Thursday, 19 March 2015

“You Can Achieve Success at any Age Even After 60 Years”– Professor M.S.Rao

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” - Mark Twain

Are you above 60 years of age with lots of failures and setbacks intending to resign to fate? Do you think that nothing can be achieved at this age? Then this article is for you to understand the facts with a few inspiring stories.   

If you are over 60 years of age, it is a great opportunity for you to pursue your passions, dreams and other charitable activities as you must have been relieved from your family responsibilities, and from other commitments. It is time for you to focus on your passionate areas and convert them into entrepreneurial opportunities, or contribute something meaningful to society to make a difference to the world.  

When you look at Winston Churchill, former prime minister of Britain, Ronald Reagan, former president of USA, Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, Golda Meir, the first female head and the 4th prime minister of Israel, Peter Roget of Thesaurus, Colonel Harland David Sanders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Joshua Millner, an Olympic gold medalist, Oscar Swahn, an Olympic champion, and Diana Nyad, an international achiever in swimming, they have one common factor -  they all succeeded after 60 years of age when others thought that they were down and out. Leonardo da Vinci, Leo Tolstoy and Michelangelo were the other famous people in the world who achieved their success after they crossed 60 years of age.  In fact, they were down but never out. They kept their dreams alive, focused on their goals, and kept preparing to grab their opportunities and waited for their time. They availed the opportunities thrown at them when their time came and succeeded in their lives.

Joan Marques in her book, Leadership and Mindful Behavior: Action, Wakefulness, and Business shares an inspiring story of Diana Nyad as follows:  
Diana Nyad heroically defied age boundaries by achieving her dream of swimming the 103 miles between Cuba and Florida at age 64. Born in 1949, Nyad developed her swimming skills at an early stage. She won three high school championships and dreamed of participating in the Olympics but had to let go of that dream when she was struck by a heart infection that kept her in bed for several months and permanently decreased her swimming speed. During her college years, she started focusing on marathon swimming, eventually setting a women’s world record for a 10-mile swim in Lake Ontario in 1970. In 1978, at age 28, she made her first attempt to swim from the shores of Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. She swam in a shark cage for about 42 hours and 72 miles, but a team of medical doctors decided to end her attempts due to strong wind currents that kept pushing her off course Nyad set records for others distances in the years after this attempt and had a successful career as author, public speaker, and program presenter, but she never let go of her dream of making the Cuba-Florida crossing.

In 2010, having reached age 60, she decided that it was time to reconsider her long cherished dream, and she started training her goal, was to become a role model to other 60-year-olds, demonstrating that achieving dreams had no age boundaries. Due to bad weather at the time she wanted to make her second attempt in 2010, she postponed it to 2011. Starting on August 7, she swam for miles out of her direction and heavy asthma episodes impeded her progress. A month later, in September 2011, Nyad made her third attempt but stopped after 41 hours due to jellyfish stings and strong currents. She did not give up; less than a year later, in August 2012, previous ones, but ended it prematurely as well because of several jellyfish stings and heavy currents.

Then, on August 31, 2013, Nyad began her fifth attempt. She reached her destination, Key West, Florida, in 53 hours. After her first attempt in 1978, she made all her efforts, including her successful one, without a shark cage. Even though some critics question Nyad’s achievement because her team helped by chasing away or eliminating sharks and jellyfish on her path, and even though Nyad was not the first person to make that crossing, she was nevertheless the oldest person to ever do it.

Joan Marques in her book, Leadership and Mindful Behavior: Action, Wakefulness, and Business emphasizes the importance of focus as follows:
James Cameron, the filmmaker of Avatar and Titanic, has mentioned how focused he had to be in order to complete his projects. Larry Page, one of the founders of Google, today a billionaire, also emphasizes the need to focus on one important goal and stay with it if we hope to be successful. Tom Monoghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, also admitted that focus on a single thing, his pizza business, was the secret to his success. Similarly, Bill Gates pointed out that you have to stick to the type of endeavor you undertake and not get distracted. Stephen King advises those who plan to write to ensure that there is no access to the telephone, television or video games in their writing room.

Importance of Your Inner Dialogue

Your self-talk matters a lot to cultivate optimism towards life. We all have inner dialogue and must know how to channel it effectively to realize our dreams and goals. Avoid mental limitations about our age. Keep dreaming and channeling your energies in a right direction to achieve an amazing success in your life.


Learn, unlearn and relearn to succeed at any stage and age of your life. Success doesn’t have any age boundaries. Success is possible at any stage and age, if you have a right and positive attitude towards your life. Attitude counts a lot, and how you will leverage your experience matters a lot to achieve success in your old age.  In fact, the people who succeeded late have leveraged their experience, learned lessons in life, kept their dreams alive to achieve their success. They might have become old physically but they were very agile and active mentally.  They all had X factor which contributed to their success in life. Hence, never give up. Unlock your potential fully. Everything is possible in this world. It is a matter of time. When your time comes, utilize it effectively to achieve amazing success. To conclude, as long as you love and learn you are young, the day you stop loving and learning you become old. Therefore, don’t become old, stay young forever in your head, heart and body to achieve success and provide meaning to your life.

“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Leadership and Mindful Behavior: Action, Wakefulness, and Business by Joan Marques (Palgrave Macmillan, October 23, 2014)

Life is great!

Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
Vision 2030 Webinar:
Twitter: @professormsrao  
21 Success Sutras for Leaders: Top 10 Leadership Books of the Year (San Diego University) Amazon URL:

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