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Excerpted from It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life After 40 by Barbara Sher. Copyright © 1998 by Barbara Sher. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.   HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"You start to live your life to suit who you really are. You go after your own dreams with new respect and a clear mind because you don't have to prove anything."

Barbara Sher, It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now, Part 4

None of which might seem so bad for the first three days, but after all that, you wake one morning and still have to figure out how to live.

After a number of years, however, you might come to realize that all your fears of getting older were unfounded, that you've been handed a much better life than you ever expected. It happens to a lot of people.

The problem is, it might not happen to you until your late fifties or sixties.

Do you really want to wait that long?

"That would be like paying for a ten-day vacation and arriving on day seven!" a friend told me.

If the years between now and then were good years, I'd say, Who cares? But they're not. In my personal experience and other stories people have told me, they're usually miserable and stressed, loaded with turmoil and feelings of being abandoned, even betrayed, by fate. Few people look back on them with pure pleasure.

Now let's imagine a different scenario.

You hit midlife with no resistance at all, understanding what a special stage you've come to. You realize what a dangerous illusion your feelings of immortality have been. You start paying attention to your dreams to decide how you want to live. You begin to write the books that are in you, or go into the theater and become an actor like you've always wanted, or you become an Arctic explorer, or a business owner, or you build the community you've always known was possible, or you head out and see the world you've always longed to see.

In other words, you start to live your life to suit who you really are. You go after your own dreams with new respect and a clear mind because you don't have to prove anything. You're not trying to impress anyone. The top item on your list of priorities says, "Find the life I was born to live." Everything else comes after that.

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