Are You Ever Too Old To Stop Following Your Dreams?
Why would I ask this question? Well, here at The Little White Lie, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the ways our youth-worshipping society shames the beautiful process of aging, especially for women. It shows up in our personal lives, in our careers, and in the perception that dreams are meant only for the young.
I had the pleasure of interviewing award-winning inventor, publisher, author and speaker Jody Harris recently on my Little White Lie Show (Here’s the replay if you’d like to see the show). She tells us: “I started my ‘big dream’ life early, and at this point I know I have another 50 -60 years. There are so many things I want to accomplish. My goals are set out at least 30 years.” She clearly believes that dreaming big has no age limit!
History shows us many examples of people who made their mark after their 40’s.
By the way, as I was researching this information, I couldn’t help but notice the number of article references to “Late Bloomers”. Let me ask: Who’s late?? It just proves our point about how ageist myths are perpetuated! Let’s look at just a few of these “Late Bloomers”…
At 62, Harland David Sanders (Col. Sanders) first franchised his “Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Today, KFC has over 18,000 outlets in 118 different countries.
At 51, Julia Child became a TV icon on The French Chef, and later was the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame, and in 2000, received France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, for her work. She didn’t even learn to cook until she was 36.
At 75, Barbara Hillary, a cancer survivor, was one of the oldest people to reach the North Pole, and is believed to be the first Black woman on record to accomplish this. By the time she turned 79, she became the first Black woman to reach both poles.
At 40, Vera Wang first entertained the idea of becoming a designer, and is an iconic fashion designer and celebrity today.
Before finding her passion she was a competitive figure skater, journalist, art historian and senior fashion editor at Vogue.
At 50, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species in 1959, the book that espoused the theory for which he is a household name today.
At 76, Anna Mary Robertson Moses (a.k.a. Grandma Moses) started painting. She worked as a successful painter for 25 more years, producing 1000 works in total, to become one of the biggest names in American folk art.
At 64, Dame Judith Dench won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love. With over 30 major movie roles after the age of 63, Judi is a 7-time Oscar nominee, and a globally respected and beloved star.
At 56, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China…. That was his big dream, just sayin’…
At 89, Fauja Singh ran his first marathon, and became the oldest man to run a full marathon when he completed the Toronto Waterfront at age 100.
At 74, Toni Morrison, beloved author, winner of virtually every literary prize in the English-speaking world, and whose filmography includes Beloved and Black List, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Teaching and writing for many years, she was 46 when she first received national attention for her novel, Song of Solomon.
At 95, Nola Ohs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.
I’m often asked about my own story (How did The Little White Lie happen?), so here it is. I’m always reinventing myself – I guess one would say I’m a serial entrepreneur. In the early 80’s, I owned and ran a creative arts school in LA, and became the first for-profit company allowed to provide programs for the LA Unified School District. At the same time I was on the Kid Rhino record label producing songs for young people, and ultimately had the honor of singing at Carnegie Hall.
Next up, I became the cantor at a synagogue in SoCal. I served that congregation for 16 years. I brought live streaming to the temple for our services so that shut-ins would still be able to attend. When I moved up to the Bay Area, I found myself without a job or anywhere to go. But, not working was NOT in my blood.
My passion is to find a need and then fill it.
So, I founded Promote Your Passion. By the time 2012 rolled around I had produced over 20 events all over the country. These events helped entrepreneurs find and promote their passion to create a better life. Spark It Network was born in 2014 (when I was in my 50’s). Now I’m helping business people get visibility through the use of technology.
It has never crossed my mind that I can’t do something that I set out to do. I have failed many times along the way, but I’ve always picked myself up and recreated again.
Which brings me to NOW, and my Little White Lie. At the age of 60, I’ve discovered my own passion project. I am launching a global movement that explores aging, beauty and embracing our authentic selves – no matter how much society tells us otherwise.
The Little White Lie is a continuing conversation about you, about us. So, how about you? Do you feel you’re too old to follow your dreams? If not, what steps are you taking to make your dreams happen? Or what would it take for you to start to make them happen? Get into the conversation and take part in the direction of TLWL movement! Here’s how:
1) Answer the questions in the comments below.
2) Take my survey on www.TheLittleWhiteLie.com where you see the question: “What is your biggest concern about aging?”
3) Share your thoughts on Facebook and use the hashtag #LittleWhiteLie.
Thanks for joining the Little White Liars!