I am sure that it takes a special ingredient to make someone successful; that ingredient is naivety.
To achieve you have to believe that you can, against all the odds, beating off the competition to make it to the top. As you get older however the more you see the truth that statistically you do not stand a hope in Hell of achieving anything and therefore you need to be either young or naïve to succeed.
So this may go a way to the understanding of how we get young people achieving their dreams, just because they believe, however that naivety can also mean they believe they are indestructible and not prone to failure, leading some to join the 27 club.
As we get older it does seem that we become more risk averse and because of this one has a tendency to play it safe. This may be partly due to responsibilities that begin to pile up as we stumble through life. I know that I have turned down exciting projects because of mortgages and children have got in the way.
What I am proposing is that we use moments in life where we turn on the naivety programme in NLP fashion by just thinking back to events earlier in life and then immerse ourselves in that, seeing , hearing and feeling as we did, then make your decisions through the prism of that mind-set.
This could give us a valuable tool to take on new challenges but with the added advantage of the experience of life which can militate against the downside risk of youth.