You’re never too old


No matter your goals and no matter your age, you can still make your dreams come true.


What holds back so many people from pursuing their dreams isn’t a fear of failure. It’s the idea that it’s too late to make a change. “I’m too old to…” insert major life change here: switch careers, enter the dating pool, start exercising, learn a new language, travel the world, etc.

This thought isn’t limited to octogenarians; a lot of us have these kinds of thoughts in our 40s, 30s, or 20s. It’s a natural reaction to any major change; we look behind us and see all the opportunities we had to make that change but didn’t. Why should we expect the future to be different? I find it helpful in moments like this to look for real-world examples of people who did what you’re trying to do. There might be no better example than the list that has been making the rounds on social media. It reads:

– At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.

– At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

– At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.

– At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.

– At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.

– At age 28, Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) was a fry cook.

– At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

– At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.

– At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.

– Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 49.

– Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

– Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 38.

– Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.

– Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 41.

– Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.

– Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.

– Grandma Moses didn’t begin her painting career until age 76.

– Louise Bourgeois wasn’t featured in the Museum of Modern Art until she was 71.

Add this month’s Robert Irvine Magazine Celebrity Spotlight, Terry Fator to the mix. At 40 he gave up dreams of stardom and was content to work his ventriloquist act at county fairs. Then he won America’s Got Talent and signed a $100 million contract to take up a residency at the Mirage.

With these folks as an example, it’s clear that it’s never too late to make a major change. But what Fator has in common with the rest of the people on this list: None of them ever stopped working to improve their craft and to become the best at what they did. That held true when they could barely pay their bills, when they were fired repeatedly and went hungry between jobs, and when it seemed like they had failed so many times that it was simply never going to happen for them.

The only way to definitively fail is to stop trying altogether. Whatever your dream, hold onto it like your life depends on it. In all the ways that really matter, it really does.

Paul Robert is a trainer and motivational speaker who writes for Muscle & Fitness Magazine and Robert Irvine Magazine.

Thought for the day

Despite a negative start to the day, I am thinking only positive thoughts. I went to open my book that I have in progress, and my computer has done something and it’s now gone. The book was almost done, with the editing process about to begin, and I was going to start to work on it all weekend as it’s a weekend off from work.

I will admit it, I was devastated at the thought of redoing it. But in hindsight, there were many things I wanted to change in the book and now I have a chance to do a whole re-work of it.

So rather than think that this is horrible, two years of work gone, I’m going to look at the positive and make this an even better book than I had imagined it would be. I’m looking at the positive rather than the negative.

Memory Lane – Prague

Tonight was a night of nostalgia, looking back on the beginning of my adventures in Prague. Three of my favourite pictures I took were of the first night I was there, and one on the last day I was there.

I arrived there on November 15 2014 and once I got settled, I immediately went to the city centre to check out the area on my own, and to see the Prague Castle. I was not disappointed by the beauty I encountered.

Prague Castle, November 2014

This was one of my favourite places to go – across the river to just gaze at the wonder of the castle.

June 29 2016 was my last full day in Prague – I was heading to Paris the next day, and then back to Canada for 7 weeks to get ready to head to China. I knew that on the last day in Prague would have to be spent at Letna Park, looking out at the City, and the Vltava River and all the bridges. Of course, you can’t go to Letna Park in the summer and not go to the beer gardens. It was a fitting way to my last day there, enjoying a cold beer and a sausage, while looking out at the view.

View from Letna Park

Some of my most memorable moments in my life happened in Prague, and because of Prague. I miss being there, but I am gearing up for a visit in the next few months.

I cannot wait to see the city, the castle and the views.

Fort Langley

I spent the afternoon in the lovely little town of Fort Langley enjoying the sunny day.

It was on a whim I came here and when I arrived, I was lucky to discover a spring bazaar happening. I took the time to wander through, and then kept on walking.

This place reminds me of Niagara on the Lake in Ontario. It’s a relaxed atmosphere and makes me want to just sit down and listen to the sounds I hear. Which of course I did.

I continued walking up to the Fraser River walkway and took in the beauty of the river walk.

Of course, hunger pains struck so I headed to Fort Pub and Grill for some fish and chips. Delicious food and such a diverse staff. Definitely recommend this place!

After dinner, I decided to work off my dinner and went for a hike at Brae Park, and went to Tavistock Point. The 4 km walk was definitely worth it for the views!

I finished off my day with a limoncello Gelato. It was a great day.

Walking paths

My favourite exercise is to walk. I have walked hundreds if not thousands of kilometers in my life. And I am not slowing down!

Today I walked from our favourite park down to the grocery store, about a 20 minute walk. It was down this lovely path and I took my time.

I could walk for hours as long as my feet feel okay. And it’s a great way to get some fresh air!

The journey never ends

Thomas the Tank Engine has a song that makes me want to jump on a train and travel the world.

It talks about going to different countries and having a new adventure wherever you are. This song makes me happy and makes me dream of faraway places. My grandson loves the show and I love watching it with him.

Is there a song that makes you want to dash off to a new adventure?

Full circle

Back in 2005, I graduated from culinary school and decided to take some time away from being a legal assistant to try my hand in the culinary field.

I started working at this amazing deli that specialized in everything Italian. I also worked part time at East Side Mario’s, a restaurant in St. Jacob’s as the omelet lady during brunch, as well as a bar at the coat check. I really enjoyed the deli but I stretched myself too thin that I was exhausted working so many jobs. After a year, I went back into a law office.

I started a catering business after I moved to Calgary and knew that food was my passion.

Of course, my life since Calgary has taken many different routes, including teaching overseas. While teaching is something I want to do again, I need money to travel.

And so my life has come full circle. I start a new job next week at this lovely market/deli down the street from me. It has an amazing selection of so many things, I can’t wait to get started. And a lot of the staff are mature like me. I already feel like this is going to be a great experience.

My life has not been easy but I always hold on to positive thoughts and finally it seems to be paying off.

So here’s to a great day!