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10 30-Somethings Who Prove It’s Never Too Late To Succeed

10 30-Somethings Who Prove It’s Never Too Late To Succeed

In a society that is constantly forcing the clock upon us, it’s pretty easy to get to a certain age and think, “I’m never going to one of those successful people.” If you’ve thought that, or fear thinking that, don’t stress it.

Here’s 10 examples of people who, at the age of 30 or older, turned their life around into incredible success.

1. J. D. Salinger

Salinger, an American writer, was 32 when he first captivated the literary scene with The Catcher in the Rye.

He was a writer all throughout his life, but World War 2 interrupted his career. He was drafted into the army shortly after having his first piece published in the New York Times. It wasn’t until the war was over and Salinger was safely back home that his talent was finally recognized.

2. Stan Lee

Stan Lee, the face of comic books, was considering giving up the creation of comic books while in his early 30’s. As a writer for Atlas Comics, in the early 1950’s, he was dissatisfied and unfulfilled in his duties there. He had hopes of being a more prominent literary figure, and didn’t feel that comic books were going to get him there.

Luckily for Lee, and every comic book fan out there, he didn’t give up. Following the revival of the superhero archetype by DC Comics, Lee was tasked with coming up with a new superhero team for a future comic. After some urging from his wife, due to his desire to leave, Lee began to experiment with more realistic story approaches in his comic books.

After much collaboration, Lee, age 38 then, and Jack Kirby ended up producing the Fantastic Four. One of the first superhero teams of its kind, with each character possessing human flaws and issues, such as girlfriend trouble and anger problems. It immediately became a success, catapulting Stan Lee to become unforgettable in the comic book industry.

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Not bad for a guy in his late 30’s who was considering giving it up completely.

3. Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman, whom you probably know best as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter films, wasn’t in his first movie until 46. While he wasn’t necessarily unsuccessful, he definitely proves that you can drop everything and start anew and continue your success.

At 26, after leaving a successful graphic art company that he founded with friends, he was accepted to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. After studying there for 2 years, he found himself in numerous plays. It took another 18 years for him to finally end up on the movie screen.

His perseverance and passion definitely paid off.

4. Samuel L Jackson

Samuel L Jackson. It’s a name you undoubtedly know. Likely for his role in Pulp Fiction, which actually happened to be the role that propelled him into what could be called ‘real stardom.’

What many don’t know is that Jackson was actually a drug addict, and had only left rehab 3 years prior to his role in Pulp Fiction. It would’ve been very easy for Jackson to leave rehab and simply assume that his dream of being a film star was over.

Luckily for everyone, Jackson didn’t up. At the age of 46, he started his life anew, found success and achieved his dreams.

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5. Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle was a name unheard of by almost everyone. While she’s still not exactly a superstar name now, she is at the very least a celebrity in Britain.

At the age of 47, Susan Boyle stepped out onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent, a TV show similar to The X Factor. Much to everyone’s surprise, what came next was a truly astounding singing performance. You can watch it here.

Now she’s doing duets with some of the most famous singers on the planet. Not bad for someone who’s nearing the age of 50.

6. Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin, a name known by just about anyone that’s had to study high school biology. The father of evolution. Initially rejected by the scientific community, and told he would not amount to anything. He even wrote in his autobiography, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.”

It was not until age 50, following a voyage on the HMS Beagle, that he published On the Origin of Species. Despite constant criticism and rejection of earlier works on the topic, he didn’t give up. He then presented On the Origin of Species with very compelling evidence. This was later accepted by science as the building blocks to understanding how humanity came to be.

7. Sir Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill, known for being the British Prime Minister. His face was a symbol of hope, courage and inspiration throughout World War II.

What people often don’t know is that he actually first came to office at the ripe age of 62. Most people would be thinking that retirement is all they’ve got left to look forward to at that age, but Churchill proves it wrong by leading a county to victory during a time of intense hardship.

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Prior to this, Churchill had indeed been a leader of the Conservative party, the Minister of Defense, leader of the Opposition, and many other roles. Even so, could he have gone on to Prime Minister had he given up? Definitely not!

8. Colonel Sanders

Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, is the iconic face of KFC. Having gone from dead-end job to dead-end job for most of his life, which included insurance salesman and gas station attendant, it wasn’t until 62 that his famous restaurant chain began.

He was selling chicken from his roadside restaurant, during the Great Depression, when opportunity for franchising it arose. After getting attention from acclaimed food critics, which ended in very good publicity, Sanders established the first KFC franchise with Pete Harman in 1952.

It wasn’t until 3 years later, when Sanders was 65, that he began to travel around the US looking for suitable restaurants to bring into the KFC family. As they say, the rest is history.

9. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This is a name unknown to many, but his movement is timeless. Prabhupada is the figure, or Guru, behind the movement known as the “Hare Krishna movement.” Which you may have come across if you were ever into The Beatles, or Harrison specifically.

Prabhupada didn’t live a life as a loser. He was in fact a very talented man, devout in his teachings and worship. Though, with that said, it was not until he was 70 (Yes, 70!) years old that his movement gained popularity. Following interactions with The Beatles and other well-known celebrities.

It just goes to show the changes you can make, even when you’re long past the retirement age.

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10. Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime. Let that sink in: one of the most well-known artists on the planet, with artwork that has sold for over 100 million dollars, sold only one painting in his lifetime.

Despite his immense talent, it went unrecognized. He did work for an art dealer, Groupil & Cie, though nothing really came of it. After becoming bitter, seeing that art was treated solely as a commodity to those buying it, he left in pursuit of better things.

He went on to work as a school supply teacher, and various other odd jobs, leaving them to pursue his dream of becoming a Minister’s assistant. Then, after failing numerous entrance exams, despite studying under some of the best known names in Theology at the time, he eventually abandoned that too.

Many other events, like his cousin refusing to give him her hand in marriage, led to despair in his life. He eventually took up much smoking and drinking, all while studying under various artists, until the despair became overwhelming. He is said to have shot himself, and later died due to an untreated infection of the wound.

If only he could see the impact his artwork has had on this earth now. Here is a man that success found after he had died: if this doesn’t prove that you can be successful, it’s likely nothing will.

So don’t lose hope! Whether you’re 15 or 50, you have time to make a difference. All you have to do is set a purpose, work towards it and persevere. You can join the ranks of the successful people!

Featured photo credit: Alan Rickman via alanrickman.info

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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