This is my strong belief that we are living in never better before era. Never mind what they say about the world going to the dogs (may or not be true), the world has never seen so much freedom available to women, in terms of thoughts as well as actually going out there and doing what they want to do rather than living a scripted life with do’s and don’ts clearly and rigidly handed out. If there is ever a time to go live your life on your terms then now is it. Sure, we have a long way to go to the ultimate Utopian state, if we ever reached there but now is good enough.

Of course, you are a mother, live in a nuclear family, have been on sabbatical for a long, long time. Or you are employed with hardly any time at your disposal. Or an entrepreneur who doesn’t have time to breathe. Life is tough. The environment around you is less than perfect. The world does make a difference but the fact of the matter is that real blocks and support comes from within.

  • What is it that you want to do with your life?
  • What is stopping you?

If you have any stereotypical doubts in your mind, get this:

Susan Boyle’s singing went on to become a singing sensation from being a nobody – in 2009, when she was 48 years old!

Subconsciously we tend to give up when we are past a certain age and believe that success is for people who start early, never lose track of their path and have been qualified, trained and experienced in a certain area. Though we can not underestimate the significance of training and learning, the point here is – there is never a better time than NOW.

As a matter of fact, now is the only time we have. Rest everything is either memory or fantasy.

J.K. Rowling, the richest author ever, wasn’t that till she was 30+. She was, as a matter of fact, a divorced, clinically-depressed-career washout, and mother of two living on public assistance. According to her, though, it took hitting this low to focus on what she was truly good at — crafting the fantasy stories she’d been playing with since her teens. I am not implying that going this low is the only or the best way to go about realizing your potential. Taking an honest stock, an earnest conversation with self and having an informed look at the surroundings can do the trick!

  • U.S. swimmer Diana Nyad was 64 when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage.
  • Chef Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was in her 40s and didn’t star on her famous television show until she was in her 50s.
  • Actress Kathryn Joosten, who won two Emmys for her work on “Desperate Housewives,” moved to Hollywood (and in with her son) at age 56 to become an actress.
  • Marvel Comics scion Stan Lee didn’t start writing his most well-known comic books until he was 43.
  • Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, started painting when she was 75.
  • and ended up becoming one of the most famous American painters.
  • Col. Harland Sanders used his first Social Security check to launch the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise when he was 65.
  • Thomas Edison invented the telephone at age 84.

Do I need to go on?

Again, not implying that you should wait till you are 60+ or so. Any age is a good age.

Now, how do we go about reinventing ourselves? This will take some introspection and honest evaluations.

  • What are the things that make you come alive?
  • What are you good at? What are your skills?
  • What is it that you DO NOT enjoy doing or do not want to do anymore?
  • At the end of your life, how would you like to see your life in a flashback?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What should your life stand for?
  • If you were to make an impact on the world, how would want to do it?
  • Now, this is a tough one, but still worth a thought: what do you think is the purpose of your life? 

This will take some hard thinking but anything worth achieving is not achieved without some hard work, right? To make things easier, ask others around you – what do they think about you. This will help you clarify the picture. But as they say, listen to everyone but do what you feel in your heart.

After you have done the basic drilling, it is time to get equipped with practical tools:

  • Make a commitment to yourself in terms of time, energy and desired outcome.
  • Having a list of realistic goals brings dreams down from realms of fantasy to real world.
  • Breaking goals down to small execution steps with deadlines helps move things forward in a big way.
  • Get trained. Brush up those skills. Attend courses. Invest in yourself.
  • Surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and support you makes a big difference. (Such people are out there, you may have to step out of your comfort zone, if you are not fortunate enough to have them in your current surroundings.)
  • Increase your network. Open up. Get to know people.
  • Having a mentor is a blessing you must work towards. (Do I hear a sulky “how?” Get out, get connected!)
  • Get a qualified coach to guide you through the way, if required. 

Whatever you do, celebrate yourself, your work, life and passion! Because if you don’t, you are not only doing a disservice to yourself but to the world as well.

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Dinakshi is a curious explorer of life, and loves to see everything around her with a sense of wonder. Completely in awe of life and its ardent student, she is a writer, poet, blogger and ex-editor. Her superpower is involuntarily read and edit everything from text messages to poetry on the backside of trucks. Like any other Indian worth their salt, she’s done her time in the IT industry as a programmer. Books and journals have been her best friends for as long as she can remember. A philosopher at heart, she loves to question everything, including her propensity to question. An avid learner and unlearner, she is on a joyful path to live all that is.