Some people peak in high school. Others don’t reach their full potential until their 30s, 40s, or even later in life.

You might feel stuck right now, but these late bloomer success stories can serve as an inspiration. Life begins when you’re ready – not when others say it should be.

1. Harry Bernstein

Bernstein spent his entire career working as a freelance writer and magazine editor. He finally retired at 62, enjoying time with his family for several years after. When his wife passed away, the loneliness became unbearable. He started writing a book to cope with those emotions, getting published at the age of 96.

2. Gladys Burrill

Burrill spent her younger years riding horses, climbing mountains, and working as an aircraft pilot. She always loved running, but it was never a full-time activity for her. It wasn’t until she reached the age of 86 that she completed her first marathon. She is also recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for finishing the Honolulu Marathon in 9 hours, 53 minutes, at the age of 92.

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wilder’s family was always on the move during her childhood. She eventually became a teacher, but then she transitioned to the farm life after getting married. After her son’s death and her husband becoming partially paralyzed, Wilder’s daughter suggested she start writing stores from her childhood. After the stories got rejected several times, the Little House series would become a childhood staple. It took 22 years from the start of Little House in the Big Woods to its publication.

4. Ray Kroc

Kroc spent most of his career as a milkshake machine salesman. He was already 52 in 1954 when he came upon a hamburger stand in San Bernardino, CA. Instead of selling equipment, he bought the business from the McDonald brothers. It only took six years for 200 franchises to open across the United States. By the 1970s, it was a global brand.

5. Soichiro Honda

Honda left home for Tokyo at the age of 15 to find work, despite having zero formal education. He took a garage apprenticeship in 1922, worked there for six years, and returned home to start a similar business in 1928. By the 1940s, Honda had created a motorbike by attaching an engine to a bicycle. That became the foundation of the Honda Motor Company, a venture he started at 42.

What could you do to change your world today?