Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day #7 - Age

One of the self-imposed barriers that slows us down or even stops us is our age. And I’m not referring to any particular age. I just know from personal experience that we allow our age to convince us that it is not the right time for us to pursue or achieve a particular goal. So it’s not really our age – it’s our perception of ourselves in light of our age.

I remember a very wise man telling me that I needed to write a book. When he told he that I balked at his suggestion and told him that I was too young to write a book. I felt like I had insufficient experience to be sharing my opinions about anything with anyone. And besides, I thought, who would want advice from someone who had never really accomplished anything? I liked the idea – but I felt that it was the wrong time because of my age.

Then CNN informed me that it was going to do a 90-minute documentary on me, my church, and our work to help families facing financial hardships. Specifically, they planned to put my dfree® strategy on full blast hoping to motivate other churches to do similar work. The host of the show, Soledad O’Brien, shared the news with me and after she did she stared straight at me and sternly said, “And you better be ready!” The translation of her admonition was that I had to be ready to help people after they saw the documentary and they needed answers to their questions about dfree®. And ready meant that I had to write down and document my philosophy, my strategy, and program. It meant that I had to write a book. My response was this – I am too old and too busy to write a book.

You see what happened to me? First I was too young to be an author, then I was too old. The truth is that I was too “something else.” I was too insecure, I was too afraid, I was too lazy, I was too undisciplined, I was too anxious, I was too ______________________. You name it and I was too it! And I was using age as an excuse.

Then I had to come to my senses. No one who has done anything great has been the “ideal” age - because there is no ideal age. In fact greatness occurs either at an unlikely age or at a time when the great person just ignored their age. Jeremiah thought he was too young to be a prophet; Abraham and Sarah thought they were too old to bear a child; Jesus ignored that he was 12 and hung out with the teachers in the temple. Stevie Wonder became a star when he was 12 and is still a star 50 years later; Ronald Reagan started being president at 70; Martin Luther King, Jr. told the world that he had a dream at 34 years old. A woman named Mother Stewart went to Haiti to start a school while she was in her 90’s. A young man in my current church started a YouTube page and had 500,000 vies when he was 16 years old.

So I wrote my book – probably 25 years later than I should have. And here it is!

dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery

Please forget about your age and decide what you want to accomplish and who you want to be three years from now. I know I am stretching you. But it is easier to start in the distant future and work our way back than it is do the reverse.

Of course, there are some things your age will not allow you to do. But age is no excuse to have no goals at all. No one is too young or too old to take control of their future and pursue a few dreams.

Action items:
1.     Make sure you have not cancelled any dream because of your age.
2.     Try to place three goals under each of the five goal categories (day #2).

3.     Find someone who is your age and doing something great.

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