296 Days ’til 40: Never Too Old (To Live Your Dreams)

01 May

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C.S. Lewis

Sometimes the best blog posts are short and simple.  Today I want to remind you that you are never too old to live your dreams or to create (dream) new dreams.  Some people feel that if they have not accomplished their dream (or at least taken steps) by their 40’s then they are too late.  This is absolutely NOT true.  Here are some wonderful examples from great role models:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder was 64 years old when she published her first book
  • Nelson Mandela was 75 when he was elected president of South Africa
  • When Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence he was 70
  • Mother Teresa was 40 when she founded “Missionaries of Charity” and was 69 when she received the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Julia Childs was 51 when her cooking show aired
  • Grandma Moses started painting at 76
  • Picasso was still drawing at age 90
  • Bill Anderson rode from California to Florida at 78 years of age
  • Lucille Borgen won the National Water Ski Title at age 91

Please never forget the words of George Eliot, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

Today, 296 days ’til 40, I seek to remind myself that it is never too late to live my dreams and set goals for a meaningful life.  I can start today.  I hope you do too!



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76 responses to “296 Days ’til 40: Never Too Old (To Live Your Dreams)

  1. 1smiles

    May 1, 2012 at 00:09

    Love this post!

  2. Karen Berthine

    May 1, 2012 at 00:15

    Oh yes indeed! When I was in my 30s I contemplated going for my doctorate. I told a friend of mine I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do it, “after all,” I whined, “I’ll be 40 by the time I get my doctorate.” Her reply: “You’ll be 40 anyway, so wouldn’t you like to be 40 WITH doctorate?” Back to school I went!

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:28

      Wow, what great advice…. so I suppose I am in the same boat ten years later, as I currently debate whether or not to go back for my doctorate (would start it at age 40 or 41…….)

      • Karen Berthine

        May 1, 2012 at 19:52

        And my response will be the same as my friend’s: You’ll be 47 (or whatever) anyway, so why not be 46 with a doctorate! 🙂

  3. jensine

    May 1, 2012 at 00:16

    What a lovely post and so insptring … need to remember to not grow up and be a princess, fairy, witch and happy every day

  4. terry1954

    May 1, 2012 at 00:19

    i always keep this in mind. would still love to go back to college

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:27

      It is never too late! This is something I am debating right now!

  5. narf77

    May 1, 2012 at 00:20

    We should all have our own personal bucket list…mine includes eating my weights worth of tropical fruit in far north Queensland and reading every single book on Mary Anne Schaffers list of favourite books. I think the secret of a good bucket list is like the secret of a good post (which I have never learned to be honest…) keep it simple 😉

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:24

      MMM – Yum!!!!! (the fruit) – and I agree, it needs to be simple and fulfilling…… and thus, I still find myself debating if doctorate will go on my list……. hmmmm

  6. becca3416

    May 1, 2012 at 00:33

    I really like this. It can get discouraging finding or following (or both!) one’s dream no matter what age, so this is especially inspiring.

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:23

      Yes, it can be – that is why I love looking to people who have done it and are older than me!!! 🙂

  7. Catholic Glasses

    May 1, 2012 at 00:40

    Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
    Thank you for posting, such a positive article. I taught myself how to play the piano, in front of the Blessed Sacrament at age 43. Visit: Check it out. And, download a song or two from My Music Tab. Enjoy! And, once again, thanks. You’re article was a “shot in the arm.”

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:33

      Thanks so much!!! Looking forward to seeing your site!

  8. msmckibbon

    May 1, 2012 at 00:50

    This was a really lovely post – thank you!

  9. laurenc129

    May 1, 2012 at 01:15

    No better place to start than where you are. No better time to start than now. In reality, it’s the only way anyone can start. 🙂

  10. The Beachwalker

    May 1, 2012 at 01:18

    I can agree with C.S. Lewis in part, only because as I age I must set goals more so, than I needed to in the spring of my life. Today the goals consist of making it through the day and staying on my feet til the day is over. To wake each day, get out of bed and slowly start functioning is not business as usual as it may have once been. It is real work and effort and easily forgone without the setting of goals to not become sedentary and lay down and quit. As for the dreams they are always and will always have been there. I will take them to the final moment, For it is in those dreams that we all live vicariously through the imagination of memories. Ultimately in those final moments, your friends will be gone, your family too, your cars, clothes. guitars and toys will not be with you at the end. Only the memories and dreams of your life can you take into the great beyond. And so I commit myself to collecting good memories, pleasant dreams and peaceful things.
    ps; My lifetime goal of sitting on the aft deck of a small boat, surrounded by marshes of sea grass while I play my guitar and watch the sunset, may have already left the dock, but my dreams, hopes and aspirations of being there will be with me at my end.

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:19

      Such important comments… there are moments in our lives when we are not able to live our dreams, and then we may need to modify them… and if/ when we are near the end of our life our dreams may change… and suddenly we may be dreaming for others (our hopes for our children, etc.)

  11. B.E.S.T.

    May 1, 2012 at 01:59

    nice and motivating, thank you! One thing that i personally find useful to do in terms of goal-setting or dream-setting, is to write down some sort of wishlist of things i wanna do. Dreams are beautiful, but they’re dreams, and may appear and disappear in a blink of an eye, that’s why i try to “catch” them by writing them down on paper.

    I saw a video once (probably something like 3-4yrs ago), it was a video of a man born without arms and his personal life experiences and successes. That video was definitely motivating, and i still think about his words, he used to say “what’s your excuse?”, and i think that is the question we should all ask ourselves everytime we just give up on something…

    and, as you wrote, it’s never too late!!

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 18:18

      Yes, that is such a good idea – I have done the same thing. When things are written down, sometimes I will not look at the list for a while and then return to it to see that I completed some of the items on the list. I love the quote from the old man! 🙂

  12. monkiss

    May 1, 2012 at 02:56

    Thank you so much for this. You are part of the universe telling a lot of people right now that following their bliss is ok. Be proud for that 🙂
    peace love and joy…monkiss

  13. Scott

    May 1, 2012 at 06:12

    Great attitude!

    It always bothers me when people use the excuses “I’m too old” or “This is just how things are”. There are tons of great stories about people changing their lives for the better later in life. I read a story about a woman in her 50’s who visited a friend’s pottery studio to help cope with her divorce. It turns out she was very gifted at pottery and now makes a good living at it. I used to get Men’s Health which would have a feature on someone who changed their attitudes about their health, lost weight and became active. Most of those men were at least 35-55 years old.

    I have just under 8 years until I’m 40 and I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

    Never stop dreaming. Never stop trying.

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:32

      Thank you – I agree with you completely – we cannot use our age as an excuse to not be all that we are meant to be. 🙂 I am closer to 40 than you and I also do not know what I want to be when I grow up – and I even have a “successful” career!!! 😛

  14. Lucianus Mauricius

    May 1, 2012 at 06:57

    Ok, reality check. It’s true what you said in regards to the aforementioned people achieving what they did at their respective age, but one thing you forgot to mention that for each and everyone of them it was the right moment when everything came together and helped them achieve what they did. I’m not saying they didn’t work at it, but of course they were a product of their own environment. Now lets flip the screen shot you just proposed to a time and place where nothing grows and seeds die of stagnation…it’s a scary prospective for me living in a country which limits my ability to be more. Two things to remember;
    A) No, it’s not always easy to try and change you current situation, and
    B) You might have lost the will to do so while dealing with the reality of everyday life and most things falling on your shoulders which need taking care of.
    It’s not hopeless, yet it’s not as easy and definitely not for everyone.
    Food for thought

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:31

      Yes, while this is true, they did have to be open to pursuing it…. if they had never tried it would not have happened. 🙂

      • Lucianus Mauricius

        May 2, 2012 at 04:14

        Yes, I agree, yet we are products of our environment to certain extent, add to that our personal upbringing and life stories and you have a nice potion of what might or might not have happened to us at some point in time which might or might have not changed our lives forever.

  15. dcwisdom

    May 1, 2012 at 07:18

    I’m 55 and returned to college to earn my degree. I graduate in December. I’m dang excited!
    GREAT post!

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:30

      Wow! Congratulations! I am thinking of going back too!

      • dcwisdom

        May 1, 2012 at 19:35

        Do it!

  16. drawnoutdoors

    May 1, 2012 at 07:21

    What a perfect post, and a great philosophy to live by! I’m thinking 40 will be a time to start dreaming new dreams, maybe this time they’ll be a little bit less sensible than the before 40 ones – what’s the point of dreaming if it’s not big!

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:29

      Thank you! Yes I will be dreaming more dreams after 40 – and as you said – BIG dreams!

  17. thelastsongiheard

    May 1, 2012 at 07:44

    Couldn’t agree more… I feel like my own adventure is just about to begin… (again)… and I turn 41 in about six weeks 🙂

  18. viveka

    May 1, 2012 at 13:04

    Nice one … we had a lady here in Sweden – that sold everything last year – at the age of 96 and on her own. No family or friends left .. she just left. 96 years old. Talk about living your dream.

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 17:25

      Wow! So cool! 🙂

      • viveka

        May 1, 2012 at 17:31

        Yes, then she couldn’t get her pension because she didn’t keep a bank account in Sweden – Swedish state pensions don’t send money aboard … need to go into a Swedish account and you have withdrawn with card – and nobody had informed her about it – so she had to come home and arrange it all. What a mess for the poor woman. Don’t know if she has gone back again.

  19. sued51

    May 1, 2012 at 15:56

    A very important message…can’t hear it enough…Thanks!

  20. hurtorheal

    May 1, 2012 at 16:47

    LOVE this. Brought a little sunshine into my rainy day, thank you xx

  21. New Hampshire Garden Solutions

    May 1, 2012 at 17:02

    Why even let age enter into it? As Joseph Campbell said: Just follow your bliss.

  22. basildonkitchens

    May 1, 2012 at 17:46

    Wonderful post!

  23. Paws To Talk

    May 1, 2012 at 21:17

    Great message! We’d like to meet that green guy someday 🙂
    Bella and DiDi

  24. SkiDaddy

    May 1, 2012 at 22:55

    My Mom is 75 and started writing last year. She has just completed her 3rd book. She is an inspiration to me.

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 23:07

      Wow, that is so wonderful! How inspiring!

  25. Pat Bean

    May 2, 2012 at 03:02

    This old broad loved your post. I gave you a Bean’s Pat today on my blog.

    • 400daystil40

      May 2, 2012 at 18:45

      Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! 🙂

  26. Along Comes Mary

    May 2, 2012 at 11:44

    I am finding I am creating more & dreaming as I get older! Its a great feeling:)

    • 400daystil40

      May 2, 2012 at 18:40

      Yes! 🙂

      • Along Comes Mary

        May 2, 2012 at 22:30

        We’re unlimited! & I know for me, the more I live & go through, its a reminder to enjoy life every chanch I get; I am in my 20s now, but hopefully I still feel this way in my 70s!;-)

  27. The Quiet Borderline

    May 2, 2012 at 15:18

    Great post. Thank you.

  28. Spider42

    May 3, 2012 at 21:15

    Heartily agreed – I’m a firm believer in the following:

    1) You’re only as old as you feel spiritually and in your heart.
    2) Life’s too short to grow up in a hurry.
    3) You must always keep a glimmer of the lightness of being young and naive and happy no matter how old you get. Someday you’ll need it desperately and you will learn to let that glimmer shine – but if you don’t have it, well then the grim shadows of “maturity” are all yours…

    “So was I once myself a swinger of birches;. And so I dream of going back to be.”
    – Robert Frost
    (I’d recommend reading the poem ‘Birches’, it’s really quite lovely)

    And so long as you do these things, I think your dreams and imagination and willingness to put yourself out there stays strong and you can accomplish most anything.

    • 400daystil40

      May 3, 2012 at 21:22

      I agree with everything you say! Thanks for the great quote! 🙂

  29. mskatykins

    May 5, 2012 at 13:47

    A fantastic post – God, I try to tell my teenage students not to lose sight of their hopes and dreams…! 🙂

  30. argentumvulgaris

    May 5, 2012 at 23:21

    So true. At 40+ I decided ‘home’ NZ was too small, too inhibiting. I made a decision. Six weeks later I was having my 41st b/day in Brazil on a 10 day stopover to Europe. I never got to Europe, and now 20 years later… I am still in Brazil.


  31. feedingmyintolerantchild

    January 20, 2013 at 12:56

    I have 43 weeks til forty and definitely need to get my plan into action. This post is just I needed! Thanks.

    • 400daystil40

      January 20, 2013 at 23:00

      You are welcome!!! Thanks for visiting! 🙂


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