TIME Careers & Workplace

41 Guaranteed Ways to Accomplish Great Things at Any Age

J.K. Rowling in London in 2012.
J.K. Rowling in London in 2012. Ben Pruchnie—Getty Images

Here are reasons to get out there and make it happen, no matter how young or old you are

By Lolly Daskal

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published atInc.com.

Many of us think that to be successful, you have to be at the right place, the right circumstance and the right age.

But we can learn from those who have come before us, who achieved at every age and in every circumstance of life:

At 5, Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin.

At 6, Shirley Temple starred in “Bright Eyes.” (After her career as a child star ended, she became a diplomat.)

At 12, Anne Frank wrote her wartime diary.

At 13, Magnus Carlsen became the second-youngest grandmaster in the history of chess.

At 14, Nadia Comăneci became the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic event.

At 15, years old Tenzin Gyatso was recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama.

At 17, Pele led Brazil to a World Cup victory.

At 19, Elvis Presley became a superstar and was later known as “The King”

At 20, John Lennon performed at his first concert as a Beatle.

At 22, Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the Berlin Olympics.

At 23, Beethoven was already known as a piano virtuoso.

At 24, Isaac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, setting the foundations for classical mechanics.

At 25, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.

At 26, Albert Einstein wrote the theory of relativity.

At 28, Michelangelo created his sculptures David and The Pietà.

At 29, Alexander the Great had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world.

At 30, J.K. Rowling finished the manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

At 31, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

At 32, Oprah Winfrey launched her first talk show.

At 33, Edmund Hillary became one of the first two people confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

At 34, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

At 35, Marie Curie (along with her husband, Pierre Curie) was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics.

At 36, Wilbur Wright, together with his brother Orville, built the world’s first successful airplane.

At 37, Vincent Van Gogh died virtually unknown after creating the paintings that would later establish him as a major artist.

At 38, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

At 40, Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

At 41, Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Americas.

At 42, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat.

At 43, John F. Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States.

At 45, Henry Ford manufactured the first Model T automobile.

At 46, Suzanne Collins wrote The Hunger Games.

At 50, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species.

At 51, Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

At 52, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president Of the United States.

At 53, Ray Kroc bought the McDonalds franchise, which then comprised eight restaurants.

At 54, Theodore Geisel wrote The Cat in the Hat under the pen name Dr. Seuss.

At 57, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III successfully crash-landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River with no fatalities.

At 61, Colonel Harland Sanders granted the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings.

At 69, Ronald Reagan became the 40th president of the United States (and the oldest to date).

At 70, Jack LaLanne–handcuffed and shackled–towed 70 rowboats for a mile against strong winds and currents.

At 75, Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa.

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