I recently listened to a SuperSoul Sunday podcast of Oprah Winfrey interviewing long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad. Oprah asked Diana how at age 64 she was able to swim from Cuba to Key West, a distance of approximately 110 miles. After describing her support team, detailing all the obstacles she faced, and her previous failed attempts, she boiled it all down to one phrase: you find a way.
When pursuing a dream or a goal in retirement far too many of us give us too quickly. Disempowering thoughts like “It can’t be done. I’m too old. How will I get the money?” convince us what we dare to dream is beyond our grasp. But I believe that if an idea has come to you it is your destiny to accomplish it. How? Find a way.
My business is about to embark on a huge new venture. The idea came to me last year and I have been thinking about it, dreaming about it, and working towards it ever since. I have done my homework. My market research has confirmed it is a good idea. I have a realistic budget and timetable for its accomplishment. Yet, it is daunting to look at what it will take to accomplish this venture and I honestly don’t know how I am going to do it.
That is actually a good thing. As I find a way to make this dream a reality I will be forced to challenge my limiting beliefs, grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, develop new skills, adapt to changes, overcome obstacles, and be flexible. I am going to have to trust myself, trust the process of creation, and trust those who are joining me on this journey. Am I scared? Yes. Am I going to find a way and do it? Absolutely!
When we do not challenge ourselves, when we do not push our limits, we die a little inside. In this phase of life we are already moving towards death. Why help it along? The more we do, the more we can do. The more we challenge the stereotypes around aging and accomplishment the more we encourage others to have a dream and go after it.
Psychologist Ellen Langer’s research conclusively shows our beliefs about aging either accelerate or retard the process. Dreams and goals keep us young and moving in a positive direction. Will there be family and friends those tell you that you are crazy to attempt something new at this age? Of course – and their reaction will be directly proportional to their fear that life is passing them by and they are missing out on their dreams.
There is no greater regret than getting to the end of life and thinking about all the things you wished you had done but did not. It is your dream, your life. Find a way.