When I was 26, I was sure I had failed at life. After all, Alexander the Great had conquered the known world at 25. As for me, I just got fired by my only client.
If I was going to do something great, I would have already started by now.
Every day I used that belief to whip myself like a medieval flagellant. It even prevented me from starting new things. This went on for years. At 30, I had experienced a bit more financial success, but I felt exactly the same way. Fortunately, I didn’t use this belief to stop me from going for the win. Because that year I started Onnit, and I was doing exactly what I loved.
From my vantage point now, I realize that my 26 year old self would not have been able to handle the pressure of running a company with this much at stake. I needed every lesson, every failure, every sickness, every injury, to help build me into someone that could do what I wanted most to do. So you, right now, reading this have exactly that same opportunity.
The Best Version of Yourself
You are the best version of yourself right now. Maybe you have some work to do, maybe you aren’t in the best shape of your life, but you have the most experience, and that experience is invaluable. It is precisely what will guide you to your own win.
Andrew Craig graduated college without a clue about what he was going to do. He had grappled a few times with his cousin, but nothing serious. So he decided he was going to be a UFC fighter. Why not? No wrestling background, no fighting background, just a choice that he was going to do it.
I needed every lesson, every failure, every sickness, every injury, to help build me into someone that could do what I wanted most to do. So you, right now, reading this have exactly that same opportunity.
Most pro athletes start in their teens or earlier. But that didn’t stop Andrew. A few years after deciding to make MMA a career, he found himself in the Octagon with the infamous Chris Leben and he left with his hand raised.
In 1999, Pete Carroll had just been fired after two mediocre seasons with the Patriots. He had reached the pinnacle of his profession and failed. Most coaches would just blame the circumstances and just keep doing the same thing, hoping to get luckier next time.
Coach Carroll didn’t take that route. He came across a book by John Wooden, A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, and everything changed. He didn’t believe it was too late.
He didn’t look at himself as too old to completely change his style. Utilizing and advancing the principles he found in that book, he went on to win multiple National Championships at USC before eventually winning a Superbowl and becoming a perennial contender with the Seattle Seahawks.
It’s Never Too Late
Steven Pressfield worked as a schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital, and fruit-picker. At age 42, he published his first book and has since become one of the most renowned authors of fiction and non-fiction in the world.
It doesn’t matter what has come before right now. Right now you have an opportunity to choose what you want to do. Maybe it is a small choice at first – like a book you have been meaning to read, or an extra yoga class a week.
Whatever you desire in life, go out and get it! As long as death has not touched you, you still have time. Go for your win. It is never too late.