hello monday: vol. 7
Hello Monday. The Winter Olympics started last week.
I'm not really a sports person. I don't care about basketball, baseball, football, or soccer. Hockey is only interesting if you're watching it live. So it's pretty abnormal to find me sitting in front of the TV, yelling at the screen or covering my eyes because I'm afraid of what's going to happen next in a sporting event.
It happens for about two weeks once every four years during the Summer Olympics. I quite literally write down the schedule for the events I want to watch in my planner so I don't miss any of them. I will quite literally schedule as much of my life as possible around that event schedule during the Summer Olympics.
Winter Olympics, however, I pretty much care about one thing — figure skating.
The easiest explanation for the sports I watch is I only care about the ones I've actually done over my lifetime — swimming, figure skating, volleyball, gymnastics, and tennis. Oh, and diving, just because it's cool and I always wanted to do it but never did.
Watching figure skating, a pretty common theme is that many of them, the women especially, are quite young — 15 and 16 and 18-year-olds are competing on quite possibly the most prestigious stage in their sport.
Even though I didn't watch the event, the first medal of the Winter Olympics given to an athlete from the United States was given to a 17-year-old.
It's easy to watch events like this and see people who've achieved such incredible success at such a young age and question yourself, your accomplishments, and your worth. Here are these teenagers winning gold medals and representing their country on the international stage and what have you done?
I know it happens to me, and this is a time I'd be especially prone to it.
I'm one year away from 30 and, at this precise moment, living in my parents basement. It's a temporary stop on the way to a new location and a new life and, quite honestly, an opportunity for which I'm grateful, because without it, I wouldn't be able to build and run my business the way I am.
But even in the world of creative entrepreneurship, it's easy to feel like I missed the boat somehow.
A few weeks before I turned 18, I made the decision to not go to any of the four schools I had been accepted to. Instead, I was going to spend what would be the fall of freshman year for many of my friends gallivanting around the US, Canada, and Great Britain singing and dancing for three months.
My reasoning was this — I didn't want to go to any of the schools I'd applied to, I still didn't know what I wanted to major in, and it seemed stupid to spend my parents money at a college I didn't want to be at studying something I wasn't sure I wanted to study. So I waited.
Even once I got to the school I attended and loved, I shifted my major around four different times during my first year. And then decided a semester before I graduated I didn't want a career in the specific concentration I'd chosen.
Over the last six and a half years, I've jumped around from job to job, crossing literally every sector, until last summer when I finally found the business I fully believe I was meant to start.
Meanwhile, there are other creative entrepreneurs who are barely above the legal drinking age, buying houses and traveling the world because they started their business in high school or earlier and are already making six figures or more.
Our culture prizes youth. We're trained to believe that if we haven't figured out our life's passion before we're the age of a typical college graduate, we missed the boat somehow and we're never going to be successful.
Yes, there are fields that favor the young and if you don't discover a passion for it at a young age, your chances of making it in that career field are slim to none. But the truth is, those fields are few and far between, and even then, there's an exception to every rule.
Misty Copeland, one of my favorite ballerinas, once said, "You can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed."
So if, like me, you're spending any amount of time over the next couple of weeks watching athletes half your age competing on the international state and winning and wondering what on earth you've been doing with your own life, stop.
The truth is, I needed the experience I gained throughout college and my six years working in traditional 9-5 jobs to be successful in the business I'm running now. And there are things I needed to learn that took a little while in order for me to steward this business and this life well.
Author C.S. Lewis said, "I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait."
His plans are good, His timing is perfect, His will is sovereign. You haven't missed the boat or lost the opportunity to live a life you're passionate about or discover something you love just because you didn't find it before you turned 20. He'll bring it about in His timing and not a moment sooner. So sit back, enjoy the Olympics, and don't worry. He's got it.