Achieve Your Dreams — At Any Age
It’s Never Too Late to Make a Dream Come True
My response to people who want to achieve a dream (you included) is…
it’s never too late.
Hear me out.
For six years I treated an amazing patient.
Ed was a Vietnam veteran in his early 70s. He was exposed to some devastating chemicals during his term of service. It’s important to note that Ed was also a pacifist, Buddhist by choice. He did not believe in the war he was drafted to participate in.
The chemical exposure left him with major health issues. As he aged, his health rapidly declined.
By the time I met him, he could barely walk. Even so, he remained positive. He spent 24/7 in excruciating pain and rarely complained. Instead, he focused on the positive aspects of life.
But he often spoke of major regrets.
He wished he’d traveled more when he was physically able to and constantly told me not to wait.
More Than One Dream
Even though Ed couldn’t achieve his dream of travel, he had other dreams. We all do. Most people are not limited to one dream. If you are physically or financially unable to follow through on one, focus on another first.
Reach for a dream that is within your grasp. Not something easy, something doable.
That’s what Ed did.
He loved to write poetry, and had amassed a substantial collection. His dream was to publish his poetry in a book before he died. We talked about it a lot. He hired someone to transcribe his words. He tried to hire someone to help him publish it, but no one knew how.
He used to tell me, “If I ever fall and break my hip, that’ll be the end of me.”
Eventually, that’s what happened.
He fell and broke his hip at the height of Covid in 2020 and ended up in a long-term care facility. I knew this was the last chance I had to help him achieve that dream.
I volunteered to format and publish his book of poetry. I’d only formatted and published novels until that point, and I did not know what I was getting myself into. Still, I saw it through. It took me about sixty hours of work, but I got it done and refused payment.
It was the least I could do to give back to a man who had so freely shared buckets of wisdom and positivity with everyone he knew.
A few weeks before his death, I published the book and ordered thirty-five copies to send to his friends and family. Laying in his hospital bed, he thanked me with tears in his eyes, surrounded by his son and sister. A family that truly loved him.
His ultimate dream came true. It took a village, but he never lost sight of making it happen.
Ed is just one of dozens of stories that I carry.
Another is my patient with Huntington’s disease. Decaying and dying in front of my eyes, yet the most joyous person I have ever known. Still traveling as often as possible and running on the beach daily with her dogs.
There’s my eighty-six-year-old father, who travels around the world each year, traveling more than he’s home. And he goes to amazing places like Burma, Antarctica, the Galapagos and India.
And my mother who climbed to the top of Machu Picchu at seventy-five years old.
This is why I believe, encourage and scream from the rooftops — you’re never too old (or infirm) to achieve your dreams. If you can dream it, you can do it. Come, live a life without regrets.