On the home page of this site, I write about three people who made remarkable accomplishments in mid-life – Julia Child, “Colonel” Harlan Sanders, and Kathryn Joosten. (If you haven’t read the stories yet, you’ll find them here.) Some people will look at their accomplishments and think “I could never do that”. And they’d have a point. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Others will insist that they were special cases. I don’t believe they were special cases, just unique people, as we are all unique, each with our own dreams and special gifts to share.
I don’t believe that as mature adults, Child, Sanders or Joosten had dreams of becoming famous. They were just doing what they were inspired to do. Most of us have dreams of accomplishments – of learning, doing, creating. We envision ourselves making a difference in the lives of others. In that regard, those of us unencumbered by the spotlight of renown have much in common with these three famous examples of mid-life blossoming. We can learn to use the same ingredients they used to create our own transformations. In order to do that, three things are necessary.
First you need to have a vision. It doesn’t have to be of a new career or a big change in your life. What is it that you want to do that you aren’t currently doing? Does this vision come from deep within your own being? When you look at the world, how do you most desire to engage with it? What big idea makes your heart hum with joy?
Next you need to believe that you can accomplish that vision. If you aren’t sure, look at your life so far. What accomplishments and abilities do you already have that are transferrable in helping you to create your new vision? If you’ve reached mid-life, you’ve certainly acquired many skills by now. If realizing your dream truly requires new skills or knowledge, then go get them. Just be sure you aren’t using that as an excuse to hold yourself back out of fear. Which leads us to . . .
The third thing that you need is the willingness to take risks. You must be willing to fall – to drop a chicken on the floor in front of thousands of television viewers as Julia Child famously did – and keep on going. You are going to have to do things that are going to pull you outside of your comfort zone. You may feel uncomfortable if for no other reason than because you have never done them before. That’s when your vision becomes important as a magnet drawing you forward to the next step.
All three of these ingredients – vision, belief, and the willingness to risk – are necessary to make a dream a reality. It’s not hard, but it takes self-awareness, courage, and perseverance. Working with a life coach can help you uncover these qualities in yourself and can also help with the necessary work of clarifying your vision, realistically assessing your skills and abilities and creating a step-by-step plan of action so that leaving your comfort zone is not only possible, it becomes an exciting journey of discovery! If you’d like to find out more about working with a life coach, you can read more on the home page of this site or you can start the work of clarifying your vision with my free mini-course. The sign-up form is in the upper right column.
Have you been able to bring a dream into reality in your life? How wonderful! What did you do? How did you do it? Do you still have a dream you want to give birth to? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.