“It’s too late.”

Following up on Monday’s post, it is NOT too late for you to do something positive. To make art; to make a connection.
Whether you’re 34, 43, or 78. Whether you have 2 children, 2 grandchildren, 2 jobs, or all of those things. You just have to do it.

This is not a Nike commercial. This is your happiness at stake. Here is a fictional, yet possible, example of it not being too late:

You’re 38 years old with two kids in grade school, a well-paying job at a bank, a nice home, a mortgage, a loving spouse, a good group of friends, and perhaps a dog. You didn’t grow up fantasizing about analyzing financial systems, but you’re good at it. You went to school so that you could in turn get a degree and earn a living. Your life isn’t necessarily ‘easy’; you’ve got to work hard to maintain, and you have your share of problems, as we all do at times. Your life isn’t ‘hard’ either; many people have worse economic situations. Ultimately though, you cannot look in the mirror and honestly say to yourself that your current job is what you dreamed of doing with your life. It has gotten you to a position of comfort, but it is not necessarily internally rewarding. You may have imagined yourself being a teacher at one point, but the prospect of pay wasn’t as good.

OK Matt, I know what you’re going to say next. I cannot go back and get my Master’s at night, quit my job, and teach. I have a family and a financial responsibility to them. Besides, who are you to judge whether I’m happy or not? I am happy with where I am.

I’m not judging. If you love your work, then keep doing it. This suggestion is for anyone who has something they want to do, but are not yet doing it.

So, you can’t quit your job. Fine by me. Try volunteering as a teacher on the weekends or at night. You’re busy? I’m busy too, I’m writing this blog. Just give it a try. One hour a week. Somewhere, very nearby to you, somebody needs a good teacher. A class of people learning English, or children who need help in math. Do it for free. Tell your spouse that this is important to you, and you need them to cover the kids for two hours on Saturday. Or, bring them with you if you can. Whatever. Just try it.

Very quickly you’ll find out how it feels to teach. I make no promises as to what happens to your life next, other than to tell you it will have been worth taking that first step.

Of course, for you it might not be teaching. It just has to be something you can share with at least one other person.

I suggested ‘do it for free’ but the application varies. In my case, I write for free, for now. I’m not good enough to charge yet. Not even close. If you have a business idea, or a skill to share, you can charge for it. People have to be willing to pay. The only way to find out if you’re good enough, is to try.

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