The greatest leader I’ve ever worked with is 23. The guy who is breaking records at my company (and on track to make $150K this year doing what I’m doing) is 22. I also know people from past jobs who are damn near 40 and act in the same spirit as my teenage sister.
I find the cliche “Age is but a number” cheesy, but I respect the sentiment.
While it can be helpful to create milestones for our goals, I don’t think it’s useful to set requirements for people to reach by certain ages. I say this with bias of course.
I tell people often that it took me 23 years to learn how to grow up (i.e. develop habits which demand I take care of myself). At the time, I was thinking, “God dammit. Why has it taken me this long to get moving?” Now I’m thinking, “Thank God I got moving.”
Some people find their feet early in life. Some think they have everything figured out and then realize they are living the life someone else chose for them. Some just lack direction and clearly-defined values. No matter how structured someone is, we’re all pretty much living in chaos. Once you realize that, a weight is lifted.
A solid prescription for this chaos is this (no matter your age or where you stand):
Clearly define your principles and values. Seriously, write that shit down on paper. What are you working toward each month, week, day? Iron it down.
What would your actions look like if you knew you couldn’t fail? Do that shit.
I’ll end with a quick story. I do JiuJitsu with a guy who’s 48. He’s irritatingly good at controlling his opponents limbs and each time we roll, I feel like a helpless child. We exchanged a short dialogue after class once…
Me: “You’re incredibly intelligent with your movements.”
Him: “I have to be. Everyone I roll with is younger and in better shape than I am.”
Me: “When did you start doing BJJ?”
Him: “When I was 40.”
It’s never too late to start taking steps which will make your life more fulfilling, more fun, more meaningful…Start today, so five years from now you can say that you’ve been doing it for five years…As opposed to saying that you thought about doing it five years ago…