By Eleni Papageorgiou,
Sometimes, the trending way of life seems to be unbearable for young people. While Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other social media platforms are full of influencers, life coaches and successful businessmen proving every day how great and organized their life is, young people are getting higher and higher levels of anxiety. Millennials and Generation Z are used to models of young and rich people becoming viral easily and really fast. But what they do not understand is that their reputation is ephemeral and their way of life pretended. Instead of living the life that others promote, we should focus on real talented and flourishing well-known examples.
Stop wondering what you have been doing with your life when Abraham Lincoln decided to give up on the House of Representatives at the age of 40 and catch up with practicing law. Eleven years later, in 1861, he became President of the United States, as leader of the Republican Party. Another example of the political stage is Ronald Reagan, who became one of the most appreciated presidents. He was, until then, known as a famous actor, but after his speech on the 1964 election, when he was 53 years old, he excelled in another field.
Let us move now to business examples, like Henry Ford. He used to work for Thomas Edison as an engineer on improving automobility. That was his career until his 40s when he founded the Ford Motor company. Ray Kroc is another man in his early 50s who engaged in business. He had to work as a pianist and a traveling salesman for a milkshake maker before he proposed to McDonald’s brothers to expand in other states of America. Τhis idea is the reason for the success of the restaurants worldwide.
Have you ever heard of Vera Wang? Until her 40s, she was a figure skater and a journalist when a plot twist made her become one of the most famous and talented designers. Her success in bridal couture is confirmed by her wedding dresses for Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner, and Kim Kardashian. “Success is not about the end result, it is about what you learn along the way”, said Wang. Yet another major producer of fashion and clothing retail that you probably do not know is Donald Fisher. This man, also in his 40s, founded The Gap company with the dream of selling Levi’s jeans in different sizes, cuts, and styles. Now he and his wife own thousands of stores around the world.
The examples are innumerable and people from many more fields not mentioned above changed their career paths. The common denominator in all cases is that people did not give up either because of age or because of their previous organized lives. They decided to trust their talent, their dream, and their inner voice that told them to change their lives and goals. They may have been lucky or in perfect timing but their cases are able to motivate and give courage to those who have not yet achieved what they have imagined.
Over-specialization, social pressure, financial crisis are some of the factors that distract young people from their goals. The times we live in are difficult from all perspectives as young children put their dreams in second place in order to survive the pandemic and the ecological disaster. For these children and the lost years of their youth, we owe to highlight these examples so that they know that it is never too late.
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