If you research the top most successful people in the world, by any standard, you will discover that almost all of them only needed 20 years to get there. That means if you have 20 years ahead of you, you could if you put the right effort in, and had some favor go your way, then you could be ranked as one of the most successful people in the world. To prove my point, lets just take a look at a few.
If Sports is your thing, most people will put Michael Jordan on the top of the GOAT list (greatest of all time). He was born in 1963 and he made the game winning shot at the NCAA finals in 1982. That is 19 years. That was the moment of his stardom. So that was only 19 years. Now he was not the GOAT yet, but you could argue that he was almost there in 1991, when he won his first NBA Championship. Now that was 28 years, however, consider this. MJ was kicked off his high school basketball team his Sophomore year of high school. He did not make the cut. So if you start counting when he was 14, that puts his first NBA championship at 14 years away. However, if you put him at his first retirement date, after destroying Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns winning this third straight finals MVP award. That is 16 years from the time he did not make the cut, to the world’s most dominate basket ball player of all time. Now you will argue, I do not have the raw talent that Michael Jordan had, but what if you only achieved a portion of his accomplishment? Would not that be success? If you think you cannot be successful at sports, just ask yourself, do you have 20 years? If you do, then you could become awesome.
If Business is your thing, then lets look at Jeff Bezos. Largely held as the most successful entrepreneur in the history of modern business. Now that is a lofty standard, most of us would be happy with 1/100th of his success. However, my rule still applied. How much time do you have? At least 20 years? Then you could be as successful as Bezos. He was born in 1964 and he made his first Million in 1997 when he took AMZN public. Now he was a pretty good high school student, we will give him those years. So lets take that 33 years from age 0 to 1997, and subtract the first 13 years when he started High School. There you go, the magic 20 years. From freshman year in high school to 1997, Bezos took Amazon Public. Now, are you telling me that you are not capable? I am giving Bezos his adolescence, you are most likely past that. What is your excuse?
If Music is your thing, look no further than the Beatles. Lennon, McCartney and Harrison started in 1960. They could play music sort of, but they were not blowing people away. McCartney did not even learn to play the piano until 1963, three years after the band got together. They really could not read or much less write music at the time. They had very little musical skills. John Lennon and him started messing around in 1957. That is probably the start to anything serious when it came to music. The Beatles broke up in 1970. So they basically had 13 years to become the most influential people that the music world would ever hear sing a song. Now, you may never become a cultural icon, but you could pick up the guitar and become quite good in 13 – 20 years. What is stopping you?
How about acting? I looked at the top list. Robin Williams dropped out of Julliard and started trying a comedy act that did not go well at first. That was in 1977, ten years later he is winning an Academy Award for Good Morning Vietnam. Go down the list, all of the famous actors have the same story. It takes about 10 to 20 years. Sure luck is involved, time and place and all of that. However, all of them worked hard during that time period. It was not time that beat them.
J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter at age 32 in 1997. She had not written much up until that time. She completed the books 10 years later in 2007. Probably one of the most wildly successful franchises in the history of non-fiction. So Agatha Christy and Shakespeare have more sales then her, but that is about it. That only took 10 years. Now you may not be as wildly successful as an author as J.K. Rowling, but why not 1/100th as successful? You could do that in 10 years.
I could continue, the point is that whatever you have done up to this point is no excuse. Your past is gone, washed away, no longer here. All you have is what is in front of you. Is there something you have always wanted to do? Well put the next 10 – 20 years into and see what happens? Maybe you will be the next G.O.A.T.