You Are Never Too Old To Accomplish Great Things

100-year-old Fauja Singh completes marathonDo you think that after a certain age you are no longer capable of major achievements?

If so, I disagree.

People over 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100, are accomplishing incredible things.

Nobel Prizes

You are probably familiar with the prestigious Nobel Prizes which recognize excellence in the sciences and in working for peace.

Did you know that there have been Nobel Laureates in theirs 80s and 90s?

  • In 2002, 88-year-old Raymond Davis Jr. received a Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • 85-year-old John B. Fenn was a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2002.
  • Peyton Rous, when he was 87, received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Doris Lessing, while 88 years old, was a Nobel Laureate in Literature in 2007.
  • Joseph Rotblat was honored for his work in promoting peace in 1995, when he was 87.
  • And Leonid Hurwicz received a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2007. He was 90 when the prize was awarded!

Business And Finance

How about business and finance? Are people over 50, 60, 70 and 80 successful in business?

Of course.

The list of the 10 wealthiest individuals in the United States in 2011 included 55-year-old Bill Gates (of Microsoft, the youngest of the group), 81-year-old Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway) and 67-year-old Larry Ellison (of Oracle).

The list also included 81-year-old George Soros, a hedge fund manager, and 79-year-old Sheldon Adelson who owns casinos, mostly in Las Vegas.

And they are certainly not the only seniors who are successful in business.

As an example, I recently heard about Jerome Oxman who started Oxman’s Surplus back in 1961 and, at 96, is still running his business in Santa Fe Springs, California. In fact, as I write this, he’s in the process of expanding.

You Are Never Too Old To Accomplish Great Things

Physical Achievements

What about physical accomplishments? Are people over 50 physically “over the hill?”


Have you heard of 100-year-old Fauja Singh, the first centenarian to complete a marathon? Singh didn’t even take up competitive running until he was 89! Not only did he complete a marathon; but, just a few days before running the marathon in October, 2011, he also set 8 more running records at shorter distances!

At 62, endurance swimmer Diana Nyad made a valiant attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida through shark infested waters. She swam about 60 miles before she was forced to give up her attempt . . . for now.

Want more examples?

Bill Anderson, at 78, bicycled from San Diego to Jacksonville. George Brunstad swam the English Chanel at 70. Lucille Borgen won a water skiing championship on her 91st birthday.

And the list goes on . . . and on.

No, age is not a reason to forego your dreams. It’s never too late to become the person you always dreamed of being. Actress Mae West said it well when she said: “You’re never too old to become younger.”

With life spans increasing, standards of living improving and health care advancing, there is no doubt that more and more incredible things will be done by people whose odometers have gone around more than once.

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