When the results from Abbott's Ensure Dreams Survey first came out in 2017, people couldn't believe their eyes — a whopping 65 percent of parents older than 50 years claimed to have unfulfilled dreams, and 97 percent of them agreed that insufficient physical strength was the reason for it. What's more, a vast majority of these parents claimed to have put their own dreams on hold to make their children's dreams come true.
We believe that it's never too late to turn your life around, so we set out in search of inspiring people to renew your faith in the phrase "age is just a number." Some people say that the 50s are the new 30s, and these invigorating souls prove it. Their stories will inspire you to chase your dreams and step out of your comfort zone once in a while, too.
The Man on a Mission
Live your life without limits. That's what Ramanan Murthy, 53, believes will keep you moving forward in life. A one-time techie, Ramanan realised his passion when he was at his lowest point, health-wise. He started practising yoga at 46 when he weighed around 100-odd kilos. Today, seven years and 30 kilos down, he's a certified yoga instructor looking to change the way people view and treat their bodies.
"I lived in a comfort zone for years, eating junk, working late hours, finding a hundred reasons not to exercise. I could see the toll it was taking on me and my family, so I had to change things. Reinventing myself got me out of my safe zone and helped me take charge of my future," says Ramanan. "My 30s was all about building my career and providing for my family. My 40s was spent clinging to my 30s. My 50s are all about me. I've found a sense of empowerment and acceptance at 50 that I wouldn't give up for anything."
Since he began his life-altering journey, Ramanan has tried to do things he has never done before. The man has also taught himself to play the djembe and, no surprise, he's great at it! Ramanan also no longer associates with the term middle-aged. "I may be in my 50s, but I'm in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. I've never felt better. I'm no uncle," he says jokingly.
The Rallying Spirit
Daphne John, 48, is a touch above the ordinary. She does spend her weeks working long hours and running errands, but she has a new-found hobby that's quite adventurous. Daphne is a part-time teacher and part-time rally driver. She took to rally driving two years ago when she was introduced to it by a friend, and she's been racing every chance she gets.
When asked how she does it all, Daphne said, "My life was spent working and taking care of my son. Both are things I enjoy doing, but I didn't have any hobbies. I hardly went out. I was just working to pay the bills. I didn't feel old, but I was living an old lady's life. I had to get out there for myself and my son. I had to teach him to chase his dreams by example. Racing gave me a second lease on life, and I'm looking forward to dive into the big 5-0 with this newfound energy."
Uma Rao, 54, is many things — a banker, cancer survivor, beloved grandmother and now full-time globetrotter. She recently quit her job of 30 years to travel the world and she's never been happier. With 12 countries ticked off her bucket-list and hundreds more to go, this braveheart is a true inspiration.
"All these years, my husband and I were saving for our children. Now that our children are old enough, we can finally spend our money on a well-deserved break. And by break, I mean, the next 30 years of our life," she said. "Cancer taught me what was really important: my family and my life. After I recovered, I didn't want to spend another minute behind a desk. They say you are a sum of your experiences, and I wanted my life to add up to something. Travelling has not just taught me about the world but also about myself. I'm a freer, stronger, happier me, and I'm loving it."
No matter where you are in life, let these stories remind you to dream, and then go out and make it happen. As Mark Twain once said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
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