3 Practical Ways to Overcome Midlife Crisis at Any Age
The array of emotions in our human consciousness is complex and at times hard to place. By ‘hard to place‘ I mean hard to ‘push meaning into‘ or putting it another way hard to really ‘use to our personal advantage‘.
As life goes through the ebb and flow of its journey, sometimes the highs are eclipsed by lows that sometimes leave us longing for the good old past, or other times for experiences to enrich our existence.
As human beings we long to live fulfilled, purpose driven lives, I believe this is possible and necessary. If we take time to consider; ‘Why are we here?‘ And endeavour to occupy our time and resources in its pursuit and fulfilment, I believe we’ll not only realize our destiny but also achieve a genuine sense of satisfaction.
Maybe you find yourself asking questions about life, or maybe you feel inadequate to the life challenges that faces you at present. Sometimes frustration at life’s way of snuffing out our best efforts can make us feel hopelessness despite being optimistic people.
Let us examine three antidotes that may help us gain a new perspective, so that wherever we currently find ourselves, we can kiss meaninglessness goodbye. And step into a purposefulness that can infuse us with a new zest for life and reignite the vital sparks that can overcome our midlife blues.
Define your ‘Why?’
I entitled my latest post; ‘3 ways to tackle midlife crisis at any age‘, because, well…life can throw us curve balls at a variety of stages that leave us questioning life’s very fabric and leave us clutching for straws for purpose amidst the changing landscapes of shattered dreams.
My story begins when I got married at age 18, a privilege I wouldn’t exchange for the whole world. But as a result from a young age I had to come to terms with grappling life’s responsibilities, shedding many of my school girl fantasies while learning to build a thought ethic of a woman and wife that could support a husband and family. At 20 years of age I had my first son and by the time I was 27 a household of two became six.
I wasn’t born with the silver spoon in my mouth and from what I glean; silver spoons at birth don’t guarantee a life skipping through the tulips. We frame our dreams based upon the depth of our imagination, our experiences, and desires. Sometimes we assume our dreams will fall into our laps because we don’t fully grasp the emotional and mental dynamics involved, or possess the tools required to attract a life we can regard worthwhile.
Trials, tribulations, setbacks, life’s learning curves present us opportunities to grow and confront issues straight in the eye. But sometimes they also make us wonder if we can really ever make it. Amidst the seaming insurmountable obstacles and hurdles we confront. We discover ‘ourselves‘ as the ‘enemy‘ and realize that changing ourselves can be one of the ‘hardest things we have to do‘.
First I think we need to define ‘Our Why?‘ What are we actually seeking to achieve? What, if we actually achieve it, will give us the sense of fulfilment and meaning we so crave for? We know we want to be happy, perhaps we know we want more money, or better relationships the list goes on, but ‘Why?‘ What is it that gives us as an individual a real sense of purpose and meaning? Define that, and we begin on our journey with a clear vision to set before us, rather than ethereal objectives which so often prove elusive.
Choose your friends!!
Another huge aspect is associations, John Maxwell says some interesting things; he says; “The people we meet and the books we read over the next five years will decide where we will be in the next five years.” The people we surround ourselves with will very much define us.
Life is too short to be spent following people, organizations and systems that are going nowhere. One of the most frustrating things in life is to realize we have to overhaul our whole life and belief system, because what we’ve subscribed to is a duff brand.
That said it stands to reason that we also should examine what kind of leaders we are to those within our sphere of influence. Again Maxwell said; “Leadership is influence.” All of us are influencing somebody and if we find ourselves in position of a parent or spouse, intrinsically we step into a position of leadership with far reaching consequences to those who by default are following us. I was challenged by much of what I’m saying in this latest post by revisiting an inspirational talk on leadership by Simon Sinek. He made the poignant statement that; “People follow leaders for themselves.” Essentially our ‘title’ or ‘position’ is nothing unless people are following us of their freewill, because we’re going somewhere. As a spouse or parent have you ever considered this?
Essentially if we don’t have the intrinsic best interest of those we come into contact with at heart, we are wasting both our own and their precious time and resources. We need to get underneath the lives of the people who we come in contact with and have the pleasure to impart something to and elevate them to be the best ‘them‘ they can and want to be. Nothing is more fulfilling as knowing we are meaningfully affecting the lives of others.
Recognize Your Fundamental Worth!!
Many of us reach a stage in life where the catalogue of past failings, unrealized dreams, relationship issues and life pressures amass to the point where it’s difficult to really see the point. Perhaps this isn’t in your continual consciousness but sometimes it works beneath the surface, doing damage, rotting the foundations we’ve been building more than we realize.
Gordon MacDonald’s ‘Ordering your private world‘ is a great book in that it helps us see our need to ask ourselves questions; ‘why are we doing what we’re doing?‘ It’s so necessary to stop and think, and push meaning into the various activities of life.
Bacteriologist Rene Dubois of the Rockefeller Institute made this statement: “Aimlessness and lack of fulfilment constitute the most common cause of organic and mental disease in the Western world.” If we are to fulfil our life’s mission, running away is rarely the answer, although the need to embrace change may be essential.
Recognize that because you are intrinsically valuable, you owe it to yourself and others to ‘invest in yourself’ and become the best ‘you’ you can be. The motivation to grow or change can be difficult to muster against the back drop of a battered self-esteem. A genuine sense of our own worthiness goes a long way towards equipping us to reach up and make the life of our dreams a reality. I’m certainly going for mine with everything that is within.We must deal with negative input and forgive ourselves and others for the past wrong that was committed and move forward into the possibilities that awaits us.