It’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
The story below is a reflection of living one’s life fully without regret. (Published by Dan Clark)
…The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged each student to get to know someone we didn’t already know.
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. “I’ve always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union, and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon, as she easily made friends wherever she went. She reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.
After stepping up to the podium to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three-by-five cards on the floor. A little flustered and embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”
As everyone laughed, she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. There are so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.
Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.” The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. Remember, growing older is mandatory; growing up is optional.”
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”
At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
qΩaOver two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
“We make a Living by what we get; we make a Life by what we give.” ~ Rose
I wish you all a New Year filled with an abundance of wonderful things.
Make kindness a habit,
To Your Success,
Peak Performance Coach