AWRIGHT DEN: It’s not too late
HAVE YOU EVER wondered why we love to read autobiographies and memoirs of other people’s struggles and failures but are often hesitant to share ours with each other?
Could it be that we fear being laughed at or scorned because people would know we aren’t perfect? How many times have you read a story and could relate to what the person was going through? Have you realised that many of us face the same struggles and make the same mistakes and have you ever wondered why? Could it be that our triumph over a failure or mistake could be the answer or solution someone else is looking for? Unfortunately, if we keep our stories, struggles, shortcomings and victories to ourselves, we are robbing someone else of the opportunity to change, to succeed, to be inspired, to have renewed hope and a realisation that they are not alone.
I am 32 years old and not where I thought I would be in life at this age. Many times I observe my friends and colleagues and see their progress and achievements. I am happy for them, but sometimes I feel as if my time has passed and that opportunities missed may never return.
Some of this has resulted from my own indiscipline and bad decisions, and some from situations beyond my control. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I am very pleased about: having a stable marriage, being a parent, this column, my NGO, my experiences as the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador and a missionary, the many countries I have visited and being able to motivate and inspire many people. But there are many other things I thought I would have by now, two being my first Master’s degree and a successful growing business.
Sometimes a little knowledge and awareness can do so much to change our perspective and reignite that fire to believe we will and can achieve. I recently read an article titled You’re Never Too Old To Start A New Venture, Look At These Famous Entrepreneurs, from the website www.digitalsynopsis.com. I would encourage you to take a look at the site and view the infographic of famous CEOs and highly successful people.
Did you know:
• At the age of 35, Jan Koum founded Whatsapp; Tim Westergren started Pandora; Jimmy Wales founded Wikipedia?
• At age 41, Mark Pincus founded Zynga and Robert Noyce founded Intel?
• At age 42, Robin Chase founded ZipCar and Craig Newmark founded CraigsList?
• Ray Krock started McDonald’s at 52; John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola at 55 and Harland Sanders started KFC at 65?
The website also had an infographic, which showed ‘people who took an indirect path to success’. Harrison Ford was a carpenter until his 30s before becoming a successful actor and producer; J.K. Rowling was a 31-year-old single mum on welfare when she authored Harry Potter; Andrea Bocelli was a piano player in bars before becoming a successful singer; and Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers before founding McDonalds at age 52.
It was somewhat refreshing to see that Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Atlantic), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Chad Hurley (YouTube), and Elon Musk (Paypal and Tesla) had all failed in business along their journey.
We have been cultured to believe that we must be married, have children, have a house, a car, finished studying, have a mortgage, a stable job or successful business, a dog, two cats and a gold fish all by a particular age, and if we haven’t done this, something is wrong.
I want to encourage you to keep hope alive and not to give up on your dreams. There are many ingredients that are used to obtain a delicious cake or pizza and the same is true for everything we own; the final product is a mixture of many processes, materials and chemicals. Guess what? Success has its own ingredients – it is filled with setbacks, disappointments, hurts, failures and missed opportunities.
I love to travel and the plus 14 hours in a plane to Australia and Malaysia were exciting yet tiring, but I understood if I wanted to experience the country and the new culture, I had to experience the journey.
Learn to celebrate the successes and achievements of others and know that once you are alive, your dreams are still achievable.
Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]