Life begins after 40…before that it is only practise

Well…..what do you think about that?

Can it be true that we need to wait until we reach 40 years of age, before we start living …..fully?

Are the previous years just practise?

From my perspective (being over 40, over 50 actually), my first 40 years were very much a ‘practise run’…..

I learned, made mistakes, lost myself, tried to work out what I really wanted to do, had fun.

Since turning 40…..I’ve learned, made mistakes, lost myself, tried to work out what I really wanted to do, had fun.

So, what’s the difference?


  • I’ve learned more, much more
  • I’ve made many more mistakes
  • I actually (eventually) worked out what I really wanted to do
  • I keep having Fun (because that’s what we are supposed to do)

“So what”, you might be saying. The key difference for me, has been that I have been prepared to learn more & make more mistakes. In earlier years, “I knew too much”, my learning curve tailed off… and I saw ‘mistakes’ as just that.

Now I am aware that ‘learning’ never ceases & that ‘mistakes’ are just another way to learn.

My experiences may be similar to some however we do have our own unique Lives. Working out what you want to do with your Life comes early (and easily) to some. I thought that I had it worked out but circumstances changed for me. Others will continue on their path right thru their lives from an early age.

I had a nagging ‘voice’ inside my head and a “pull” to go in other directions. I won’t bore you with the detail however I did find my true calling. In fact, it had been there all along, only hidden from my immediate view.

It gradually revealed itself at the right time…it just took awhile…and it may for you as well…don’t be disheartened, Life can be mysterious. Which brings me back to the “Life begins @ 40” thing. I mentioned being aware. This took me many years to fully grasp.

And this is the reason why I found “my calling”. Awareness started opening doors. I didn’t have the keys before.

So much happens to us pre 40 that it’s often difficult to have it all soak in…it just happens, whether we know it or not. That was me. Not any more, it’s soaking in now.

Life takes time to Live. We are like maturing wine, getting better as the years roll by. Sure, our earlier years are fantastic. A great experience. We practise lots of stuff. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t. But that’s OK.

It’s what you do with the “rights” and the “wrongs” that will define you… just takes time.

be good to yourselves


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21 thoughts on “Life begins after 40…before that it is only practise

  1. David….I love that you wrote that after 40 you started making more mistakes. Quite frankly, I don’t know if I’ve learned more since I turned 40…it’s just different. And I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. All I know is that in this moment, I feel at peace about I am walking through my day. I feel like I’ve had 5 lives already. When the embers of a passion die, then I know it’s time to go on a ‘dream search’.

    I love what my father once said ‘So much not to know’ 🙂 Fran

    • That’s lovely Fran
      Feeling comfortable in your day & at peace is a terrific place to be. I’m not sure which mistake I’ll make next however I’m hopeful that I will learn from it. Appreciate your support.
      be good to yourself

  2. Well, since I’m SO not yet 40, I can’t really respond. (Can’t you tell?!?) Life is unfolding in so many amazing ways and I am grateful for all my experiences and what they have taught me. Thanks for posting this!

  3. I remember it well David. At eighteen I already ‘knew’ everything…what 18 year old doesn’t? And it was a challenge to be ‘wrong’. As the years progress, like you I’m okay with making mistakes, even, horror, horror, not knowing it all. In fact not knowing it all is a blessing and an opportunity to be a perpetual student, and embrace those mysteries in life. There’s so much under heaven and earth, as Shakespeare said. It’s a wonderful journey and as our perceptions expand and our awareness grows the path becomes ever more exciting.

    Thanks for this David…it’s a thought maker.

    Thanks for the link too David.

    Love Elle

  4. Hi David,

    I feel that after 40, life becomes more manageable. I was a late bloomer, made lots of mistakes and floundered for awhile. But as life went on, things settled into place and life felt good. I went through a number of phases, but I’m in a good place right now. Take care and have a great day!

  5. I had actually found my calling when I was in my 20s. I do have to admit that I was lucky. Unfortunately, the field of this calling had changed drastically in the 1990s and I found that I could no longer handle the changes. Now, I have re-found this purpose in different context and am back to square one learning it.

    Nevertheless, I have found a sense of freedom since I have came 50 (now plus) that I couldn’t find before.

  6. Hi David,

    I loved your post!

    Although I’m not 40, your words and approach to life made me quite excited about the prospect of turning this age.

    The point you made about learning never ceasing reminded me of what my first manager in my first job told me. I was struggling with the work and beating myself up a bit for not getting it. My manager put me straight. He told me I was learning and to keep emphasising how I would always been learning. This really stuck with me, and I’ve turned into a lifelong principle to live by.

  7. Hi David,

    With age, there is growth, at least most of the time. We are all students of life and each day is a day to learn from. Thanks for sharing

  8. I appreciate the outlook you bring to the table — it’s funny, I long thought about the age of 40 as a point at which I’m “supposed to have accomplished” all this stuff, and didn’t consider the growth that might be occurring while I was striving to accomplish those things. However, the growth is really the most valuable part of maturing, isn’t it? I think I’m finally starting to see that.

  9. Pingback: 10 Tips to Find Meaning and Hope During Times of Despair | Shake Off the Grind

  10. Great post Daivd and i do agree with you. When we are young I think one of the problems we face is not being true to ourselves. We listen to others to much. You should do this, you can’t do that it won’t work.

    As we get older we start to decide, hey I am going to be myself and if others don’t like who i am, ok not everyone is going to like me anyway.

    We do learn as we go and the longer we go the more we learn and sort through it and have the wisdom to use what we have learned.

    With age we stop worrying about thing also, we know that with times things work out.

    Thanks again for sharing a post of wisdom.
    Blessings to you,

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