It’s easy, as a Midlifer, to feel discouraged about how your life has turned out. The goals and dreams you had when you were younger might not have come true. You may not feel as ambitious, or even as capable as you did when you were younger. But short success stories of great people are powerful reminders that you can still reach your dreams.
Here are some amazing examples of Midlife successes I want to remind you of, both as encouragement and inspiration. You are not done reaching your potential, Beautiful. So read on.
I love Ms. Boyle for several reasons.
One–she was initially judged upon her appearance, which happens all of the time.
Many of us have middle-aged spread, graying hair, lines on our face and all the rest of it. The World looks at all of that, and judges us to be outdated and irrelevant. They look at us Midlife Women, and only see the outside, not the inside.
It can hurt.
Ms. Boyle showed up with frizzy hair and bushy eyebrows, wearing dark stockings and white shoes.
She was mocked at the beginning of her performance for her appearance, before she’d even said a word.
But she didn’t let that stop her.
She marched herself right up to that microphone, didn’t she?
Then she made history.
I also admire Susan Boyle because she has worked to overcome her disability.
It was revealed that Ms. Boyle has Asperger’s Syndrome.
That means she has trouble socializing, and engaging with people. Remember how awkward her banter was at the beginning of her audition, before she started singing? Symptoms of Asperger’s in adults can sometimes be very painful to watch, because we expect adults to comfortably engage with others.
Despite her Asperger’s, Susan Boyle is able to dig deep, and perform in front of millions of people all over the world. She doesn’t let her unique challenges prevent her from doing what she has been created to do: sing. Ms. Boyle discovered her unique gift at an early age, and despite a childhood of bullying and isolation, didn’t stop until she was able to share her voice with the world.
I gain inspiration from her because she has achieved wild success in the second half of her life, but remains the humble person she has always been.
She first auditioned when she was forty-seven years old. That’s far older than the usual starlets we see in the media.
Besides her appearance, people also laughed when they heard her age. They laughed harder when they heard her ambitions.
She kept going, Friends.
She swallowed her fear, ignored the laughing and stepped up to the microphone.
What an inspiration.
Many of us feel that if we haven’t made it by age 35 or 40, “it’s” not going to happen.
We feel trapped by the choices we’ve made, or the careers we find ourselves in. We feel like we’re stuck where we are, and it’s too scary, or too risky to try and change.
Forget all of that.
Susan Boyle’s Christmas album has just been released, and it’s beating up the charts, as her albums usually do. Did you know she’s now the highest paid singer in the world? In spite of her appearance and age, she’s become incredibly successful in a brutal industry.
But here’s something else I admire about her. Even after reaching her success, Ms. Boyle remains true to herself. The dresses she wears on the stages around the world are purchased with her best friend at a local department store. She once applied for a minimum wage job in her town, after she became famous. She doesn’t need the money, she just wanted to remain closely connected to her small, local community. Pretty amazing, wouldn’t you say?
Despite her bank statement, she wants to stay close to the people who matter most to her. That’s a pretty important lesson to us all.
Susan Boyle isn’t the only Midlife Success story. Let’s talk about Vera Wang.
Ms. Wang started out as a figure skater, and then worked in publishing. She didn’t become a fashion designer until she was forty years old. Since then, Vera Wang wedding dresses have not only been worn by countless stars, Ms. Wang has expanded her empire to include fragrances, home decor–almost anything you can think of.
Vera Wang is now 67 years old, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Yes, she was successful before she launched her fashion line, but it was in the second half of her life that she achieved her true purpose, and succeeded with her most incredible achievements.
How about you? I bet I could ask you for other short success stories of great people.
I bet you’re aware of other famous people who became most accomplished after they hit forty, or even fifty years of age.
Even more importantly–I bet you know people who are not famous, but have achieved their successes later in life.
You may even be one of those people, yourself.
If so–speak up! Give the rest of us some encouragement, please. Let us know your personal strategies, tips or things you would do differently, now that you can look back at your journey.
In the meantime, let’s all watch this, again, simply because it’s the best.
Go dream your dreams, Beautiful.
There’s still plenty of time….
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**Chanler Jeffers has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent and was a single parent for many years. She has survived cancer, and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.