What to Do When You’re Over 40 and Still Don’t Know What Your Calling Is…

Kassandra Vaughn
6 min readJul 10, 2018

When I was 16, I had life all figured out.

I would graduate from college at 20, medical school at 24, be married at 25, have my first baby by 26, finish residency as an Ob/Gyn by 28, and buy a multi-million dollar house by 30.

And, in my then 16 year old brain, my assumption was a simple one:

I’d get to the pinnacle of my life by 25.

Dismiss the fact that the above medical school/marriage/babies timeline exceeded 25… and forget about ‘life happening’ which, at 16, I expected that everything in life was going to go exactly according to plan.

Fast forward to today… I’m 40 and life didn’t go according to plan.

When I got to college at 16, I hated science, the sight of blood, had no desire to be stuck in a hospital or medical office, and became a wife and mom by the age of 19.

No, life didn’t follow that 16 year old ‘plan.’

It went WAY better…

I didn’t spend 12+ years creating a professional life I didn’t want, living out my mother’s dream of having a ‘doctor in the family.’ I didn’t miss out on my window to have babies at a young age. By the time I was 26, I’d been through 4 years of secondary infertility and had my 3rd child… Can you imagine the infertility I would’ve dealt with in my 30s if I’d waited until then to start having babies? I got my MBA by 22, became a professor at 22, spent time as an actress, screenwriter, producer, life coach and now have a business that I love and write books about subjects I feel called to write about (www.overcomingfearbooks.com).

Now… life hasn’t been perfect. I’ve had my share of drama, problems, divorces (yes, two), foreclosures, and custody battles.

No, life didn’t go according to plan.

Yes, my 16 year old self could not have imagined how strong life would require me to be.

But here’s where I’m going with this.

At 40, I FINALLY know what my life’s calling is… and it needed to take until 40 for me to figure out. More than that, it took every single life experience I’ve ever had to get me as crystal clear about my calling as I am right now.

It also took me every life experience I’ve ever had to get me to the place where I’m absolutely unapologetic about not settling for less.

So if you’re over 40 and you’re still asking yourself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Good! That’s exactly the best spot to be in.

Why?

Because you’re finally wise enough, strong enough, and in touch with your core desires enough to make major life decisions that will actually move you into the life you REALLY want.

You couldn’t do that in your 20s. You were too busy trying to ‘make it.’

You couldn’t do that in your 30s. You were too busy trying to ‘prove yourself.’

And some of us won’t do it our 40s. We’re took busy trying to get to the place we thought we should be by now.

The reality of life is this:

When you get beyond 40, you start to feel your mortality.

You start to pay attention to the quiet whispers of your soul. You can no longer pretend like you have forever to live. You can no longer deny the areas in your life that are making you absolutely miserable. And something in you (I like to call it your Inner Badass) is saying: Enough already! Get out there and do what you were born to do!

No, 40+ is the golden era of our lives.

Forget about a society that worships youth. We’ve all been young and dumb and we know how much time we wasted.

Forget about a family who thinks you’re ‘washed up.’ Most people hit their pinnacles of success AFTER 40. You can get to where you’re meant to be, whether you’re 40, 50, or 70.

You’ve got enough life to go ALL IN and achieve your dreams.

Forget about continuing to make the same mistakes and blaming other people. You are way too grown for that. Now, when you screw up, you’ll know that it’s ALL YOU and not at all about ‘them’ so the blame game is of no use.

So let’s say you’re over 40 and you’re tired of wasting time and life.

What do you do now?

I’ll break it down into 5 steps:

Step #1: Ask and answer three powerful questions.

Powerful questions lead to powerful answers.

1. In 10 years, what do I want my life to look like?

2. Why do I want that life?

3. What am I willing to change today to arrive at that life in 10 years?

Step #2: Pick a calling. Any calling.

People waste DECADES trying to figure out their ‘purpose.’
Let me help you out: you’ve got many more than one and much less lifetime to complete all of them… so quit worrying about which one is the ‘right’ one. None of them are ‘the one’ and all of them are meant for you. Pick one and give 100% to it UNTIL you get there.

It doesn’t matter what you pick. Let me say that again. It doesn’t matter what you pick.

Pick something and stick to it.

Step #3: Stop waiting.

You’re over 40. Even before 40, not one single day was promised to you. You can guarantee that, at this point, you aren’t promised a single extra moment. Life changes in a heartbeat. You know that. So stop acting like you have years to figure this out or time to wait for ‘the right time.’ There will never be a right time.

You can start whatever you want today.

Your life is YOURS today.

Your happiness is important today.

Tie none of your joy, happiness, and success to anything material or in the future that you’re ‘waiting’ for. Nothing tomorrow is guaranteed. Live fully today.

Step #4: Get your daily action from the ‘should’ to the ‘must’ energy level.

Tony Robbins said it best “You don’t get your ‘shoulds.’ You get your ‘musts.’

Whether it’s your health, your weight, going back to school or building a business, if it’s a ‘should’ in your life, you won’t follow through.

Whatever the big dream entails, every single day, you have to find a way to make it a MUST… and a must shows up in action with the firm belief that “I’m not stopping UNTIL this gets done.” Live every day like that and see how quickly your life transforms…

Step #5: Talk to your 20-year-from-now-Self on a DAILY basis.

Your 20-year-from-now-Self is within you. That Self knows what it took to get to that best version of you. Spend at least five minutes every single day visualizing and asking that version of You questions like:

Am I on the right track?

How do I need to look at this?

What move should I make next?

What did you do in this situation?

Your 20-year-from-now-Self knows the way. Spend time with yourself, ask questions, and listen to the answers…

At the end of the day, there’s no reason to feel bad about being older and ‘not there yet.’ Forget feeling any level of shame or guilt about the time that has passed. It’s gone and you’re not getting it back.

What you do have right now is WAY more important than anything that’s gone. You have YOU… And your life, if you focus on taking daily massive action and committing to staying the course UNTIL, can look totally different in 12 months… TOTALLY different…

Stop wasting time. Start living your REAL life.

You hold the keys to every dream you have. Open the door…

It all boils down to a decision and consistent, persistent action.

Get moving…

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Kassandra Vaughn

* Mindset Coach | Author | Soon-to-be Therapist * On a mission to help women 40 and above rebuild their self-worth & reclaim their power.