When I was 29, one of my best friends was a hairdresser and she owned a very cool hair salon. I loved hanging out there and watching her cut hair for two reasons. Firstly, it appealed to my creative side, seeing the latest cuts and colors that she was doing, but also I loved that people went away really happy.
I seriously wished back then that I had trained to be a hairdresser. I also liked the idea of having my own hair studio and hiring talented hair stylists.
The crazy thing is, I thought it was too late. Here is what I told myself; you are too old to go back to study (seriously), you have already spent studying for four years so that would be a waste, you would have no salary whilst you did your full time study for 12 months, what would other people think?
So here is the thing. There are other goals I have in my life right now, but if I still wanted to be a hairdresser…I absolutely could. I could go back to study for a year. I would need to save some money, but I can do that. There are 12 months courses that I can do and whilst it might take me three years to be fully qualified, I would still have a years of hair styling ahead of me. If I started my own business – that could take me to my retirement. I also am much more resilient about what people think and say.
I was thinking this morning about this concept of “being too late” and wondering what type of instances existed in which it really was. I could think of times when financial situation, availability or health might be a limiting factor – however I thought of more instances where people had and lived their dreams.
The 90 year old who decided he always wanted to run a marathon. My friend who saved $10 a week for ten years to back pack around the world. My father, who went back to school full time in his mid-50’s to get his Diploma so he could teach.
It is never too late to have goals and work towards them. Life is way too short to have regrets about what you didn’t do. Even if you don’t reach your end objective, the journey can be so much fun. So here are some things I would have liked to have told my 29 year old self:
Listen to your inner voice – when you hear yourself saying “I wish I could do that…” pause and reflect on what you are saying. What are you wishing for? Could you make it happen?
What is your goal? Be really clear on what it is you want to achieve
Why do you want to do this? Having a clear purpose helps motivate us along the way. This stage might propel your forward or make you pause.
What do you need to achieve it? Be very realistic here. You need to be clear on what you are working to. From here, you can create your plan.
What strengths and skills do you have? For me in my hair styling example, it was a strong creative side and I can form good relationships with people quickly.
What support do I need from others? Never be afraid asking for help. Most people genuinely want to help you succeed.
There will be dissenters – people will have a wide raft of views and will want to share them with you. Be open…but be true to your own purpose and goals.
“The future is always beginning now” Mark Strand