Success in Later Life


So you’re approaching your mid 20s and it feels like you’re in a rush! Everyone else in your age group is knocking out desirable accomplishments sooner than you are. Friends you went to school with are buying cars, becoming homeowners, getting college degrees, establishing careers and even meeting their future husbands. “When will my time be?” you think to yourself. But seriously, does everything have to be accomplished in your 20s? Here’s a little encouragement: there’s a sea of great and talented famous women who didn’t reach their peak until later adulthood…meaning late 30s and 40s! Take a look below…


In her 20s: Davis spent most of her early 20s attending Julliard School in New York City, where she was a member of the school’s Drama Division. She attended the institution for four years. She was raised in poverty and lived in rodent-infested apartments. But her drive and passions kept her fueled.

At age 43: Davis co-starred in Doubt with Meryl Streep and would be an Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress, followed by a Best Actress title for The Help. By age 47, she finally became a household name, taking over the leading role in How to Get Away With Murder. Soon after, she scored an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series! Ms. Davis here has been planting seeds of acting ever since her childhood when she fell in love with watching movies. She watered those seeds with faith, passion, perseverance, and hard work.

Success quote: “What gets you through life is strength of character and strength of spirit and love.”


In her 20s: Upon college graduation, Vera Wang worked for Vogue Magazine and became a senior fashion editor at the age of 23. She stayed in that field for 15 years. Also during that time, she was an accessories design director at Ralph Lauren.

At age 40: While Wang was becoming frustrated over limited wedding dress designs when planning for her own wedding, she took it upon herself to design wedding gowns and became a world famous wedding dress designer! Looking at Vera Wang, you can see that it’s never too late to find your talent. As long as you’re alive, you still have time. If you really know your niche and stick with it, you will see how far your talents will take you.

Success quote: “Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way.”


In her 20s: Lucy was pursuing modeling and made her first on-screen appearance in the film Roman Scandals. She was also scoring many gigs doing small roles in movies and playing extras. She even did radio in an effort to boost her career. She met her love, Desi Arnaz, in her late 20s! Nothing major just yet, but her big moment was definitely on its way…

At age 40: Cue that famous theme song known the around the world! The very first season of I Love Lucy aired and made a comedic impact on audiences everywhere. Lucille Ball had come a long way from being the shy child in school who was willing to leave a lasting mark, to starring in one of the most famous sitcoms in television history (and one of the most parodied)!

Success quote: “The more things you do, the more you can do.”


In her 20s: Morrison was moving very steadily in her own field teaching English at universities such as Howard and Texas Southern after graduating college. But in her 30s she began her career with books and publication, although she was an editor at Random House.

At age 46: She received national acclaim for her third novel Song of Solomon and won the National Books Critics Award! She went on to write more groundbreaking novels in African American lit and accumulate even more literary awards.

Success quote: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

So don’t let this youth-obsessed generation pressure you into thinking you have to blow up in your 20s. This world will make you think that you need to ‘have it all together’ by 30, but everyone has a unique path. Stay patient and passionate!