Today is my birthday.
I’m 51. 51 is the new 31. Look who else is 51: Will Smith, Hugh Jackman, Julia Roberts, Jimmy Kimmel, David Guetta, Kylie Minogue, and Vanilla Ice, people! I’m in good company. Jennifer Aniston is almost there and so is J. Lo.
I’ve decided to be proud of my age. It is what it is. How are we to be a society that embraces the elderly if we have shame just for living a long time? I’ve made it. I’ve had a couple close calls: a scooter accident in San Francisco….a blood clot post-labor 17 years ago…breast cancer…yet here I am. I’ve lost some loved ones this year (and in past years) and you know what? Life goes by fast. Live in a way so you won’t regret anything.
And I’m fit. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been mentally and physically. In my twenties, I thought it was most important to be thin. Now I see it’s most important to be strong.
I’m glad I’ve learned the lessons I’ve learned: Be present. Be open. Allow your children to be who they are. Love your job. Live well each day. Don’t take yourself – or anything -seriously.
Afraid that you’re getting old and haven’t reached the “pinnacle” of your career? Anxious that your lofty goal seems out of reach while your milestone birthdays are being thrown at you? Never fear! Published in Science magazine this month, a study of over 2,800 scientists showed that most wrote their “break through” career paper after 20 years of work.
There is little correlation to age and “success.”
In fact, there are many careers that require a passel of years of experience and learning, such as “law, psychoanalysis, history, or philosophy” and the average age of summit success came at 48.
Einstein once said that if you haven’t made a discovery by the time you’re 30, you never will. But data shows that the age where scientists are making ground breaking work is getting older and older, because there is more for them to learn before they reach the area of discovery. Makes sense!**
The most important factors for success are:
- ability to create time to work;
- ability to collaborate successfully; and
- to make sure your work gets in front of the right people at the right time.
So keep working and protect your work time.