Since I am not doing much with my life, I have time to read all kinds of motivational quotes hoping that I will stumble upon the quote that will change my life. “Life before the quote” and “life after the quote”. I see myself in the future sitting in front of the journalist and answering the question “so when was the time you decided to drop everything and become a race car driver” and I will humbly smile and answer “it all started from this quote I read 10 years ago”.
I think I am now very familiar with all those quotes that I can write my own article which will be a random mix of quotes I know. I might be a failure myself but that doesn’t mean I can’t coach others to be successful people living meaningful lives. Whenever they ask me what I am doing for a living besides coaching them I will just say “let’s just say I am waking up every day with a smile.” And I will smile.
I think I will start with the quote ” Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” by Confucius. This could have been THE quote that makes the difference for me. However, I am still stuck on traffic every day on my way to a job I just tolerate and not love (and that’s also on a good day). So I guess it didn’t work out for me until now.
But before I become a coach I need to figure out one quote that really bothers me. Usually, it is not used as a quote by itself but more as an extension to existing quotes. It goes something like,
“We have one time on this earth. Don’t wake up and realize you are old and haven’t done the things you dreamed about”
Now, I am all for the idea it’s good to regret things you didn’t do when you were younger. I am a firm believer that people should be punished and suffer in their lifetime for not following their dreams. It’s a good introduction to the hell that is waiting for them after they die. The problem I have is with the definition of the word ‘old’. When is exactly the age that “from there it’s too late?” The age from which I should start sitting on a lonely bench in some park and regret my life? Is it 64? 39? 75? 29? 119?
It bothers me since I don’t want to wake up one day and figure out it’s about time I start regretting. I’d rather know how many years I have before the time comes to mourn about my missed life. I would love it to be a nice age like 85 since there is a good chance I won’t be here to stop everything and start sobbing. It also gives me a few good years to follow my dreams. After all George Eliot said “It is never too late to be what you might have been”. For him there is no good time to enjoy beating yourself up. I guess you can still become a pilot in the age of 97.
But the only reason that made me spend 8 minutes of my life writing this is I read the quote:
“Don’t wake up and realize you are old…”
with a specific age.
“Don’t wake up and realize you are 60 years old…”
Let me read it again. 60 years old. 60????
The article was titled “Advice from old people”. Although the picture showed someone that looked 88 the quote mentioned the age of 60. Which makes me think the writer was 27 and it should have been titled “Advice to some old people” instead of “Advice from some old people”. The writer advises people older than 60 years old to go to sleep and never wake up if they don’t want to spend their time crying about their lives. It wouldn’t be such a big of a deal if the blog was another one of those popular blogs being read by 7 people. As of now the view count is 3, 669, 143 (!!!). Statistically, taking into consideration the age distribution in the world, around 15% are older than 60. Let’s assume mainly young people are wasting their time reading motivational blogs. It still leaves us with around 10% of “old” people who read the advice. Let’s also assume 9.9% of them didn’t follow their dream (according to the last research made by myself of how many people fulfilled their dreams in their life) and let’s add 0.1% of those in the ages of 58 and 59 that planned to join a university and get a degree and now understand it’s too late for them. That leaves us with around 370,000 people who read the so-called “advice” and right now are shedding tears about their miserable missed lives.
The writer implies that once you get to the age of 60 it’s too late. You are done. No more soup (dreams) for you. Even if your life dream was quitting your job at the age of 60 and moving to some beach house in Hawaii, it is too late. Better start packing, but not to Hawaii. It’s time to get going as the death train is about to leave. I guess for different people the line between living your life and looking back at your life crosses at a different age. For the Beatles band for example the border is 64. After all, they wrote in their great song “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?”. They are kind enough to give you four more years to purse your dreams. John Lennon was murdered at the age of 40 so he is not part of the equation and we shouldn’t disturb his peace. George Harrison died at the age of 58 while he was still young and living the life. Paul McCartney, 74, and Ringo Starr, 76, are spending 10/12 years respectively being too old. Maybe they should re-write the song and change the age to 83. This will give them a few more years to stay young.
I now have a dream. To wake up 60 years old, learn French and sign myself into a famous cooking school in France. Graduate at the age of 64, just before it’s too late according to the Beatles, and become a chef in one of the most prestigious restaurants in France. Sit every evening in a different coffee shop spending my time people watching with my beautiful French girlfriend. Then if the guy who wrote this article is still alive I would give him a call. Not sure he is going to answer since he will probably be in the regression phase, sitting in some basement busy moaning about the missed opportunities in his life. But if he answers the phone I will say “I know you are busy being a grumpy old man but I wanted to tell you something. I decided to ignore your recommendation, follow my dreams at the age of 60 and guess what? I made it. I made it!!!” then I would slam the phone and tell my girlfriend “so, where are we going tonight? Or maybe we could stay home and have some fun?”
Now that I think about it I kind of like the fact that I am going to start following my dreams at the age of 60. I can go to sleep and waste my time doing nothing for the next 14 years. I can at last enjoy life as I will take a break from trying to maximize my life potential and just enjoy my time on earth. Don’t try calling me 14 years from now. I will be on my way to France.
By the time I finished writing the text above the number of views of the blog advising the 60 year old people to gather their families for the last talk jumped to 3,666,449. Well, 3,666,445 if we don’t count my multiple views. That is 402 views in around 10 minutes. Forty more people who feel sorry about themselves and looking to jump from some roof.
Note: For the 3 people who took a break for a few minutes from their dreams pursuit and read the useless text above I first would like to apologize for doing it to you. Anyhow, if you want to waste another 2 minutes – this time out of your own will – there is a link below to the “Advice from some old people” article. Advice number 16. Just take into consideration it might reach the 4,000,000 views once you read it so take a calculator and update the numbers above. If you share my post, please share it with people 60 years old or older. If you share the blog below, please make sure you share it with people 55 years old or younger. For people 55-60 years old you can share both. The only thing which makes me sad is the blog below has ruined the mood for 370,000 people and I will only help 1-2 people.
I wonder when is a good age to start regretting my life.