It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now

by Liisa Kyle, Ph.D. on 05/25/2011

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I know from personal experience that midlife crisis can hit at any age.  I earned my Ph.D. at 29 and have gone through midlife crises about every five years ever since.  Now I prefer to frame them as “new chapters” rather than “crises” but the mechanics are the same:  You find yourself in a life situation that feels ‘wrong’.  You figure out something more palatable and motivational…something more ‘you’.  You implement a plan and try it on for size.  It’s scary and exciting and yet much, much healthier than stagnating in an unhappy situation. This is especially true for DaVincis (multi-talented people).  Sometimes the best way to honor and manage your many talents is to devote different life chapters to each. Often a new life chapter is a great way to improve your life.

Age isn’t the issue.  It’s how you feel about your life.  So ask yourself:  how fulfilled am I these days?  How happy?  How balanced is my life?  How much energy do I have?  What’s working well?  What’s not?

It might be that a few minor adjustments will improve your life in a big way.

If, however, it’s time for a big change, fear not.  It’s possible to start a wonderful new chapter at any age in life.

Now if you’re really ready to start a second (or third) life, I highly recommend It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now by the wonderful, wise Barbara Sher.  She gives detailed guidance as to how to transform apparent midlife crisis into a great new life chapter…and to improve your life in the process.  My purpose today is raise awareness that if there’s a second (or third) life you crave, it’s not too late.

It’s Not Too Late

History is full of examples of folks who started successful new chapters later in life:

Andrea Bocelli began singing opera seriously when he was 34.

Julia Child was almost 40 when she learned to cook and found her true passion.  It took another decade for her to publish her classic cookbook and she didn’t start her seminal TV show until she was 51.

Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing a newspaper column in her forties.  She didn’t write or publish her  Little House series until she was in her sixties.

Colonel Harland Sanders was 65 years old when he launched his Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants.

Peter Mark Roget didn’t start compiling his Thesaurus until he was 70.  It was first published when he was 73.

Grandma Moses began painting when she was 76.  She created more than a thousand paintings over the next twenty-five years.

Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do…but haven’t got around to yet?  Maybe you have childhood dream that you’ve given up on.  Perhaps there is a particular creative project you have shelved over and over again…about which you feel guilty and heartsick.  It could be that you’re yearning to develop and hone a new talent…or unearth an old talent you’ve been neglecting.  Whatever it is, if it’s important to you, it’s only ‘too late’ if you don’t start now.


donecoverCheck out my book  YOU CAN GET IT DONE:  Choose What to do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish

Available here for only $3.99:




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Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The DaVinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle B | Later Bloomer May 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Very, very happy to find your site! Love the term “DaVinci Dilemma,” wish I would have thought of it. I profile late bloomers (like those you’ve listed above) and I’ve written about the “too many passions” dilemma. Margaret Lobenstine calls us “Renaissance Souls,” another great term.

I variously been a software trainer, martial artist and archaeologist, and am now transitioning to professional writer and blogger. I’ve found a low-stress job that pays well to help me.

Look forward to perusing The DaVinci Dilemma. My blog emphasizes inspirational biographies, but I plan to compile a resource list for my readers so they have some concrete tools and resources. Looks like you’ve got everything here!
Elle B | Later Bloomer recently posted..How A Sinking Houseboat Saved Penelope Fitzgerald

Lisa May 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Just what I needed 🙂

Lisa Rothstein July 20, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hi Elle!
Love your site concept too. We’re familiar with Margaret Lobenstine’s book, and are also big fans of Barbara Sher (Refuse to Choose, Wishcraft, I could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was) Sounds like you got yourself what she calls “the Good-Enough Job” — brava for you! Glad you are finiding DaVinci Dilemma useful! We’ll be in touch about ways we can possibly support each other. – LR

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