Have you ever thought of re-inventing yourself and changing careers?

Have you ever wanted to go back to school, start doing something new, write a book, or pursue a career aspiration–but felt like you were too old to do it?

I had the pleasure of having lunch with a 95-year old man today who is in the process of finishing his first book. In his words, the book is a “practical guide to career reinvention and success.” (Yes, he is really 95.)

He should know a thing or two about the topic. After several different careers as an air force pilot, a corporate manager in a large company, a loan officer, and various other successful endeavors, he decided to go to law school at age 51 and begin a lucrative law practice at age 54. Now, at age 95, he is adding “author” to his career history. His story and energy is enough to put your excuses to shame.

Of course, I wanted to know what we all would want to know—what did he attribute his success to?

How did he find the courage to start over and become a lawyer at age 54?

What were the “secrets” to this career reinvention trail he seemed to blaze so effortlessly, and without hesitation, all while enjoying his married life and raising a family?

His answer was simple—as all “secrets” seem to be. He was adamant as he outlined the two attributes you need for career reinvention success.

“You have to have ambition,” he answered emphatically.

“Ambition to do what you set out to do—which means you go out and do it until you succeed–no matter what.”

And without pause, he raised his finger fervently.

“And the most important thing is self-confidence. You have to really believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it, and never doubt that fact.”

I looked at him as if waiting for something else, perhaps more details or something more complicated.

“There will be more in my book—but those are the two things that made me successful. They are the two things you have to have…”

There it was. Simple career reinvention secrets from a 95 year old master at career reinvention and a soon to be author.

It made me think that somehow we want it to be more complex that.

We want to be able to rationalize and make excuses for why we don’t have the amount of ambition and self-confidence it takes to make the things we really want to materialize into reality.

We want something to point to that will allow us to save face with our choice to stay in and live in our comfort zones, rather than put in all the sweat and hard work that it takes to reinvent ourselves.

If you didn’t think you were too old to do it, or too whatever your excuse is, how would you reinvent yourself?

What would you do now if you had enough ambition and self-confidence to believe you wouldn’t fail?

I hope my new 95-year old friend and soon-to-be author inspires you with his words and example. Let him serve as a reminder that who you decide to be and what you decide to do in this lifetime is entirely up to you.




And if you’re serious about reinvention—check out my new program to help you do it.

Soul Search Sessions.