As I begin to review the 34 interviews I’ve completed for my book, 50 over 50, I’m seeing what these incredible women have in common. All of them are willing to try new things. They are curious. They enjoy a good adventure.
And they know how to recover from setbacks. One woman had a terrible attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro for her 40th birthday. So she tried again at 50 – and succeeded. Several others were forced out of jobs, only to find something better.
But what struck me about all of them is that, when presented with new possibilities, they all said, “Why not?” As one woman put it, “if I see an open door and it looks reasonable, I walk through it.”
What do you do when presented with a new option? It’s so easy to over-think the situation. It’s so easy to find myriad reasons to not do something. It’s so easy to come up with dozens of reasons to postpone a decision or convince yourself it will never work. Why not?
Saying “why not?” doesn’t have to be as big a challenge as climbing a mountain. One woman who spent many years doing data entry decided to return to work after a lengthy absence. She saw an opening for a home health aide. She had cared for her mother, but had no paid experience in home care. That didn’t stop her. She said, “why not?” and never looked back. She loves her new career and her clients adore her.
Another women decided she needed to step back and enjoy life more. She said “why not?” to the opportunity to move to Florida and live on her boat. She now has a captain’s license and just might open a sailing school.
A third said “why not?” when her husband suggested that their life would be enriched by owning a few alpaca. She’s now one of the top breeders in the country and is starting to sell alpaca products as well.
Why? is a good question too. I’ll save that for another day. For now, start with “why not?” Say it with a little shrug. Envision yourself having already made the choice to try whatever it is.