Do you have any idea what Ronald Regan, Colonel Sanders, Grandma Moses, Jack Cover, Tony Hostetler and Laura Ingalls Wilder all have in common? It could be that they all eat chicken. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. The common link of these people is that they all made their biggest impact after age 50.

The down economy of recent years has put a lot of workers over age 50 in the unenviable position of needing to find a new career. Don’t believe that old cliché about middle-aged dogs and new tricks. Lots of wildly successful people have made big achievements after their fiftieth birthdays.

Ronald Regan was a successful actor. But he made his biggest impact after being elected to his first public office at age 55.  After a landslide victory to become Governor of California, Regan went on to become one of the most popular two-term Presidents in recent years.

Colonel Sanders was no slouch as Harland Sanders, the guy who owned a restaurant and motel in Corbin, KY. But “The Colonel” didn’t become the Kentucky Fried Chicken mogul we know and love until he was 65.

Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) is one of the biggest names in American folk art. Grandma Moses was originally a big fan of embroidery, but once her arthritis grew too painful for her to hold a needle, she decided to give painting a try at 76. She painted for 25 years and eventually fetched more than $10,000 per canvas.

Jack Cover is a name you may not know. But everyone has heard of his invention – the Taser. He worked as a nuclear physicist for many years. He received a patent for his invention at age 54 and when he died at age 88, his device was being used in 45 countries around the world.

Tony Hostetler was a pastor in seven different small churches over a period of 35 years. In his mid 60’s, he joined a team of three couples who started Cape Christian Fellowship. In the last 26 years of his life, his influence helped to build a congregation of over 1500 worshippers.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is known for her beloved children’s book – Little House on the Prairie. Her first book wasn’t published until Laura was 65. She still managed to crank out 12 books in the series.

I’m convinced that some of our very best years are ahead of us once we pass age 50—if we live with intentionality, allow God’s transforming power to shape the mission he has called us to, and make a decision we aren’t going to coast into the grave.

 

QUESTION: What choices are you making to make sure the best is yet to come? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

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