you’re back to the school and money brick wall again.

    Not having money is a big issue…. No money no problem? I say blah. No money means you could be out of luck.

  12. Lee Says:

    I got diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia in 1997, it is incurable. I have studied a few courses of art . Last october, 2009, i decided to began studying in internet highschool. Yesterday i started one course about religion. my average numbers since october is 9 (4-10). I am now 38 years old. I am going to study three years more.
    My nurse began to study in medical school in age of 50.
    Here schools and universities are free.

  13. Sherry Says:

    After being a stay-home mom and part-time housekeeper for many years, at 41 I decided to reenter the work force as a secretary. After about a year of temp jobs, I was hired by a NASA contractor. Being around all these very smart people inspired me to return to school. So… as a 44 year old, I am now a college sophomore at a local community college, work full time, volunteer some, and am conquering my excess weight! Oh, by the way, two of my children are in college with me!
    You can do it!

  14. Drew Says:

    This is a great reminder. We often times look for excuses to not have to change. Age is definately not an excuse to follow your dreams. Col. Sanders was in his 60’s when he finally started KFC. Its never to late. Thanks.

  15. susan Says:

    paranoid schizophrenia is cureable…Jesus can cure any illness. The scriptures say to search for Him with all your heart and all your mind and you will find Him. Doctors may not no how to cure mental illness but many pastors now how to pray and deliver people from these illnesses.

  16. Janice Says:

    Live Your Dreams, dont dream your life. There’s never really an age too old to do anything we want. Just do it and make your dream come true. With God, all things are possible.

  17. Cathy E Says:

    One of my all time favorite stories is from one of my past professional mentors. She told me she was having a converstaion with a lady who was contemplating returning to school. She complained “I’ll be fifty by the time I graduate.” My mentor responded “you’re going to be fifty anyway.” Taking this story to heart I started my Master’s degree two years ago at the age of 50, and am taking on class at a time. It will take me another three or four years to complete my degree at this rate, but at least I started. I figure I will have at least ten and perhaps 15 years in the workforce to purse my passion, as opposed to slogging along in my current profession which generates frustration and burn-out. Often times the hardest thing is just to start. None of us can know what tomorrow may bring; that is why we have to live today!!

  18. Sandy Says:

    I really needed to read these today…….I’m 52, out of work since Sept w/ benefits running out in 4 weeks. First time in my life I’ve been unemployed. No education past 1 year in art school, selling advertising my entire career and managing sales teams too. First thing businessses cut is advertising and therefore alot of unemployed ad reps! I trust God for ALL things…….if He takes care of the sparrow, He will def take care of me! For me, the unemployment allowed me to be with family out of town, especially my aging and now very sick father….helping my mother to help him. I pray every day for what the Lord would have me do for income. I know he will not forsake me and I know I may have to do something temporary until the right door is opened. I’d like to use my artistic talents (drawing/painting/graphic art) – but using raw talent since I have no money for a MAC. I’m still praying and listening. I just said a prayer for each of you on these postings……that the Holy Spirit would intervene in your lives and touch you in a way that will help you. God Bless, sandy

  19. Gary Says:

    Nothing is more powerful than a positive attitude and faith. Without a positive attitude one will destroy their self. Faith without action is dead. So in order to make a change one has to believe they can and then put some action behind it.

  20. Kathleen Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! At 60 I now find myself starting a new career at home ~ trusting the Lord all the way.

  21. Duane D. Gantt Says:

    Wow! What a great blog.Just believe GOD!!! All things are possible with Him. Esp. for Terry who sounds so hopeless.It’s not the end of the story so get yourself moving.Tap into your your mind and dreams and then actuate what it is that you want to become,step by step (prayerfully) Don!t become impatient for GOD is never in a hurry.True ,faith without works is dead. I!m 67 yrs old health care pro.been out of work 2yrs now.Sure I fell into a depressed slump in that time frame. But today is a new day for me to regroup,prioritize organize and put into action gifts that God has given me that will hopefully benefit mankind .I’ve got 4 ideas for medical safety appliances and some material to write my first book to God’s Glory, I’m starting today.Terry,ask God to show you how and what He would have you to do.Trust HIM Stay encouraged and focused!!!!

  22. Timothy Mitchell Says:

    Thanks for encouragement .

  23. Sandy Says:

    Yes, we have to wait for God, when He is ready, not when we’re ready. My family just experienced a miracle today….since i posted last. My dad was being sent by the doctors to long term care or a hospice. They thought he was checking out. News flash! God had a different plan! With much prayer going on today, we prayed a miracle would be His will……..and it was! He is starting to speak, use his hands/arms, and swallow food/drink…….they thought he’d never do any of that. Praise the Lord! Now, my unemployment seems so small in comparison. He gave my dad life again…….which in turn gave me new hope in life. That’s what God does. Keep up the positive comments!

  24. Regina Says:

    I have hope. I’ve been unemployed for two years, am living with mom and collecting benefits. I was able to take classes at a local university, help my mom around the house and do some service work. God provided. My past employment was not always spectacular, but now I am sober and have a valid reason for my work history. Also, the age limiting belief, I was reading about that last night in a devotional I have. There is no age limit to creativity, making a contribution and wisdom. There are a lot of companies that do not discriminate because of age. I would love to start two businesses: one is called Kiss and Tell, a cosmetics and perfume shop; the other, called Solitude and Company, a specialty chocolate shop.

  25. Rob Clinton Says:

    Awesome! What a powerful way of putting our age into perspective… I always hear that old cliche’, “I’m too old”… Well I know I’m only 34 according to my birth certificate, and wat others have told me, but I feel like I’m 21, a wise a one at that.

    I also tell folks older than me who use that cliche’, “You’re not old, it’s all in your mind”, and they’ll say, “yeah and its in my back too” as sort of a joke to go with it….

    I’ll then respond, “It’s in your back, because it was already in your mind”.

  26. JN Says:

    No one is too old for anything they want to do. But everyone is too YOUNG to quit.

  27. Timothy Fowler Says:

    Hi Dan, thanks in a large part to you I am pursuing the music in me, finally, in middle age. Here’s my latest blog post on the subject.

  28. Ralph Says:

    Well, it’s been a few days since I commented to Terry. Now guess what. I took a test to work temporarily for the census bureau and scored well and am certain I will be hired. It will pay 11-15 an hour depending on position. Plus .54 per mile on vehicle. And I got another gig sitting with another elderly person on another day. Thats 2 days a week. Now, since I seem to enjoy working for elderly ( never dreamed it) I am thinking of starting an adult day care business or maybe even a transportation service taking them to the grocery or doctors appointments. The ideas just keep flowing. I am having the most fun of my life. Work was never this fun. See what happens when you open your eyes and just start doing. I don’t ever want to go back to work. See my post above a few lines up.

  29. Carrie Says:

    Congrats, Ralph! 🙂

  30. Annie Says:

    I am 59 years old and look 40 (so I am told by numerous persons) Why? Because I have a positive attitude and look to my Heavenly Father as my source. Been an unemployed banker for over 5 years..but God takes good care of me. First he directed me to start a non-profit ministry…..providing lunch money and bus fare to school children……this is going great….it has now been extended to providing school supplies including shoes and uniforms. “How is this funded?” you may ask….by people sowing into it…God said to me “refuse nothing” so they sow coins….used clothes…used furniture….used utensils…unwanted gifts, etc., etc., I sit for hours and count coins and have garage sale once per month…..things are sold so reasonable that folks flock my garage from as early as 6:00a.m. TO GOD BE THE GLORY. I will be expanding and renting a store selling the same things as in the Garage Sale…I am so busy working Ministry and God takes care of me…..What a mighty God He is….Trust and obey Him my friends.

  31. Sandy Says:

    Awesome Annie! You Rock! God is blessing your ministry and your blessed as a by-product of that……..super! I think sometimes I want to do something totally different even if I’m sure exactly how but I “freeze up” – maybe afraid of failure or uncertainty. I realize that is not showing faith in God though! My prayer time with the Lord has been to show me the way now……..I have faith in Him and with God and our commitment to Him, ALL things are possible!

  32. Annie Says:

    To God be the glory Sandy. In life we are faced with fears of all sorts; fears of the unknown and personal problems that seem hopeless and oh so scary, and it is very easy to get caught up in our emotions, forgetting to look to God and to listen for His still small voice directing us. We might even think what He is saying doesn’t make sense (I sure thought that way at first-and wondered if I was hearing right) Then he sent a child to me one day to ask me for lunch money and bus fare for school and I did not have a cent to help her….I told her I couldn’t help her and I knew she did not believed me. I went home all broken up..and I started asking God why was this happening to me….I was crying so hard I could hardly hear his still small voice…He said “I told you what to do but you have refused because you say it doesn’t make sense- You think my instruction doesn’t make sense eh” Girl, I was so ashamed, I got up so fast and started right away…..a non-profit ministry for God’s little lambs…and oh what a journey it has been. Listen and trust Him my friends – He is aware of our problems and His way is not our way.

  33. Duane D. Gantt Says:


    Count your blessings,check this out. I’ve been unemployed for more than two years with a great anesthesia corporation.great six figure income.I left that job to help with some critical family issues back home.Hada new job that lasted only 3 months because I had to have major surgery,long story short I ended up losing my possessions incl. my sister ended up in the ICU w/ multiple life threatening problems w/a very poor prognosis.But PRAISE GOD!!!! HE saved her. As a result of me being w/out a car,I had to walk w/ severe calf pain which led me to the Dr. only to discover I have an abdominal aortic aneurysm and a blocked artery (PAD) going to my left calf. Both situations are stable currently.I walk as much as possible without pain ,thanks to Plavix and baby aspirin. Plus I have a half price senior citizens bus pass.I live with my sister whom I help manage her medications etc. I’m 67 yrs.old and I’m still alive strongly considering writing a book,pursuing a degree on-line submitting 3 ideas for medical device patents geared toward improving patient safety.Im presently taking a computer course (free) being offered on the same campus where I live (public housing ). Thus I am more blessed than stressed. In spite of our messed up economy GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL AND HE DOES CARE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU JOHN 3:16 TRUST HIM AND JUST KNOW THAT JESUS LOVES YOU. In closing, I just want to reiterate that the best way to really discover your resiliency and who you really are,is to get your focus off yourself,and lok for way to help some one else. And then don’t be surprised by what happens in you,to you,through you and for you. May the LORD JESUS BLESS ALL OF YOU as you have been such a real blessing to me by helping me to put my situation and circumstances in perspective.

  34. scott moore Says:

    Hello Dan
    I believe in the creativity you are talking about on here. I have no clue how to start it, and am currently just struggling to get out on a job to catch some bills up and try to get out of debt. I may be a few years trying to do that while I rack my brain trying to find what you talk about on here. I intend to get some coaching as soon as I can pay for it. I appreciate you and Dave Ramsey alot. What both of you do is give people hope for happiness in general and financial happiness as well. At least I know that I can find a better way if I look in the right places. Now just to find those places.

  35. Annie Says:

    In my devotion this morning I read about Caleb. As I read about him I reflect on this blog…”Are you too old for this” and thought I would share with you wonderful folks what I gleamed from this mighty man in the Old Testament. Caleb was one of the 12 spies Joshua sent into the Promised Land to “spy out the land” and report their findings. All 12 spies saw the same things but 10 came back with a negative report saying “the people who lived there were powerful, and the cities were very large and they (the spies) seemed like grasshoppers in their own eyes ….” Read it for yourselves (Numbers Chapters 13 &14). These 10 caused such panic that the people wanted to stone Moses, pick a new leader, and return to slavery in Egypt.
    But not Caleb! He had a different spirit (Numbers 14:24) He said “We should go up and take possession…we can do it. This is the part that inspired me….Years later, when Joshua was dividing the Promised Land amongst the tribes. Caleb stepped forward and said “….here I am today, 85 years old!…just as vigorous…as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me….Then Joshua blessed Caleb…and gave him Hebron as his inheritance” (Joshua 14:10-13 NIV)
    Caleb lived the winning life because:-
    (a) he remembered the promises of God and acted on them
    (b) he dared to take an unpopular stand
    (c) he refused to quit when the pressure was on
    (d) he saw possibilities where other saw only problems
    (e) he kept his mind young, even when his body was old
    Listen My friends: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJ)
    As you face continued challenges, God wants to show you (just as what Duane has said) what He can do in you, for you,with you and through you! Will you let Him?
    Great encouragement from Duane …keep your mind young my brother and never give up …remember “….out of weakness were made strong……”Hebrews 11:34 NKJ) Who I am talking about…Men like Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets…who were these people…they all had weaknessess..but they became strong (read about them for yourselves) in Hebrews 11. They did not start out strong, they became strong! Their courage was forged in the fires of adversity. And if they can do it, by God’s grace we can too! We have them for our examples…Question…”What would you attempt today, if your weren’t afraid of failing? Remember fear of failure will always make you want to bury your gift. Unless you’ve the courage to start-you’re already finished! Refuse to let fear stop you! How you use the gifts God has given you is a matter of the utmost importance. The truth is – it’s the basis upon which you’ll be judged! (Read Matthew 25:14-30)
    Remember “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”(Proverbs 18:16 Amp.)

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