Dr. Tyrone Krause could probably afford to kick back and enjoy a well-earned retirement. I don’t know the going hourly rate for heart surgeons these days but I’m guessing Dr. Krause doesn’t need to clip coupons so he can buy that jumbo size box of Ziploc bags.

Many well-to-do retirement-aged people are planning their world tour on a big boat. Krause is too — a very big boat, like a hospital ship along the lines of the USNS Comfort.

Krause was recently commissioned into the Navy as an Officer (where he’ll now practice surgery), inspired by his daughter’s own commissioning and aided by some age rule bending to help fill a critical shortage of surgeons.

The multitalented Dr. Krause has also earned a law degree at night (after hospital shifts) and moonlighted as a philosophy professor at Rutgers University. He told the Virginian-Pilot that he never plans to slow down and that in his private practice he sees that people who live to 100 years old have a secret — they stay active.

One of Krause’s beliefs makes for a very important lesson at work and in life: It’s never too late in life to try new things.

This powerful thought isn’t limited just to age. Of course, if you’re getting along in years it’s vital to truly believe you can start a new adventure in your life. But there’s more here to Krause’s message.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur that has tried and failed at a startup or side hustle. You put much blood, sweat, and tears into it and yet it just didn’t pan out. “Too late now,” you reason. You had your shot. Now it’s time to get real and find more stable, dependable work.

No. It’s never too late to start something new.

It’s entirely possible that the second or third attempt at building something is the one that takes off. I got rejected 13 times before a publisher picked up my first book and launched my career as a writer and speaker.

Maybe you’re two years into a career you spent six years going to school for, but deep down, you hate it or realize that you’re not even that good at it or aren’t bringing the worth to the table you’d imagined. You figure you’ve got to tough it out because you put so much into learning this field. You can’t just abandon ship now.

No. It’s never too late to start something new.

Your past investments shouldn’t dictate your future yield. You can still shift gears to labor at and produce what you want, yielding greater happiness along the way.

Maybe you’re in a job that you’ve been at for a while now, and you’ve built up good vacation time and benefits, and options, and, and, and. As for the job itself? Meh.

It’s never too late to start something new.

I was locked in by corporate “golden handcuffs” for too long a period of time at a well-paying Fortune 50 company. It wasn’t until I redefined success for myself that I realized not only was it not too late to launch a new life as an entrepreneur, it’s what everything in my life had been leading up to.

Don’t view the years you’ve put into something you no longer want to do as what kept you from your dream. It gave you the weathering to make your dream possible to pursue.

Maybe you’ve mastered your job and feel comfortable. You secretly wish you were challenged more but think it’s too late for that. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right? Similarly, maybe you’re in a job where technology is about to pass you by and you feel like a dinosaur.

It’s never too late to learn something new.

I lost track of the number of friends that left the same company I did after many years, feeling burned out and that they’d peaked, only to rocket up a learning curve in a new endeavor and become astounding successes.

Maybe you’re in a relationship that requires strengthening. You look back and realize all your foibles have gotten you off track from where you wish you were in that relationship.

It’s never too late to be something new.

Earlier in my corporate career, I was working way too many hours without really feeling a sense of purpose behind it all. It was sapping energy from the relationships I cherished most. I decided to be a better, more purpose-driven, meaning-filled version of myself. You can too.

So maybe you’re not ready to sail out of a completely new port in your life and join a branch of the military. But you can add new branches to your life–and follow them all the way to the end, where the sweet fruit grows.

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Originally published at www.inc.com