Winston Churchill once said, “To each, there comes a time in their lifetime, a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”
I would add to the tragedy being “unwilling” to pursue what could have been their finest hour.
I don’t think there is a person alive who has not had at least one opportunity to do something special with their lives which would have been truly great or made a tremendous impact. For some, they jumped at the chance. But, for many others, they allowed fear to dissuade them from taking action.
Still others are looking for an opportunity to apply their natural talent, learned skills and unique life experiences in a meaningful way, but can’t seem to find one ideally suited to their abilities. For those folks, maybe more clarity is needed or just a nudge in the direction they feel called to move.
I know one thing for certain — regret is a horrible thing to experience. To feel called to do something, but then to sit on your hands rather than rise to your feet, is painful in your heart and mind. For the rest of your life, you dwell on the “what ifs” of what may have been, if only you hadn’t balked at the chance.
Success gurus often suggest it is fear of failure that holds people back. But, is it fear of failure or fear of success?
Many people talk themselves out of doing great things by wondering what will happen if they fail. Instead, they should be imagining what will happen when they succeed.
A good friend of mine, Todd Kuckkahn, recently made an astute observation. “Take the risk or lose the chance,” he posted to Facebook.
So many people have grand plans to do something “someday.” Yet, when someday arrives, they are either too weak, too sick, too broke or too tired to fully live their dream and do the very special thing Churchill described. Rather than wonderful memories, they are left with deep regret.
For those of us over 50, we have fewer days remaining on earth than we have already lived. Realizing that should force us to stop going through the motions of dreaming and imagining what we’ll do someday in order to finally step out on faith to do the very thing we’ve felt stirring in our hearts all these years.
Without a doubt, I truly believe the years following our 50th birthday marks a time when everything in our lives comes together. We are at the doorstep of our destiny where our lives can have significant impact on others, whether it is millions of people or a handful.
Either way, our finest hour will be one during which we’re operating on all cylinders as everything falls into place. Even our painful experiences will be redeemed in ways that deliver a miracle to someone else.
Be honest with yourself. How has God figuratively tapped you on the shoulder and offered an opportunity to do a very special thing, unique to you and fitted to your talents and desires?
Deep in your heart, you probably already know what it is. It’s time to take your foot off the brake and apply it to the gas!
Centuries ago, Hillel the Elder asked these important questions:
- If not you, then who?
- If not now, then when?
Don’t delay another day. Take that vital first step of faith to finally experience the desire of your heart. If you need help, just ask!
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.