Success and youth often go hand in hand when it comes to being celebrated in our society. Whether it’s celebrating a child who is academically ahead for their age or looking at the latest 23-year-old Silicon Valley CEO with admiration and envy, young people doing impressive things has always made headlines.
Television writer and producer Melissa Hunter was ready to change up that narrative! Instead of another 30 Most Impressive Under 30 list, she had something different in mind:
“Instead of 30 Under 3 or NextGen lists,” she wrote in a Tweet, “please profile middle-aged people who just got their big breaks. I want to read about a mother of 2 who published her first novel, a director who released their first studio feature at 47, THAT’S THE LIST WE WANT.”
And that’s the list she got! The internet embraced her request with incredible enthusiasm as inspiring responses began pouring in from people in the 40s, 50s and beyond.
These stories prove that it’s never too late in life to find your passion, achieve your goals and live life to the fullest.
1. Think it’s too late to go back to school? This woman responded to Hunter’s tweet, sharing that she was about to graduate with her doctorate at age 60+!
2. And she’s not alone—another Twitter user responded with a story of incredible academic success achieved at the age of 41.
3. Hunter wanted to hear about a woman publishing a novel later in life, and she found multiple!
Jill Hannah Anderson published two books in her late 50s and is revising her third at age 60. The cherry on top? She also started running at age 45, averaging 1,000 miles a year.
4. Tracey M, a mother of four, released her first full-length book at 45 but didn’t stop there! She decided to start law school a couple years later.
5. Another person shared the way they turned their life around after being released from prison at age 49.
“I went to prison for drugs when I was 46 and got out when I was 49. I stayed clean and started my own online business. Last year I turned 56 and my business broke the $1M sales mark…”
Let’s not forget the stories pouring in from stay-at-home moms who found new passions after years of focusing on family:
6. Anne Tuoh is 60 and “on fire” after discovering a passion for interior design.
“I was a stay at home Mum for years. In my late 40s, I discovered a passion for interior design & won a national TV design show challenge. I now have incredible clients & projects, contribute to national radio, and write a popular magazine column. I’m 60 this year, and on fire!”
7. Amongst the responses, one man used the opportunity to point out that the stories being shared demonstrate the absurdity that young people must have “their moment of greatness” in their 20s.
“The idea that you’ve got five years between 20 and 30 to do everything you’re ever going to do is ridiculous.” He also shared that his first book was being released the same week. Hunter agreed, responding, “The advice is always that it’s a marathon, not a race, and I wanna read about the people who finished that marathon!!”
It’s not all about late-in-life lofty career achievements, however, You might be reading this list as you approach retirement, following a long and rewarding career. We’ve got inspiration for you, too!
Not all the responses had to do with achieving academic or career-focused achievements later in life.
8. For some, later-life success is found in being “a regular human” who isn’t afraid of adventure.
Whether you’re young and fighting to find your own path or more mature in age and feeling like your glory days might have passed you by, we hope these stories light a fire in your soul, today!