Can You Still Be Great When You Think It’s Too Late?

This is the question that I’ve been struggling to answer since yesterday afternoon. It’s haunting me and causing a flood of emotions as I think of what has been and what is to be. Why am I pondering such difficult thoughts?

Can I Achieve Greatness

Since I’ve been extremely busy with work, my daughter moving into her first place, and some great friends of ours moving out of state, I really didn’t have the opportunity to watch most of the XXX Olympics. We had to DVR the two weeks of the games and catch up on the highlights a little at a time. Yesterday we finally arrived to the closing ceremony. I never made it beyond the portion where they highlighted the best moments like Michael Phelps making Olympic history or Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings leaving behind their legacy in women’s beach volleyball. It was one of those moments where NBC actually did something right and created a story about human challenges and victories. It was stories of greatness. All of this led me down a rabbit trail of past experiences and future ambitions. It opened up old wounds and reminded me of once passionate dreams.

In less than a month I will turn 42. If I am blessed to live the average lifespan of a healthy male, that means I’ve lived more than half my life now. When you realize that these years have passed by so quickly, it’s not difficult to begin thinking about how fast the rest of your life could be. This realization has imposed such a taxing burden on my heart and soul.

I used to dream of greatness.

I believed that there was a spot on that podium for me – that I would one day “win the gold” as it applied to my life and God-given talents. I hoped that one day I would leave an amazing legacy for the record books. It’s not that feel I’ve never done great things, because I have. But doing great things and achieving greatness are two different things in my mind. It would also be prudent for me to say that this longing has nothing to do with ego (well, OK, maybe a little) but more of a desire to make a true lasting difference. I want my race in life to count … to really mean something!

Now I wonder if it’s too late. 

The Olympic Champions all started at a young age. They made their goals early and worked long and hard to achieve them. They’ve made huge sacrifices to reach that level of greatness. My question is if it’s too late to achieve a level of greatness in my own life.

In my heart I believe the answer is no, it’s not too late, but my mind isn’t as fully convinced yet. However I do know this — if any of us aspire to reach the heights of the stratosphere, we are going to have to set our sites on the goal (and we have to KNOW the goal) and work harder than ever to get there, no matter where we are in our life journey.

For me personally, this means there will need to be even more changes to my daily life and the requirement of a laser-like focus like never before! And the biggest step will be making a firm commitment to make it all happen no matter what. Now it’s time to see where all this leads.

Do you think it’s too late to achieve greatness?