You Control Your Destiny Even As You Age

As the pandemic left me alone and all my plans in life had to change it didn’t dampen my spirits as I used my thoughts to my advantage and cherished my aging self alone

Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.
5 min readJul 25, 2021

Your Present Is Your Present So Enjoy Unwrapping It

When I was younger I was lied to.

Older and wiser people than me kept saying that:

“Life begins at forty!”

Photo by Conor Luddy on Unsplash

I believed it because I thought forty was a lifetime away and I was trying to muddle my way through my daily problems and figure out how to get out of school early every day without any homework.

That was a big stress to me at the time.

But the older people didn’t seem stressed when they mentioned how life was going to take off at forty. I immediately thought that meant because I was decades away from the big age then my life would be boring and challenging until I got there.

So I got on with things.

Because I was the type of child who didn’t take things that were told to me too seriously. Instead, I was pretty confident in my shoes and my future. I knew I`d be able to dictate my happiness and not wait until I was forty for life to begin.

Anyways at the time, it was miles away, decades off.

And for those next few decades, I worked hard at what I needed to do to progress in life but I also enjoyed myself. The main enjoyment came from the work I did. Because in general, I worked in areas I wanted to and loved learning as I went along.

And I knew by the time I got to forty I`d be the expert in what I wanted to achieve.

In my personal life, I tried to keep it joyous.

After all, why stress the small stuff?

Life will throw things at you and you have to react as best you can. Not everything will be perfect. Rather challenges will come about but you need to meet them with what you know and use your best ability to get through things to come out the other side with greater wisdom.

And I think for the most part I did that.

Then as I was approaching my 40th birthday the old saying that my elders told to me when I was a child came back ringing to mind.

I welcomed it this time with excitement.

“This is great!”

I thought.

“I`m heading into a new decade in life and there’s a famous saying associated with it being a positive one!”

I was looking forward to how things would work out. After all I had big plans. Plans I had made years in advance of this time and now it was time to unfold them.

Then I hit 40.


Photo by Justin Heap on Unsplash

To be honest it was just like every other birthday. There was nothing different in my feelings. The childish part of me waited for life to suddenly lay out its red carpet and give me loads of opportunities I wasn’t expecting but that never happened. And I didn’t mind.

After all, I`d always believed you make your luck in life, and being forty wasn’t going to change that.

Then one weekend immediately after my birthday I went for a night out. When I came in later on I switched on the late-night television and flicked through the channels. There I noticed many Asian people with face masks on and the news reporter spoke about how a deadly air-borne virus was making people very sick and even resulting in deaths.

The thought immediately came to mind that:

“I wonder if this virus going to dictate the next decade of my life?”

This was a very unusual thought for me to become aware of. Because I was never one to let outside forces dictate what I knew I could do. So I immediately disregarded it and put it down to my being tired after a long day and went to bed right after.

Over the next couple of weeks, that story from the news became bigger and bigger and the air-born virus spread further and further across the world.

It was known as Covid-19.

And once lockdown hit for the first time in my life I recalled the initial question I asked myself as I watched the news late that weekend night.

So I used that to motivate myself and turned it around in my mind. As billions in the world began complaining about lockdown I enjoyed it. I realized the alone time that I had.

Photo by Taras Chernus on Unsplash

Because life is all about what you do with the thoughts in your head.

And when you`re alone you are forced to address them as there is no one else around to distract or disturb you.

And now almost two years after when I first saw those Asian people wearing masks on the news late at night I am happy with how I reacted. Although I`m well into my forties I know I`ve taken the positives of what that monumental age brings and used it to my advantage.

So I`m content with how things worked out because I dictated my present no matter what or who was going on in the world around me.

After all, life doesn’t begin at forty, it’s happening for your right now.

So go out and live it to its fullest!

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Dr. Conor Hogan Ph.D.

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