3 Reasons Why It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Life
Have you ever heard sayings such as “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” or “I am the way I am”?
These sorts of sayings are there to convey a very specific message – namely that there’s a particular status quo in effect – specifically with regards to someone’s behaviours, lifestyle, and personality traits – and that this status quo simply can’t, or shouldn’t be tampered with, “and that’s that.”
Sometimes, these phrases will be trotted out by people who are nervously trying to prevent “friends” or family members from embarking on ambitious campaigns to change or improve their lives – but more often, people will apply these catchphrases to themselves, in order to justify why they are avoiding the hard work of trying to pursue self-improvement in one way or another.
Sometimes, we are resistant to embarking on a self-improvement crusade, because we are fundamentally insecure about our ability to actually make meaningful changes, and get the most out of life, and don’t want to have to confront the possibility of failure head-on.
At other times, we may be jaded enough to genuinely believe that any such effort is ultimately pointless, and that we are just stuck being the way we are, come hell or high water.
Ultimately, though, a life that is lived based on the assumption that self-improvement is impossible is bound to be a deeply unfulfilling, stressful, and nihilistic life, in a variety of ways. On the other hand, believing that you have the ability to steer the ship of your life as you see fit is a recipe for improved autonomy, happiness, and achievement.
So, if you’ve been telling yourself negative things about your own ability to change your circumstances – here are a few reasons why it’s never too late to improve your life.
Because it’s a big world, and it’s guaranteed you haven’t tried every solution yet
Here’s a pretty undeniable point – it’s a big world, and that world is full of all sorts of different peoples, pastimes, careers, productivity and lifestyle strategies, and so on.
If you feel as though there are specific problems in your life that are insurmountable, a clear question to ask before you allow yourself to surrender hope is “have I tried every possible solution yet?”
No matter who you are, no matter what specific situations you are faced by, it is guaranteed that you have not, in fact, explored every potential avenue, or tried every potential solution.
If you’ve tried many different things in order to address a particular problem in your life, and those things haven’t worked, the most empowering and accurate way to look at that situation isn’t “there’s no way for me to get past this,” it’s “I’ve found a bunch of ways that don’t work, so I must be getting closer to some solutions that do work.”
Giving up early is a choice. It’s a way of relieving yourself of the responsibility of having to keep pushing forward. But it’s not inevitable, and it’s unlikely to ever be due to the fact that you’ve actually tried everything, and just haven’t found a solution.
Because anything you do to make things better, even by a small degree, will create a positive ripple effect
It is possible to end up in a situation in your life where you feel that this is no way that you could really make dramatic and sweeping changes to the way things are, or to achieve enormous things in a certain span of time.
Even assuming that these points were true, however – and there’s no reason to assume they are – this still overlooks the fact that even the smallest conceivable actions you could take, on a daily basis, would have impacts both good and bad, that could reach far beyond your own personal life.
Something as simple as mowing your lawn can motivate your neighbours to do the same, and might end up changing the entire neighbourhood, in a subtle but meaningful way. Likewise, taking small steps to get your own life in better order can dramatically improve the net happiness of the people who love and care about you, and who are invested in your well-being.
There’s a powerful reason why it’s never too late to improve your life – because you don’t need to suddenly become the CEO of a multimillion dollar company in order for any change or improvement you make to be deeply meaningful. You just need to do something – anything at all – in order to make things a bit “better,” and you will create a ripple effect that can spread further than you might ever have imagined.
Because changing the kind of person you are has more to do with your daily systems than your overarching goals
A lot of the most successful and renowned people in the world, in different domains, had no idea that they were on track to achieving that success, until it one day “happened” as if by magic.
There are plenty of world-renowned authors, musicians, and other acclaimed public figures, who were just “doing their thing,” and then eventually became rich and famous because of it.
The reason why this can happen, is because becoming a certain kind of person has a lot more to do with your daily systems and habits than it does with your overarching goals.
Lots of people set very ambitious goals for themselves, and of course, far fewer people actually achieve those lofty goals. If you set yourself a goal such as “I will be a million-dollar painter within three years,” you may well not achieve that goal. But, if painting is something that means a lot to you, and you set yourself a daily “system” or “habit” of painting for an hour or two every day, your life will improve in various ways, thanks to that. And, maybe you will end up becoming a great success as a result of it.
One of the major implications of this, is that “transforming your life” for the better, doesn’t have to mean “achieving an ambitious goal” at all. It can – and generally should – mean changing the kind of person you are today, in terms of your everyday actions. And the effects of doing this can be quite tremendous.