Greatness 50+ Story – Les Brown

LesBrown-MotivationalSpeakerLes Brown’s greatness started well before he turned 50, but he posted the following on his Facebook page around his 69th birthday (Feb.2013) and it is very applicable to anyone striving for Greatness After 50 ….

It’s been said…Don’t complain about getting older…it’s a privilege denied to many. Today is my birthday, and I’m celebrating the gift of life. I’m grateful for life, love, my family, children, grandchildren, friends, and for the ability to use my voice to make a difference in the lives of others.

As a heart disease and two-time prostate cancer conquerer, I want to make God proud that he gave me more time to be on this planet. As I start another year, I know that there is a higher calling on my life… to manifest the next extraordinary version of myself, and to allow myself to be used in a much greater way as an instrument of hope and inspiration.

Thank you for helping me to stand in my dream. Join me by answering the call to be a voice of positive change ~ right where you are. I believe that your voice can be used to tell stories of hope. Your life can inspire others to change their consciousness, and to live from their GREATNESS. Always remember…you have something special…you have GREATNESS within you!

~ Les Brown

If you would like to visit the Les Brown Facebook page, check it out at …

If you have a “Les Brown Story of Motivation” or something related to Les’ words above, please leave a comment below !  We would love to hear about it.

Posted in After 50, Greatness, Motivation, Public Speaking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are you “one of THOSE people”?

The New Racism
Old Folks fight against Age Prejudice= Age Prejudice

It is very easy to put people into categories. Subconsciously it is probably so we don’t have to think as much and to make our lives easier by not considering all the complexities of life. But how about when you are on the receiving end of prejudice?

Seth Godin (marketing genius & author of Purple Cow among other books) had an interesting article on his blog about “Those People” and how they are treated based on how they look or where they come from.

… “Well, the bad news,” she said, “is that we have to let everyone in [to her Community College]. And the truth is, many of these kids just can’t be the leaders you’re describing, can’t make art. We need people to do manual work, and it’s those people.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless, then heartbroken. All I could think of was these young adults, trusting this woman to lead them, teach them, inspire them and push them, and instead being turned into ‘those people.’

How often are you turned into
just one of “Those old people”?

Older people [often] have a distinctive “look” that is easy to identify.  Just like the color of someone’s skin, the number of wrinkles on your face (or other body parts) or the color of your hair (or lack thereof) is considered a public indicator of your age.  Thank goodness we are not like trees… you don’t have to cut us down and count the rings to tell how old we are.

The bad news…

Old people are often stereotyped as overweight, weak, slow (both physically and sometimes mentally), wrinkled, thinning hair and with limited vitality or energy.  How do you think that stereotype got started?  Probably because there is some truth to it… but there does not have to be.

The good news…

We have the opportunity to prove them wrong when they say, “You can’t do that.  You are OLD.”  With today’s advances in exercise technology, nutrition and healthcare there is no reason that someone over 50, or even over 80, should not have as much energy, vitality and overall health as someone in their 20’s.  To be perfectly honest, there are a large number of 20 or 30 year olds who are out of shape due to video games, poor eating habits and nearly no exercise so it isn’t hard to be in better shape than a 20 year old.  The bar is set pretty low in many cases.

How about you?

What has been your experience with age prejudice?  What have you done to prove the stereotypes wrong?  We all know that just complaining about it won’t make it better (so no whining in the comments below).  We have to set a better example for what it means to be over 50… or over 70.  We have a world of experience but we can’t lose our thirst for knowledge.  It is our quest for new ideas, new experiences and new challenges that keeps us young and energized.

The choice is yours.

When someone says that you are one of “those people” are they going to be referring to the stereotypical old fart waiting to die or the new breed of people over 50 who are squeezing every last drop out of life?  The choice is yours.

Posted in After 50, Age Prejudice | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Higher Education over 50

Amazing story shows
The Power of
Education over 50Education over 50

If you have considered going back to school after turning 50, then this story of a lady who impresses her (much younger) fellow students will definitely inspire you to look into getting more education over 50 !

The story & image was found via Facebook (posted by Jessica Simmons). If you know the full name of the lady in the story, please leave it in the comments. We would love to give credit where it is due!

I absolutely love this story……..

“An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.
As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”

Link to part 2 of Rose’s story… [ Education over 50 ]

Posted in After 50, Education, Public Speaking, Youth Leadership | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Education over 50 – part 2

Continuation of Rose’s story
Education over 50of Education over 50…

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!There is a huge difference between growing
older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.
If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.
Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets.
The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died
peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s
never too late to be all you can possibly be .When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.”

Don’t you agree that this 87 year old lady showed that your mind can still be sharp and there is real value in getting an Education over 50.  (Link to Part 1 of the story)

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think about this story !


Posted in After 50, Education, Public Speaking, Youth Leadership | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The 10K Hour Hurdle

Dilbert-Greatness-10K-1What’s standing between you & Greatness?

The Dilbert cartoon (shown here) got me thinking about “The 10K Hour Hurdle” (or “The 10K Hour Rule” as some people describe it) and how it applies to those of us who are chasing Greatness after 50.

Dilbert-Greatness-10K-2Have you read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”?  That was where I was first exposed to the “10,000 Hour” concept.  This is how wikipedia describes it…

A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the “10,000-Hour Rule”, based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using Dilbert-Greatness10K-3the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples.[3] The Beatles performed live inHamburgGermany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the

10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes Beatles’ biographer Philip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'”[3] Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.[3]

In Outliers, Gladwell interviews Gates, who says that unique access to a computer at a time when they were not commonplace helped him succeed. Without that access, Gladwell states that Gates would still be “a highly intelligent, driven, charming person and a successful professional”, but that he might not be worth US$50 billion.[3] Gladwell explains that

reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post.[2]

Who has 10K hours?

That is an excellent question.As you get older, you realize that you might not have 40 or 50 (or even 10-20 years) left in your life (unless you are like me and plan to live forever).  Now add on that the idea of committing 10,000 hours (10K hours) to one activity or goal and you might be asking yourself if it is worth it.

If you are going to commit yourself to Greatness After 50, it will take quite a bit of work and you don’t want to go down the wrong road.  So, think carefully… but don’t wait too long or life will pass you by !

Let’s get specific.

If you work on something for 40 hours a week, that means it would take you about 5 years to get to 10K hours (assuming 2 weeks off for vacation) … but who is really going to have the time to work on something full time for 5 years?   Hmmm, maybe someone who is RETIRED?

If you are retired with a purpose, 5 years could go by in a flash and you could, in theory, become world-class in your chosen activity.  At the very least, you would likely become very good at it.

What are you willing to invest 10K hours toward accomplishing?

Every day you wait is one day lost.  Start now!

Greatness awaits !


Posted in After 50, Goals, Greatness | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Pregnancy over 50

Baby after 50Baby, Are you serious?

To be perfectly honest, I did not expect to write an article about “Pregnancy over 50 years of age” as part of the Greatness After 50 website but when I started doing research into what is possible for people over 50 years old (or 50 years young, depending on your point of view) I immediately came across a wikipedia page about Pregnancy over age 50.

It turns out that it can happen.  There are potential complications for a baby born to older parents but it is certainly possible.

This got me thinking …

If doing an Ironman triathlon which can take as much as 17 hours could be considered “great” then why not creating a new life, supporting it and nourishing it until it leaves the nest.  Granted, if your new life were a bird it would leave the next a little quicker than most kids, but still, many people consider having a child their greatest accomplishment.

Having said that, I also believe that if you are counting on your kid to make YOU great then there is something wrong with that picture.  The more likely scenario?  The kid looks to his kid to make HIM great… and the cycle continues without anyone stepping up, raising the bar and doing something great.

The moral of the story?

Don’t count on the act of conception to be your legacy.
[Granted, you have had over 50 years of practice… but that is another article all together.]

While some parents achieve true greatness (even before 50), the fact that you become a parent does not immediately define greatness.  Like anything worthwhile you will have to work at it if you are going to be great.

If anything, your true legacy for your children is the example you set for them and the things you accomplish, all of which could influence your descendants for generations.

How you treat your family can also have a strong influence on their lives … either positively or negatively… so be careful where you look for greatness.  If you are trying to see a glimpse your potential greatness in the eyes of someone, don’t count on your family.  The eyes you need to look into are the ones in a mirror.

Pregnancy over 50 So, let me ask you….

Are you going to run out now and have a kid?

Inquiring grandparents want to know !


Posted in After 50, Family, Physical Activities | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

AARP Connection

AARP-logo(a.k.a. “Our peeps”!)

A website dedicated to greatness in people over 50 would be remiss if we did not acknowledge a certain organization out there … namely, the AARP or American Association of Retired People.  According to their website,, they are “a membership organization leading positive social change and delivering value to people age 50 and over through information, advocacy and service.

Many people under 50 (those young whipper-snappers), think that AARP membership means that someone is “over the hill” or, to put it a little more politically correct, “not socially or culturally relevant”.  I know that when I was 30 or 40, I never thought I would look forward to getting mail from the AARP suggesting I join their organization.

Why join AARP?


Everyone has their own reason.  Perhaps you joined because of the fact that AARP fights for “the older folks”  (aka “everyone who makes it past 50) or because of the publications they put out. Founder Dave Wheeler joined for purely financial reasons.  “I was about to go on a business trip to the Detroit area when I got a membership offer in the mail.  I was kind of surprised to get it since I had not yet turned 50 even though I would later that month.  When I opened the offer and read about the discounts that are available at hotels and other travel services, I immediately looked into how much a membership might save me on my upcoming business trip.  It turned out that with the business trip savings I got from joining AARP, I was able pay for multiple years of membership.  It is one of those “little known secrets” that you learn as you get older!”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 37 million members.  They serve people over 50 and help improve independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to their members and society as a whole.  Something I did not realize was that AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.

Should you join AARP?

The choice is up to you (assuming you are over 50 years of age) but we recommend at least investigating the advantages to see if it is worthwhile for you and your family.  While the demographics of this website and AARP clearly overlap, we are in no way affiliated with them (aside from the fact that the website’s founder/owner is a member).  Maybe affiliated is not the right word.  We are not paid by AARP and if they ever offer to subsidize this website we will let you, our website visitors, know.  In other words, we strive to remain unbiased when it comes to outside organizations such as the AARP.  Like we said, “The Choice is yours.”

Got any comments on AARP?

Please leave a note below to tell us what you think about the AARP and, more importantly, how the organization might figure into your plans for greatness after 50 !


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am over 50. I’m not dead.

So, what happens “after 50”? Founder, Dave Wheeler says, “For some people the “big moment of reflection” comes when they turn 30 or 40.  For me, it was when I turned 50.  I looked at my life and started to wonder, ‘What’s left after 50?  Have I achieved everything I wanted for my life?'”

Why start this website?

Dave adds, “Too many people ‘retire from life’ after the age of 50.  Sometimes it is when their spouse passes away or their kids move away or when they no longer have a job to go to every day, but this disconnection with life always means the beginning of the end.  I don’t want that for you.  I especially don’t want that for ME !  I’ve seen too many people fall into a rut that turns into a grave.”

This site will inspire you to set goals that might take 10 or 20 or 30 years to complete… even if the doctors or your relatives tell you that “statistically speaking” you won’t be around for 10 or 20 or 30 more years.  To heck with statistics … the average lifespan is based on loads of people who died in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s… so why not “move the number” and plan to live to 100 or more? is dedicated to those individuals who inspire their fellow [potential] AARP members (i.e. over 50 years old) while showing “those kids” under 50 that there is still lots of things left to do.

Life is for living and greatness can be achieved after 50!


Posted in After 50, Goals, Motivation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment