So what’s stopping you, late bloomer?

by Craig McBreen · 70 comments · Breaking out


Is it ever too late to start something new and exciting? To reinvent yourself or simply follow your muse?

In this post I described my fascination with those twenty-something bloggers who follow their spirit and take a big chunk out of life, early.

The topic shifted from these intrepid young explorers to people like me. Ahem … men and women of a certain age.

We possess a devilish little voice inside that often warns us to slow down and act our age. Taking time for reflection is often good, but too much life-sucking advice from that timid gremlin and you’re back on the sidelines scratching your balding pate.

If you have a yearning to do something new and exciting and you’re 35 or 65, why not just get to it? As Tom Cruise’s trusty advisor put so eloquently in that movie so many years ago, sometimes you just gotta say what the f….

Well folks, I’m having a what the f*ck moment right now.

What about you?

And what about this inspiration? Why does it come so late for many?

Ask Malcolm
In this article, Malcolm Gladwell states that late bloomers create at a certain age because they simply aren’t exceptional until they have plenty of life experience. Some artists deliver brilliance when young, others master a craft later in life. A gifted whiz kid creates early while the old master spends years experimenting and starts late.

He compares a prodigy like Picasso with a classic late bloomer, Cézanne. They started painting at roughly the same age, but as an experimental learner, Cézanne sought to search and experiment. He was a perfectionist and learned by doing. Picasso had a drive to “find.”

Cézanne spent years searching in open-ended exploration while the daring young Picasso had a clear idea of where he wanted to go and simply created right out of the gate.

This helps answer the question, but maybe we should stop asking why and simply ask; why not? I mean, if inspiration strikes at age 25 more power to you, but what’s so strange about having an inspirational hot flash at 47?

There’s nothing strange about it, but there is a pervasive attitude that people should just act their age and youth is the time for creative exploration and change.

I think we should blow the doors off that notion. Don’t you?

Is there really any set time to create? To grow? To change?

If you have an itch, a yearning, a passion deep within you, don’t let age stop you. Don’t buy into the belief that you need to act a certain way at a certain time in your life, for you might just be the next Cézanne.

Explore. Experiment. Make things happen.

Al Smith is certainly wasting no time. He’s making things happen with The CARE Movement right now.

Cody McKibben hit his stride early, but he sure keeps pushing. All the better for people like me who feed off his energy.

These not-so-late-bloomers just might spark you to action too:

Gini Dietrich still gets nervous when she speaks before a crowd, but she pushes herself to simply do it. And you can’t argue with successes like Arment Dietrich and Spin Sucks.

Srinivas Rao often writes about being extraordinary, but he practices it too. He’s learned from his failures and doesn’t stop improving. I’d say he’s pushing the envelope.

Nancy Davis has has some hard knocks, but she keeps fighting. You might say she’s a teacher, writing about her experiences every single day, mostly for the benefit of others.

And me? Well, why don’t you join me for the ride. Believe me, there’s much more to come.

How about you? If you started late I want to hear about it.

Do you think social media is a great platform for this type of change?

Who out there inspires you to change?

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

John Falchetto December 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Started online a year ago, so Craig, the way I see it I’m one year ahead of those starting today :)
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Hi John,

Well looking at what you’ve done so far, it’s hard to believe you’ve only been at it for a year. It’s just good to know I can always check out Expat Life Coach for a good dose of Falchetto inspiration!

Can’t wait to see what you bring us in 2012! :)

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Srinivas December 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Craig,

Given that you linked m article here I think it’s safe to say you know how I feel about all this. Social media has given me the opportunity to redefine myself as a person who does things worth talking about. For a long time I felt I’d never escape my past which is a mishmash of disconnected experiences and jobs that make my resume look like a dot com graveyard and make me look like a guy who lacks focus. The story we tell has so much power to help us define our lives that it’s unreal. The beauty of blogging and social media is that it gives you the power to tell that story and share it with the world. All of a sudden who you are as PERSON trumps the bullet points on your resume.
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Hi Srini,

Yes it’s safe to say :) Although I have a few years on you (well more than a few) I have very similar feelings about social media and how it can help us in so many ways. It is an accountability platform for me. Like you, I’m finally bringing things together and now have more focus than ever.

“The story we tell has so much power to help us define our lives that it’s unreal.” Love that and totally agree. Also … do people still use resumes. ;) I mean, that’s so 1999 ;)

Thanks for the visit … I’ve learned quite a bit listening to your interviews AND I can certainly relate to a guy who says he never fit in, obsesses, and has issues with authority … ;)

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Tom Pinit December 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Sorry to say that in my old school industry of engineering, resumes are still the way to go, even on the verge of 2012 ;-) It is definitely one that is slow to adapt and change, particularly to embracing social media. I don’t know if that’s industry-wide or just my firm.
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I work with a few engineering firms, so completely understand ;)

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Frank Dickinson December 2, 2011 at 2:09 am

Srini nails it here when talking about the story we tell. It is so easy in this world to be defined by something or someone else – whether the corporate monger or your father.

When we begin to tell our own story – the story that really defines us – we begin to see the possibilities that are out there – and, at that point, it doesn’t matter if we are 25 or , umm…48 – if we have told our story well – we can reach out and grab those possibilities.
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 4:04 am

Hey Frank,

I agree with that for sure! This is such a great platform for telling your story and reinventing yourself, really. And it can open up a world of possibilities.

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Al Smith December 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Great post Craig and thanks for the mention. Yes, my inspiration came late. Mostly because I wasted a lot of my younger adult years chasing after ….. nothing really. Just partying my life away. For real. That was a long time ago. It does not apply any longer. Anyway I am a 50+ entrepreneur who has been so blessed to start The CARE Movement and receive tremendous support and encouragement from so many people (you too, Craig). Let’s keep this positive energy going. You are never too old to find your passion and purpose in life. Go for it !

“Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift, that’s why we call it the Present” Live Life. Engage. Do it. Now.

Thanks again Craig. Take CARE.

Al
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Hey Al,

Thank you and you are welcome. The most important thing is you have changed and you really do have your act together! Plus The CARE Movement is a great cause and I’m looking forward to watching you speak one day.

Hey, 50+ entrepreneurs rock, don’t you know. I’m still clinging to my 40s, man, but looking forward to the 50s. Why not?

Yes, let’s keep the positive energy up.

Repeat this mantra. Love it! “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a Gift, that’s why we call it the Present” Live Life. Engage. Do it. Now.”

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Barbara December 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Cool, Al, I love that mantra and I need a bigger mirror to post it on!
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 3:43 am

Yeah, that is great, isn’t it? I need to print it out and tack it up.

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Tom Pinit December 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Better late than never, right Craig? :) I have definitely been feeling the urge to create more out of the time I have on this rock. Thanks in no small part to folks like you and those you’ve mentioned above. And yes, social media has been instrumental in giving me opportunities to share those ideas with the rest of the world. I look forward to doing more, being more, living more!
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Hi Tom,

So, the boy from Catonsville, Maryland shows up? :) Thanks for coming!

Yes, better late then never! Glad I helped give a little push, but the people above are all great and they’ve certainly given me a push! And social media is a big catalyst for this, glad it is for you.

I look forward to what you have to share!

Thanks for stopping by, Tom.

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Nancy Davis December 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi Craig,

I actually started writing at a fairly young age, but life experiences has made my writing much stronger. Going through these hard situations with some sense of dignity, sanity and a sense of humor has helped my blogging in ways I never imagined. When I was younger, my writing was more about longing. Now my writing is about life and the things that happen to many of us that some may be afraid to talk about.

If my experiences can help others who are in a tough spot, then it is worth it to me.

You are a good man and an even better friend. You are just an awesome “brother” :)
Nancy Davis recently posted..What Does Courage Look Like To You?My Profile

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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Hi Nancy,

Well I truly think that being open and writing about the difficulties you’ve experienced and are now going through, really helps others. I’m sure your writing resonates with many and makes them realize they are not alone. Plus you manage to mix in a bit of funny and of course #bacon.

Some would be afraid to be as honest as you (read me) but the fact that you do is refreshing and is a help for people in similar situations. I imagine it also feels good to just write it out, eh?

Yo, sis, thanks for the kind words!

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Bill Dorman December 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I’m waiting for you to be inspired, let me in on the secret and then bring me along for the ride.

It drives my wife crazy, but I have never acted my age. I like to think of myself as a neutral age and I can fit in with many crowds. I am very prone to do something very juvenile and spur of the moment that if I had given it plenty of thought I might do otherwise. However, that is usually with my other friends who aren’t ready to grow old.

Life is way too short; at least try to live it without regrets and have some fun and laughter along the way, right? There is already too much serious stuff out there, as long as I live in my own little world I should be good to go.

I am a believer you get to a ‘certain’ age you do have much more to offer.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Hey Bill,

In your new avatar it looks like Santa is “kicking the habit.” Did he smoke?

Oh … it’s coming and I’ll bring you along for the ride, what the heck.

I like you’re “neutral age” thinking. And nothing wrong with doing very juvenile and spur of the moment stuff. You can think things over too much and some things just aren’t worth stressing over. Glad you’re hanging out with a good crowd too.

No regrets, fun and laughter and all that stuff … yes!

What you have to offer is Life Experience. But you can have tons of that and still act like a kid!

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Brian Driggs December 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Life is way too short, indeed, mate. At almost 35, I no longer see much point in subscribing to the straight-laced, irresponsible, hyper-consumerist mindset proffered by the idiot box opposite my sofa. The way I see it, if I’m not crazy enough, the government could replace me with a robot in the middle of the night and nobody would notice. Eff that.

I would consider myself a late-bloomer. 34 (and a half!), married, no kids, no house, more student loan debt than college degree income, just now starting to think about how best to adapt my diverse experiences across industries and continents in such a way as to trade genuinely meaningful support for others for a comfortable living independent of any one government entity.

I think social media is helping us make changes like this – it’s still very much a platform for the construction of a 4th dimension of reputation – but the accelerated flow of information and exponential exposure to others on a global scale brings with it a critical need to develop effective filters to ensure we don’t simply commoditize each other a la the faceless corporations we aim to overthrow with the new ‘meaning economy.’

Don’t know that anyone in particular makes me want to change, per se, but there are plenty who inspire me to step up my game and achieve more: First and foremost, my wife, Vanessa – who deserves nothing less than my best – my business partners – who make the acceleration of our new, global communities possible through their belief – and the select group of people I’ve never actually met whom I consider my virtual mentors – Valeria Maltoni, John Falchetto, Olivier Blanchard, et al..

[This should probably have been a pingback, but I need to get back to spending more time on other peoples' blogs than my own.] ;)
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2011 at 1:36 am

Hi Brian,

The box opposite the sofa does have a hypnotic effect on people, doesn’t it? Nice point about not following the standard consumerist mindset which simply gets many in so much trouble financially, leading to unhappiness … and being behind on payments is certainly no fun.

Well, I have more than a few years on you, fellow late bloomer :) I guess paying that debt off is priority number one? I can’t remember how long it took me to pay all back, and yeah, where’s the return on that investment. ;)

Creating a comfortable living like you’ve described sounds like a dream plan to me. And I’m sure you’ll figure our a way to combine your diverse range of talents and make it work.

I’ll heed your warning about social media.

Glad you feel that way about your wife. I feel the same way about mine! Not familiar with everyone you’ve mentioned, but I do consider John Falchetto a mentor as well.

Thanks for stopping by, Brian!

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Barbara December 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Strange when men start talking about having an (inspirational) hot flash at 47? Early menopause?
Early birds – late bloomers, I do not care. Finding your voice or another media to express yourself fortunately has no time limit.
“There’s nothing strange about it, but there is a pervasive attitude that people should just act their age and youth is the time for creative exploration and change.” I will gladly send you some TNT to blow the doors of that notion and unleash all our creativity.
I can only speak for myself: I am far better (and funnier) company now than I was at 20, my life experiences have taught me to listen and express my empathy, be proud of my talents without showing off.
Right you are, Craig: “If you have an itch, a yearning, a passion deep within you, don’t let age stop you.”
Let us go for it and “Explore. Experiment. Make things happen.”
Another late bloomer
Barbara recently posted..A Winter MarketMy Profile

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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 3:51 am

Hi Barbara,

So the real Late Bloomer shows up. :)

What, you never heard of a guy having a hot flash? c’mon, where have you been? Seriously … have you looked at posts on this? WTH? “…decreasing testosterone levels or a reduction in the bioavailability of testosterone related to aging.” Yikes, I don’t like the sound of this!

But I digress. I do like your attitude: “There is no time limit.” Amen!

Thanks for the offer to send some TNT. Glad you are better company that you were at 20. I sure am, because back then I didn’t talk :)

Thanks for stopping by.

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Barbara December 2, 2011 at 7:51 am

Yep, Craig, in full bloom (or so)!

Are we getting all medical today? Come on, you are not even a baby boomer!

Lovely company you have got here, soothing comment by Jack (hi! great quote by Lombardi) and I will check out Jason, nice man and generous with compliments!

Have a good day, Barbara
Barbara recently posted..A Winter MarketMy Profile

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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm

“Reduction in the bioavailability of testosterone related to aging” got ya, huh? ;) It’s amazing what a quick Google search will bring up.

Yes, love the quote!

Yes, I like Jason already, so will have to check out his place.

Have a good one too!

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Jack@TheJackB December 2, 2011 at 2:33 am

I don’t believe in late bloomers. Some of us just need more time and seasoning to figure out what our passion is or to reach a place where we are determined to chase it no matter what.

Lombardi comes to mind:

“Once you have established the goals you want and the price you’re willing to pay, you can ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure and the temporary failures.”
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 3:55 am

Hi Jack,

“I don’t believe in late bloomers.” It’s funny that nobody mentioned that. Great point! Putting it that way, I guess I don’t believe in late bloomers either … taking more time and seasoning to figure it out is really want Gladwell was writing about in that article. The older artist just went about things differently, but really ended up in the same place.

Great Lombardi quote!

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Joe D. December 2, 2011 at 3:26 am

Nancy hits it right on the point. Your life gets richer as you get older, there’s more to draw from. There are different “blooming points” as well. The ebb and flow of life may favor you in your 20s, but cause you to struggle in your 30s. And back again in your 40s. There are differing levels of success.

There could be a perception I was not that successful as a young man. I could not disagree more. Everything does happen for a reason. There are few things I would go back and change if I could. Here’s to the marvelous 40s, Craig!
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 4:00 am

Hi Joe,

Yes, there is definitely something to be said for good old life experience! Different “blooming points” is perfect! That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

I might go back and change a few things, but then I wouldn’t be where I am now, which is a pretty happy place, man. Just glad I am where I am and have a great wife and family.

Marvelous 40s. Yep! I’ve done more in my 40s than I did in the 20s and 30s combined.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Jason Fonceca December 2, 2011 at 4:01 am

Awesome post Craig, I fully agree.

I’d like to add Colonel Sanders, the KFC King to the list of late-blooming superstars :D

As well, I commend you on your community, the amazing people you linked here, all came to comment :D Beautiful.

To add to the discussion, I’d suggest that is utterly possible to convert from a Cezanne to a Picasso, should that be desired :D

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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 4:24 am

Hi Jason,

Thank you, Sir. Appreciate you coming by.

Oh yes, The Colonel. I know he didn’t even get the franchise going until he was in his 60s! Great one to add.

Thanks. They are all great people and in my YOUNG life here in the blogosphere I’ve learned a ton from all of them.

Agreed. When it comes to great art, I couldn’t choose between the two, but can obviously better relate the Cézanne’s story :)

Thanks for the great comments.

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Jason Fonceca December 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I love your focus on youth, ‘young’ is a state of mind :D, and I think we’re all a blend of Picasso + Cezanne, on many topics :)

Thanks for the warm welcome ;)

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Craig McBreen December 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

Thanks and totally agree. YOUNG is a state of mind. Perfect, Sir! :) ;)

You are most welcome. Great starting a conversation with you over at Marcus’ place and I look forward to checking out your stuff.

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Peggy McPartland December 2, 2011 at 5:31 am

I absolutely agree that it’s never to late to start something new and reinvent yourself. I actually think that if we’re doing it right, we’re continually reinventing ourselves and starting amazing new things.

I’m not so much a late bloomer as moving into different and new opportunities. I’ve been not so successful in certain parts of my life and very successful in others. Although I’m at a very comfortable place, and one that is considered very successful by society, I’m tossing it all to the wind and heading off to experience the world.

I’m looking forward to sharing experiences with you as we go down a similar path.

And listen to those inspirational hot flashes! Why not, indeed!
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for the visit. I think many buy into the notion that you have to be at a certain station at a certain age. Bunk, right? I certainly love your attitude!

Life can get a bit boring if you don’t change things up every once in a while, right? Change doesn’t have to be huge, but those little changes help.

Wow, sounds like you’re getting ready for quite an adventure! I look forward to hearing much more about it.

Thanks so much for commenting.

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Gini Dietrich December 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Are you calling me old?! I’m not as old as you!

As you know, I’m a big believer in always learning, always creating, always exploring, and always being curious. There is no age limit for any of that. I made VP at a global PR firm when I was 27. I thought I was really hot stuff. If only I’d know I really had no clue about anything. I prefer to move like Cezanne. Your creations will be more wise.
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Hi Gini,

I did say, “not-so-late-bloomers” in the header above you ;) And me? I’ll be clinging to my 40s for a few more years ;)

I know you’re a big believer in always learning, creating and exploring. It’s kind of hard to keep up with you actually :)

VP at 27! You were hot stuff. I don’t even want to tell you what I was doing at 27. Well, actually my wife and I were both unemployed because we had just moved to Seattle with no connections whatsoever, but we started over and it was really fun. One of the reasons I started late, but wouldn’t change it for the world.

I prefer the way Cézanne moved too!

Thanks for stopping by … Go Bears!

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Barry R. Silver December 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Hi Craig,
Love the post. I don’t see the calendar as reason to not move forward on a spark of creativity. The project/lifeshift should have some element of do-ability. For example I can decide I want to be the new point guard for the Chicago Bulls, but no matter the level of energy or desire I bring to the project it’s not going to happen. But choosing to change careers or go into biz for oneself, why should age matter? Again, responsibilities can’t be ignored (kids still need food, clothes, shelter) but if one desires it, it can happen.
Social media is a wonderful equalizer. It’s possible to connect without worrying about clothes, looks or spinach in your teeth. It’s also possible to review your thoughts before expressing them which is much harder in a F2F networking environment. The fact that many in SM choose to not review their words only serves to separate the good from the never will be good.
Thanks for not letting age (or anything else) get in the way of adding to the conversation. I know from whence you speak.
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hi Barry,

Thanks! And yes a solid and workable plan is a must really. It can change and evolve, but you certainly need some concrete direction. And, yes, you and I are never going to be point guards for the Bulls ;) Me, I’ll never be a point guard in anyone’s league. ;)

So, we have to be somewhat realistic, but nothing wrong with being a bit overambitious, right? Regardless age shouldn’t matter. I have to worry about kids, food, shelter, but am working on changes now for a bigger change down the road.

Regarding social media. There have been a few days where I had food stuck in my teeth and maybe a few stains on my shirt, but just typed away without a care in the world. :) So it’s forgiving in that way and as you say, it is a great equalizer.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Claudia December 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Hi Craig! I couldn’t agree with you more!! There is no time limit to possibility. We are always filled with potential no matter what our age is. It is up to us to unleash our potential and follow our dreams. I LOVE your enthusiasm and I am right there with you! Life is one awesome ride!!
Claudia

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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Hi Claudia,

Yes, life is an awesome ride and some just get on the ride a little late. No problem, right? :)

And of course there is something to be said for that life experience.

Thanks for coming by, Claudia. Much appreciated.

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Erin Feldman December 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I suppose my philosophy is if I’m not growing or changing, I’m dying or backsliding. Age has nothing to do with it. I aim to be a life-long learner. :)
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Hi Erin,

That’s a great philosophy to have. And wouldn’t life get pretty boring if we were not constantly changing and growing … and challenging ourselves?

I aim to be a life-long learner as well.

Thanks!

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Kaarina Dillabough December 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

It’s never too late. That is all.
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Craig McBreen December 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Hi Kaarina,

That’s all I needed to write. :) Can’t shout if often enough though.

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Kaarina Dillabough December 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Nah, your post is awesome. I’m sometimes just a woman of few words:)

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Craig McBreen December 3, 2011 at 1:37 am

You’re not allowed to be woman of few words on my site :) Have a great weekend in the great white north!

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Kaarina Dillabough December 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I shall sharpen my verbosity:) Heading out to get our Christmas tree, then a day of decorating. I LOVE decorating the house for Christmas!
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..An Alphabet of Business Questions and Tips – Letter EMy Profile

Craig McBreen December 4, 2011 at 12:50 am

That’s funny coming from you. I AM the one that needs to sharpen by verbosity. ;) I got a jump on decorating the house and we did it last week. My youngest son is still into it big time, so we spend a good 5-6 hours working on the lights. Always fun.

Talk to you soon!

Adrienne December 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Hey Craig,

Here’s another late bloomer adding her two cents worth. Yep that’s right, I didn’t jump online until 49 years old and totally started over. Heck, I envy those people who know early on what they want to do with their lives. I mean at that age, they have it all figured out.

I know so many people who are wanting something different and aren’t afraid to just go for it. More people need to be that way and just step outside their comfort zone.

I need to be more like Gini, I’m deathly afraid to speak in front of a crowd. I need to just get over myself and do it anyway. That time will come next year, that I do know.

Thanks Craig for sharing this and letting all of us pipe in. Great to know there are others that walk among us. :-)
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2011 at 1:17 am

Hello Adrienne,

That must have been a scary, but mostly exciting time for you, eh?

Truth be told, I envy them just a little too, but wouldn’t really change things. I do like where I am now, well maybe a Bimmer and a house belonging in Architectural Digest :) Just kidding. Actually, my wife and I are looking to downsize. I kind of want to get rid of stuff now. But, yeah it must be great to have your act together at such a young age.

Looks to me like you have been going for it since 49! I was deathly afraid to speak in front of a crowd too. Toastmasters AND just getting out and doing it has helped me, but I’ve never done anything big. Looking to get to that sometime though. Hopefully there will be no hecklers in the crowd ;) Looking forward to seeing you in action too.

Yes, great to know there are others among us :) Thanks!

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Samantha Bangayan December 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Craig, my heart is in this post! =) That article by Malcolm Gladwell is partly what inspired me to leave behind a 2-year Master’s award in neuroscience and now I’m involved in freelance and creative writing here in Peru. I hadn’t thought about it, but I think you’re so right that social media can be infinitely helpful to anyone wanting to achieve extraordinary dreams, or any dream for that matter. I can imagine fundraising for a trip or a charity, and making the right contacts in an entirely new field for example! =)

Loved this inspiring post! =)
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2011 at 1:31 am

Hi Samantha,

Isn’t that a great article? I’ve read it about five times. I didn’t even mention the stories of the writers, which I really liked the most.

Leaving behind a two-year Master’s award in neuroscience. Okay! So someone as smart as you is now writing away down in Peru? Now I can’t wait to read your stuff :) That is really interesting though … you really must have felt the pull of writing and I imagine that was an insanely tough decision. Good for you, sounds like you are following a passion.

Social media is amazingly helpful in that regard. And what you’ve stated here is a perfect example of its power.

Looking forward to learning more about your story.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Samantha Bangayan December 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Haha! Don’t get your hopes up! It’s a tough transition from science and grant writing to creative writing. The only real benefit I had though was the research background. I didn’t realize how much research would factor into writing! =)

What has been your biggest figurative cliff jump lately, Craig? =)
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Craig McBreen December 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

Well, definitely looking forward to learning more about what you’ve done. :)

Just getting into blogging like I have has been bit of a “cliff jump” for me, but I’ll be doing much more this month and especially in 2012. I have the same outlook on next year as Jens Berget below.

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Bryan Thompson December 3, 2011 at 2:13 am

Fantastic post, my friend. Sometimes it’s easy to look at the rockstar twentysomethings and think they have the ultimate freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want to. Yeah, they might not have the kids and the mortgage and the other stuff, but those in their thirties (like me), forties, and fifties have a perspective shift that may serve us very well as we explore new things for our lives. I LOVE opening myself up to new things. Thanks for the inspiration, Craig! Appreciate you!
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Bryan,

Thanks, can you tell I how I feel about this topic? :) There might be an ever so tiny bit of envy when I’m talking about the twenty-somethings and all their freedom, I don’t know. But I love the energy. And you are so very right. We have that good old life experience, don’t we? If we choose to make a shift, we graybeards have years of experience to work with. I LOVE opening myself up to new experiences as well!

Thanks again, Bryan. Love what you are writing about over at your place and thanks again for coming by my house!

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Jens P. Berget December 3, 2011 at 8:42 am

I’m not sure if I’m a late bloomer or not. But I know that 2012 will be my most exciting year ever (when it comes to business). For me it was time to just do it. I got fed up with close to everything, especially at work, and I had to experience change. That’s why I started writing a novel.

I believe age only makes us wiser, and a little more careful. But if we keep pushing ourselves, there’s not a thing we can’t accomplish. It’s all about the mindset. That’s why I’m saying that 2012 will be my best year ever :-)
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Craig McBreen December 4, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hey Jens,

Thanks for coming by and nice “chatting” with you yesterday. If my wife and I do ever get over to Norway, we sure know who to call ;)

Sometimes just getting fed up with everything is what it takes, eh? I imagine writing a novel is both very exciting and draining. I understand you have to be very dedicated to see one through to completion, but if anyone can do it, you can. Looking forward to seeing the end result of your work.

Jens, I like your mindset and I’m definitely thinking the same thing about 2012.

Thanks for coming by.

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Danny Brown December 5, 2011 at 1:24 am

The way I look at it is this – if you want to do something and you’re physically and mentally able to do so, then do it.

Sure, we can all come up with excuses; there are plenty of people doing that all the time, and they’re content to do so. But just because we don’t need to doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

There’s nothing wrong with failure; there’s plenty wrong with the notion that failure is bad. No-one hits it out the park first time – understand that, and you understand success.

Great topic, sir.
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Craig McBreen December 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Hi Danny,

I agree with you, Sir. I’m just hoping more people choose to get out and do something beyond the norm. If I could only go back and scream that to my lazy twenty-five-year-old self. Well I probably wouldn’t have listened. :)

Yes, people are great at coming up with excuses. I did that better than anyone for years, mostly based on fear of the unknown … and what you’ve mentioned here … fear of failure! There is nothing wrong with failure, you often need a few to succeed, because failure means we are taking risks. For me, this took a while to sink in, but I’m just a former antisocial, fat boy who finally wants to take more than a few chances.

Thanks for dropping by! Really appreciate it.

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Scott R December 5, 2011 at 5:22 am

They say that youth is wasted on the young… sometimes it just takes longer to figure out what you like and what to pursue in life. Also lack of family structure can make people into “late bloomers”.

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Craig McBreen December 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Interesting point. I guess more structure and guidance early in life is a huge help for someone trying to discover themselves. You probably won’t explore and try different pursuits at a young age without some wise guidance and encouragement. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part I’d say you are right.

Thanks, Scott.

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Jimmy December 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hi Craig,

Thanks for this inspiring piece. It does not matter how young or old you are, we can all develop to our true potential as long as we want to.

It is my belief that people fulfill their potential after some form of education, guidance, enlightenment, or whatever you call it. Somewhere along the line, this happened that changed their belief. Without this, no fulfillment of aspiration an potential ever take place. It could be a Farrah Gray becoming a millionaire by age 14 or Grandma Moses who only started into her 70s. There is that defining turning point to grab life by the throat and just steam forward and do things.

Our mission is to make this transformation happen as early as we can as good citizens who had seen the light. It is so much more powerful to live a long life with the benefit of this form of enlightenment.
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Craig McBreen December 5, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Hey Jimmy,

I’m glad you enjoyed it and nice points. Like Scott mentioned, more structure and guidance early in life is often a huge help for someone trying to discover themselves. Maybe the most vital parts are parents or others pushing someone to explore a bit more and trying harder in different pursuits.

Later in life it’s usually some revelation or as you say, enlightenment. It’s like something kicked in and you’re ready to go. The best thing about that is you now have many years of life experience to back you up, right?

In my last two posts many people mentioned living a life of no regrets. It doesn’t matter when inspiration strikes, but when it does, seize it, so those regrets will be few.

Thanks for stopping by

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Anna B December 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I don’t think anyone said this yet – this is the situation I find myself in. Some of us buy into the education/corporate ladder system and it takes us until our 30′s/40′s/50′s etc to realize that plunking away and hoping your boss will notice isn’t the path to fulfillment. We’re sold these amazing rags-to-riches corporate stories in college and then suddenly we realize it isn’t working that way for us and we want to do something truly meaningful.

I think it takes the current dream’s failure to really catapult some of us into our inspiration and truly meaningful living. :-)

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Craig McBreen December 5, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Hi Anna,

You are so right and this old model is pretty much history in our post-industrial economy, one which is being held together with duct tape.

Nice point and I do think you now need to embrace your uniqueness and creativity even more to succeed. There won’t bee too many rags-to-riches stories in the corporate world, will there?

I imagine plenty of angry young people who are out of work are having this same revelation. The old dream is gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed, you just need a much different plan.

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Angela December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

Hey Craig

Lovely post…and very apt. I guess more so if you’re in our age bracket though (I’m guessing you’re also in your forties?).

People do expect you to behave a certain way the older you get. My partner and I (47 & 43) often get ‘the look’ when explain to people that we’re not keen on settling down, owning a car, or any of that other stuff older people are supposed to do as a matter of course.

Instead we’re working towards making a living online, so that we’re free to travel wherever and whenever we like.

And thanks for sharing the TM clip, made me smile (and think!).

Ang :-)
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Craig McBreen December 10, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hi Angela,

Yes, I’m in those ever-productive forties :)

When my wife and I tell people we want to downsize and move out of the country … well at least part time … we get some curious looks :) No actually most people think it’s cool, but gotta wait until the kids get older.

Cool that you’re both NOT keen on settling down or any of that other stuff. Some think you’re supposed to have a certain size house, certain car, etc. Like you, I’d rather not have all this … it adds stress.

I like the way you think, Angela!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Craig

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