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Excerpted from It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now: How to Create Your Second Life After 40 by Barbara Sher. Copyright © 1998 by Barbara Sher. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"The era you're entering is so different from your first forty years it's completely justifiable to call it your second life."

Barbara Sher, It's Only Too Late If 
You Don't Start Now
, Part 1

How would you like to wake up tomorrow feeling young and fearless, full of creative energy, unworried about anyone else's opinions, knowing exactly what you want to do with your life, and having the unswerving intention of doing it?

I know that sounds like pie in the sky, especially to someone who's entering midlife. To you the future looks all downhill. Young again? You figure you'll be lucky to grow old as slowly as possible, right? The direction life takes after forty is so obvious that you can't understand why we're even discussing it.

You're not the only person your age who sees it that way. I see that same certainty on the face of every newcomer to the middle years.

"These are the facts. The party's over. There were dreams I had, but it's too late for them now. I have a few years of health, and then I have to be prepared for the worst. Time to face up to the grim news: I will never be young again."

Does that sound pretty close to what you're thinking?

You're in for a surprise.

You're turning a big corner all right, and walking down a new street. As a matter of fact, this is one of life's most significant turns. But the minute you step around that corner what you're going to see will astonish you.

You're not heading for any kind of decline. In fact, you're about to embark on an amazing new beginning. The era you're entering is so different from your first forty years it's completely justifiable to call it your second life.

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