50 and Above: Success is in Your Own Terms

There’s an ageist notion circulating on the internet regarding “success,” and I want to address one particular example: the assertion that “building a house at 50 is not an achievement.”

Consider this carefully: do you agree? How do you define “achievement”?

In the statement above, achievement is narrowly equated with owning a house at a specific age—50 years old, typically associated with retirement or reaching senior status. It’s as if by 50, your life is presumed concluded; you’re deemed unsuccessful if you haven’t amassed material possessions, fame, or financial security, as dictated by the rat race culture.

Yet, let’s remember that everyone’s life journey is unique. You can’t superimpose your path onto others. Your experiences and choices shape your narrative. Some may willingly set aside their aspirations to support loved ones in fulfilling theirs. Parents, aunts, uncles—making sacrifices for their children’s education, for instance, while their own dreams take a backseat.

At times, decisions may seem unwise to outsiders but are deemed necessary by those making them. They make “unwise” decisions within the limitations they face. Whether the outcomes are favorable or not, what matters is the sincerity behind those choices.

I personally disdain influencers who propagate such generalizing and patronizing sentiments, imposing their narrow definition of success onto others. It’s not arduous to pause and appreciate the diverse journeys of others. If you’ve led a straightforward life, commendable. But deviation from that path doesn’t diminish one’s achievements.

Age is just a number; it carries no weight. The real weight is in impacts. The truth is that you can do it any age. Get up and be willing to leave a mark.

Israelmore Ayivor, Author

Assisting a family member through school at the expense of delaying your own homeownership is an achievement. Providing care for aging parents instead of pursuing personal travel plans is an achievement. Reaching the age of 50 and beyond, enriched with life’s lessons—whether joyous or painful—is an achievement.

Repenting, forgiving, loving, empathizing, crying, smiling—each is an achievement. Grieving and healing afterward are achievements.

Being able to wake up, stand up, take a step, breath, speak, hear, or eat, especially for physically challenged people are huge achievements.

The list is endless.

It’s about how we respond to the consequences of our choices that truly matters, defining our success or lack thereof. To dismiss someone’s journey without understanding the challenges faced over half a century on this tumultuous earth is undeniably judgmental.

No earthly possession—be it a house, a job, savings, frequent flyer miles, perfect relationships, or a flawless family—can quantify a person’s worth. So, how do we measure one’s value? Perhaps we shouldn’t measure at all.

A person imbued with spirit defies quantification, eluding attempts to assess or gauge them through the lens of human limitations and imperfections. Not fitting within the standards of a personality-oriented society does not constitute failure. Each time we make choices, we undertake risks on the path to success.”

Be unstoppable even at 50 and beyond!

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