It’s Never Too Late

I spoke with a pr consultant the other day that told me they were unhappy.

“Why are you unhappy?” I asked.

“I’m an investment consultant, but I don’t feel passionate about my work anymore. I don’t even know if I ever did. I just do my work and one year turns into the next.”

Sound familiar? Ever wonder why you’re doing the work that you’re doing?

I went on to talk with this consultant about their work. What they liked about it, what they didn’t.

Danger In Comfort
In the case of this consultant, she liked the stability she had with all her consulting clients. She’d racked up a lot of experience in the industry and had made a good name for herself.

Hard to give up, right?

She’s financially well off enough to entertain the idea of doing other work, but she had many reasons not to want to make the shift. After a 20 minute discussion we narrowed it down to the biggest issue for her. She felt old.

An Age Old Discovery
She’s not. She’s in her mid forties. But she said, “Michael, I’m 5 years away from turning fifty. It’s too late for me to get started in something new.”

I responded with a question, “If tragedy struck five or 10 years from now and you weren’t able to work anymore. If your life was cut short by some unforeseeable event, would you look back and be happy spending those 5 or 10 years in your current work? Or would it would be worth facing the challenges of entering a new field, possibly having a lower income, but spending your days surrounding yourself with work you are passionate about?”

Her face went blank. She wasn’t sure what to say. Finally, she spoke, “I don’t know…no, no, actually I would be okay with a lower income…yes, definitely I’d want to be doing work that I enjoyed…”

She thanked me for talking with her and is now seriously evaluating making a big change in her life.

Don’t Follow the Herd
If you ever find yourself in a situation that you’re unhappy with don’t settle for the comfort of the status quo.

Just because 80% of society follows the same ‘rules’ and ‘procedures’ that have been established by the herd, doesn’t mean you need to follow them.

Be In Control
Only you can decide what is right for you to do. But you owe it to yourself to at least entertain the idea that you should be doing what you feel passionate about. Even if it might make your life more difficult at the beginning.

Remember, it’s never too late and sometimes people are better off following their gut feeling rather than what their brains tell them.

It’s your life. You get to live this one only once. Make it count.

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  • Sri Ram Kumar

    Thanks Micheal for sharing this..at the end of the day..You have to like what you do and do what you like..results will flow in

  • Levi Acosta

    I’m really happy to have read this article today. I’ve been frantically concerned about myself not finding my passion, and becoming unhappy with how I’ve invested most of my life thus far.

    I’m a fresh marketing graduate, so i do have time, just not the finances to start all over again [not right now anyway]. Lets just pray for an epiphany.

    • Levi – some of the best advice I’ve been given is to follow what you really believe will make you happy and what you are passionate about. Money will often come as a result. It’s much better to be happy making a modest income than it is to make a lot but be unhappy.

  • Anonymous

    Always great to keep that perspective. Following your passion and ignoring the naysayers makes all the difference. Thanks for the post!

  • I especially identify with the “don’t follow the herd” mentality. It is an especially useful piece of advice because not only will it help you decide what is right for you, but also because it may result in differentiating you from your competitors, a critically important part of any business strategy.

    • Bart – as the saying goes “Differentiate or Die” – Jack Trout

  • Tia

    Thanks for the article. Unfortunately there’s a lot of stereotypes about age. First we are said we are too young for something and suddenly it appears we are to old for that, too old to find our true passion or just starting to do what we really enjoy. But we change and our life changes. And if we made a wrong choice for some reasons why we can’t fix it and appreciate that experience?

    • Tia – it’s very true. Society has been brainwashed to some degree. With all the media, and then friends and family absorbing what they hear, it just keeps on coming and it can be hard to go against the grain and do something that you really want – when others tell you it’s not the “smart move”. The move that makes sense is the one that brings you happiness long-term.

  • Yvette

    Thanks for sharing this lady’s story with me. I can identify with her. I spent most of my career in human resource management but was stressed out and frustrated so I decided to go into my own consultancy (HR, of course). The economy is so stagnant that it could get anyone frustrated, but like you advised your client, I too decided to get into something I am passionate about … training. I am merging my human resource and image management experience to start a new focus on soft skills training.

    • Yvette – good for you! I wish you the best success with that.

  • Yvette

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Passion is so important at any age. I think often when people are at that cross-road of wanting to change the fear of doing so comes in so many flavors. Whenever I start feeling complacent or when I am afraid to take the next step I ask myself “if I died tomorrow, would I be satisfied with the legacy I’m leaving”. Until I get to that point I keep pressing forward to always be greater and make a bigger impact on my world.

  • Yvette

    I am in complete agreement with the statement. Complacency can hit to such an extent that it can be crippling…. it’s realizing that it has hit you and doing something about it that matters most.

  • Kevin

    Michael, thank you so much for sharing this article. Until this pass weekend I had been feeling the exact same way as that pr consultant. I told my wife just this morning that I was making a change effective immediately. I can’t live another day not being passionate about what I’m doing.

  • Emerald Taylor

    This was well needed for me to read tonight ! Thank you