It’s a hackneyed saying by now, but it’s still true that we need to be careful not to allow ourselves to become captive to limiting beliefs.
One of the limiting beliefs we often buy into in life is that it’s “too late” to change something about ourselves or achieve a goal that seems to have passed us by.
In some cases, we actually can’t change things. At age 51 it probably is “too late” for me to enlist in the Marines, for example.
But for many other things, it’s never too late to start.
I’ve written before that unlike my dad, who can do every single task it takes to build a house himself, I had zero skills in some repair and improvement well into my 40s.
I could have taken the view that it was “too late” for me to ever learn how to do things like that. But right around the time I started to rebuild my entire concept of masculinity, I decided that I would actually start learning how to do things around the house.
My first step was painting a wall in my apartment in Rhode Island in 2012. It was literally the first time in my life I had painted a wall. You might think this is easy, and it is. But I still watched a YouTube video on how to do it.
YouTube makes it a golden age of learning how to do things at home. No matter how simple or complex, there are probably a ton of videos about how to do things.
After painting a way, I’ve moved on to other things. I used a pipe snake to clear out a clogged drain line for my washing machine. I figured out how to unclog a dishwasher drain. I replace flapper valves and fill valves on my toilets. I replaced some door knobs and repaired hinges that were pulling apart. And other small tasks.
These are all basically trivial tasks. I’m not claiming I’m some kind of real handyman. But before age 40 I almost certainly would have called someone to do all of these things.
There are a few things I haven’t stepped up to yet. When I had a sewer backup, I called the professional. Dittos when I had a cracked water pipe that had frozen. With real plumbing or electrical work, I’d want to have a someone with experience to show me how to do something the first time.
But as most problems have come up at home in recent years, I’ve fixed them myself. And my mindset is now that I can learn how to do more and more over time.
Today, I fix enough stuff around the home that whenever something breaks my son says, “Dada wants to fix it.” It’s a good feeling to know that your son looks up to you as someone who can just fix things.
Home repairs aren’t the only skills I’ve started picking up after age 40. In fact, I’ve learned more in the past decade than I probably did in the decade before that.
The key is that it’s not too late to start learning a new skill, to start a business or side hustle, to get in shape, to start becoming the kind of man you want to be.
Don’t let your age keep you from moving forward in the right direction no matter where you find yourself today. Take the mindset that it’s never too late to start.