A lot of ambitious people have an age limit where have to feel they have “made it” or they are a failure.
This age seems to range between 20 and 30. There are some articles as old as 35.
The first 13 years of your life are not going to be doing anything interesting unless its at a great cost to your childhood.
Even at 13, you mostly just want to hang out. I think some nerdy or ambitious people may at least start dabbling in a skill that may end up being their life’s dream.
So if your goal is to be “something” by the age of that 30 that gives you AT MOST 17 years to really master something. That’s not to mention how much time is taken up by school, friends, homework, etc.
If you live to 64, that is at least 3 full chances to master something from completely nothing.
Not to mention, think how dumb you were at 13. it is a lot quicker to pick up things after 25.
Most ambitious people want to “make it” on that first chance. They think they need to make it when they are young because a lot of the people they look up to were probably young when they accomplished something.
It’s not that young people are particularly better than old people at learning things. Young people are more willing to risk things. They are willing to risk time and energy into something without worrying about their 401K or retirement plan. They also have another advantage, they are very social and spend time with similarly aged, and ambitious people that will help propel them to success.
From experience, I would say the happiest and most well rounded people seem to have gotten successful and felt they “made it” after the age of 30. My theory is that you tend to stop growing as a person if you are successful enough and those who get successful in their early 20s or younger tend to be less happy and more aimless. Take a look at a lot of early Y Combinator founders for examples.