I'm a stupid old man in my mid 70s. I've completely wasted my life. What should I do now?

As a writer I find this dilemma interesting. Five years ago I felt like a failure so I decided to just roll the dice on my dreams and pursue them - five years later I’m a professional writer and illustrator in the industry I thought had no use for me.

For 35 years I had joys and fond relationships, but for the last five years I have had actual meaning. I would give up those 35 years for just a moment of where I am now.

1- Do something you’ve always wanted to do and start mapping out a plan. Start small and gradually build on difficulty. I started with “draw something once a week for a month”. The following month I said “draw something and share it with someone each week”. This went on for a year. After five years my art was the hands of Harper Collins and Penguin Random House and in magazines. Agents contacted me and then I went on to write and illustrate for children. Only five years before I thought my life was completely wasted.

2 - Just because you didn’t have kids yourself doesn’t mean you cannot form a valuable relationship now with someone who has had kids and now has grandkids. However I believe that #1 and #2 will work together.

I will recommend a picture book for you that fits your dilemma. Look up Beekle on YouTube. It’s about an imaginary character who never gets imagined by a kid. So taking his own life into his hands he does the unimaginable.

Last thing I will say is this: If you feel you have done nothing with your life then you also have nothing to lose by taking a big risk and living the life you now want. You’ll be surprised at just how much the world embraces someone who does this. Hell, people like you are people I write about and the sort of stories people want to read. Look at your life like that.

/r/JordanPeterson Thread