On Sunday, I gave a testimony at my church about how waking up early changed my life which I wrote about in The 4-Minute Morning. One of the songs that we later sang as a congregation I’ve heard a million times called This Is Your Life by Switchfoot. I’m sure you’ve heard the song, too.
Although I know the lyrics by heart, it’s one of those songs I’ve gotten so used to that the words just don’t matter that much to me anymore. I can sing them (in the shower with the door locked) without giving them much regard. But sometimes you start to pay attention to things like song lyrics when you find yourself in a situation where the song starts to become meaningful to you again.
As I read the lyrics on the screen, I started paying attention to and thinking about the words…
This is your life
Are you who you want to be?
This is your life
Is it everything you’ve dreamed it would be
When the world was younger
And you had everything to lose?
I think a lot of us live with regret. We had dreams once, maybe when we were younger, but that was a long time ago and we start to tell ourselves that it’s too late and we should stop dreaming.
Please don’t do that.
Because we live in a world where we see the highlight reels on our friend’s Facebook pages.
We see people who are successful, who have “made it,” and we wonder why that can’t be us.
We believe we’ve missed our chance, that the only option left is to settle for a life of mediocrity.
But it’s a lie. And I’ll prove it to you.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job. Instead of giving up on television and going back home to Kosciusko, Mississippi, she used the experience to drive her career forward.
Also at 23, Walt Disney declared bankruptcy after his first business attempt failed. Eight years later, he created Mickey Mouse, a new company, and created a new life for himself in the process.
If anyone ever had an excuse to give up on their dreams, it was those two.
At 24, Stephen King was living in a trailer and working as a janitor.
At 28, JK Rowling was a broke single parent living on welfare.
At 30, Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter.
At 30, Martha Stewart was working as a stockbroker.
At 45, Samuel L. Jackson was trying to get his first breakout movie with Pulp Fiction.
At 51, Morgan Freeman was trying to land his first major movie role with Lean on Me.
Success probably looks a lot different for you. I know it does for me.
But understand that very few people see their “success” right away. And if you give up too soon, you might miss your chance at becoming who you want to be.
Stop believing the lie that everyone who’s successful has never failed or saw success right away.
Stop telling yourself you’re too old to become who you were meant to be.
And start doing something to see your dream become a reality, even if it means waking up earlier.
This is your life. Yesterday is dead and over. The world isn’t getting younger. And you still have everything to lose. But the one thing you don’t want to hold onto any longer is regret.