The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car... a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little - Ben Sweetland

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Life begins at forty!

We are continually bombarded by images of youth and success and it seems to me that we are often beguiled by these images into believing that success is for the young - that if, by a certain age, we have not achieved a certain level of achievement, that we have essentially failed and are doomed to a life of mediocrity. Some successful people made it when they were young, but I contend that success can and does happen at any age. In fact, success coming early in life is the exception, not the rule.

Often, when success comes early, it just causes damage to the individual - look at recent news involving Briney Spears and Paris Hilton, look at the lives of Kurt Cobain and countless other young 'stars.' In Hong Kong everyone is taking about Edison Chen and his sex tapes.

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells us that 'seldom does any individual enter upon highly creative effort in any field of endeavor before the age of forty' and that they 'do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of fifty.'

When I look back over my own life, I think money and success would have ruined me at a young age - I wasn't ready for it and I wouldn't have known what to do with it. By moving quietly through life, slowly accumulating experiences and learning along the way, I have reached a point where I can freely manifest these things in my life and am able to handle them. In short, I am wiser now. According to Napoleon Hill, we should approach the age 40-60 with hope and eager anticipation since this is the most productive time of life. Many of the successful people Hill interviewed had not even started on the road to success before the age of 40. Abraham Lincoln said 'If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.'

Success is a good thing, and we should seek to manifest it in our lives. But we should also remember that everything has its season - there is a time of preparation, a time of harvesting and a time of leaving fallow. This is the nature of things. There is an old saying that goes something like this: When the nut is ripe, just a light tap will open it. Before it is ready, you need a hammer, and the fruit inside is bitter anyway.

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