Reinvent Yourself at Any Age

Reinvent Yourself at Any Age“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out. “  ~ Warren G. Bennis


Reinvent Yourself at Any Age

Really?  Any age?

Yes.  Any age.  Are you younger than 93?  Then you are not too old to reinvent yourself.

Reinvent Yourself at Any AgeMae Laborde did.  She started an acting career at 93 and didn’t stop until she passed away recently at the age of 102.  Earlier in her life she worked as a department store clerk and as a bookkeeper for the “The Lawrence Welk Show.”   As a reinvented Hollywood starlet, she landed commercials, movie parts and at the age of 99 became a semi-regular on the Talkshow with Spike Ferenstein.

Not sure that you can get with all the new fangled technology and social marketing as you reinvent yourself?  Maybe you want to get a lesson from Mae’s clip “PSA for Installing a DTV Converter Box,” which has been ranked one of the most-watched viral downloads.   Not bad!

So what did Mae do to reinvent herself?  She attributes her success to staying active and keeping a positive outlook.   “I like to keep in touch with things,” she said 11 years ago. “I just keep busy, and I have fun doing it. You have to have a sense of humor and keep happy thoughts. I keep thinking of the nice things that are going to happen.”

In other blogs we have written about how the fear of failure doesn’t have to be permanent and how Ellen Langer has researched how our mindsets can be limiting or liberating.   Mindsets are lens through which we see our lives.  People like Mae Laborde cultivate a mindset that is equivalent to looking through a lens that sees possibility.

Want to know how you can cultivate a possibility mindset, to put on those metaphorical “can do” eyeglasses that Mae put on?  Please contact me  for a free consultation to see if some coaching can help you.


P.S. Have you checked out The Creativity Shelf in the Leader’s Library on My picks and the reasons why I picked them are all there with links to Amazon. And, if you buy one of these books through the Leader’s Library, I am donating the affiliate money I earn to Better World Books.

Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. An MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.

BCC Board Certified Coach #1487


  1. Alison on January 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

    What a great subject-Mae, and great subject matter. Loved the video too! Your never to old to re-invent yourself. I know many people who have and it’s very inspiring. Keeps life interesting and new-like being a kid.

    • Executive Coach on February 7, 2012 at 10:17 am

      So true, Alison. As you think about the people that reinvented themselves that you know, what would say was the most important characteristic that allowed them to do so? Mae says it is staying active and being positive. Would you say this is true of the people you know also?

  2. Paul Berenson on January 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I seem to reinvent myself every 7 to 10 years, consciously or not. I ALWAYS paint, but the rest changes. For the first time in 41 years I’m not doing a radio show and loving it! The past 1 1/2 years I’ve updated my web development skills and LOVE being able to get out of bed and walk 30 feet to go to work painting and building cutting edge websites as I choose with no structure except my own. Love your columns Lynn, and this one’s a great topic! ENJOY!!

    • Executive Coach on February 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for your enthusiasm, Paul! I have noticed myself that my jobs and interests have also followed pretty closely those 7 year patterns. A colleague of mine had a professor, Rosenstock-Huessy who was a philosopher at Dartmouth who wrote about those 7 year stages of life.

      • Paul Berenson on February 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

        Now I’m going to learn scuba diving at 63!

        • Executive Coach on February 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

          63 is one of those big 7 year milestones! All the best as you explore the depths of the ocean–it will be a whole new world of experience!
          With admiration,

  3. Calla Gold on February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What an inspiring lady! She is a perfect example of reinventing oneself, at any age. And she sure looks like she enjoyed her new path in life. Just goes to show you that you’re never too old for something new.

  4. Keisha Lowe on February 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Dr. Jones,

    Your use of Mae Laborde as an example to show that anyone can reinvent themselves is awesome and inspiring. I love her PSA clip. Mae Laborde certainly shows the benefits a person can experience from remaining positive and active. Actually, she reminds me of how Betty White has recreated herself to become a household name among the young generation. I am definitely convinced that the mindset of a person determines the quality of life they experience.

    • Executive Coach on February 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Betty White is another good example of someone who has been able to be successful in a career that is not usually associated with someone that is her age. It certainly lends credibility to the idea that quality of life is powerfully associated with mindset. Thanks for your adding your thoughts to the discussion!
      Dr. Jones

  5. LaShasta on March 8, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Mae was certainly unstoppable! This is a great example of the beauty of reinvention. Mae did it at 93! Great example about there not being an age limit to change.

    • Executive Coach on March 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      So true. Age limits are mindsets that only serve to limit our thinking about what we can achieve. Interesting to think about what other limiting mindsets you have?

  6. prathima on August 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I really love the idea or reinventing myself– i want to reinvent everything- appearance, social life, career and personality and I will.

    • DrLynnKJones on August 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

       @prathima Yes, you will!  I am glad that you were inspired by Mae’s story to reinvent yourself!

  7. callagold on September 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I just had to come back and see that video again and share it with your post on Facebook. That is so inspiring. I’ve been thinking about her all week!

    • DrLynnKJones on September 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

       @callagold Thanks for spreading the inspiration of Mae!  She is such model of resiliency for us all.

  8. KymberlyFunFit1 on September 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Enjoyed reading both your bio and your post. Go Mae! As in Maybe She Can!

    • DrLynnKJones on September 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

       @KymberlyFunFit1 Yes, You Can!  Thanks for dropping by Kymberly Fun and Fit!

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