People say that life becomes really enjoyable when we reach our 40s. According to what I read in Forbes, success is enjoyed from this age and onwards. In a youth obsessed world, I was amazed to discover that the most successful and famous people in USA are much older than I had thought.

It is said that in one’s 40s, our worse errors have already been committed (and that it is improbable that we will go wrong again on the same subjects).That we have already worked enough time in our professions to feel that we know what we are doing. We are also able to differentiate among people and recognize true friends. In summary, we know what we do not want in our lives and have put it aside (I think it was Garcia Marquez who said: “the most important thing I learned to do in my 40s was to say no”). In addition, in our 40s we start to reap rewards of our efforts and have time to enjoy our children if we have them.

Some days ago, while reading Forbes magazine I realized that this “general rule” also applies to celebrities: eight out of ten of the most important celebrities are in their 40s and some are even in their 60s. Success seems to accumulate and become inertial. And that, unless some major upheaval occurs, success is the natural consequence of all previous efforts: something like…”sow and reap the fruits of your labour”. At this point, inertia makes “falling out of success” difficult. None of the celebrities on this list peaked from one day to the other; their present power is based on what they previously did. Madonna’s first record, for example, was heard 24 years ago at the same time that Oprah Winfrey’s first program appeared. The Rolling Stones first record was heard in 1964 and Elton John’s in 1969, a year after Donald Trump graduated from college and started working with his father’s company, “Trump Organization”. We saw Brad Pitt for the first time (on TV) in 1986 and Johnny Depp in 1987 (twenty years ago!). And it is interesting that this list comes from the US, a country totally obsessed with youth which, by the way, is the only country to frequently produce global “successfuls”, whether we like it or not.

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Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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