"It's too late," is a common excuse for inaction. It justifies not doing something, not changing, not starting, or giving up. This excuse may be linked to someone's age, past experiences, mistakes, or missed opportunities.
We begin learning this response from a young age. We are exposed to constant examples of people reacting to problems with, "it's too late." It then becomes engrained as a valid reason for inaction. Regardless of the situation, it's never too late.
Let's start with the excuse of a person's age. Some people feel there is some age threshold beyond which it's too late to move forward. So what is the alternative? Do nothing while waiting for the end?
Regardless of your age, you'll never be as young as you are today. Your future is what lies ahead, not how much time is behind you. There are countless examples of people doing amazing things at all ages.
Bhai Fauja Singh ran the London Marathon when he was 100. Harlan Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at 65. Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she published her first "Little House on the Prairie" book. Grandma Moses started painting at 76. The examples of accomplishments at any age are endless.
People alter careers, go to college, start businesses, and change their lives in virtually every way well into their senior years. These people are pursuing their dreams while some half their age, or younger, are wallowing in the despair of, "it's too late."
Age is never a legitimate reason for inaction. Life is not over until it's over. Regardless of your age, your future lies ahead. Think old and you will feel old. Your spirit is as young as you want it to be.
What about making a mistake? It happens to everyone. Of course actions have consequences. Obviously you can't go back in time. Although you cannot change the past, it's never too late to take the next step forward. The important decision now is what course of action should be taken moving ahead. There is always something positive that can be done. Throwing your hands up in despair is pointless.
Think before you act. Learn from the past. You don't want to make things worse by one bad decision after another. Move forward by making better decisions, don't dig a deeper hole. If you feel it's too late, you'll stop working to improve your situation. Your attitude turns negative when you become resigned to your fate.
Missed opportunities are always disappointing. You chastise yourself for not taking action. However, it's never too late. Things happen for a reason. With a positive attitude, you can uncover it. One opportunity missed may lead to something better. Or perhaps the supposed missed opportunity turns out to not be as good as you thought. Either way, the direction of life is forward.
"It's too late," creates a negative self-fulfilling prophesy. You tell yourself it's too late and then prove it to be true. The only time it is too late is when you give up. If you tell yourself you can't do something, you won't. Conversely, if you tell yourself you can, you will. Whether it is too late or not is based on your outlook.
For every person who thinks it's too late, countless others are successfully accomplishing that very same objective. So never tell yourself that it's too late because your mind will believe it.
Regardless of what has already happened, you have the option to move forward. Your next step is the most important one. It's never too late to change direction. It's never too late to learn. It's never too late to improve.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden