You are driving home from work. The motorway is slow and clogged with lorries. It is Friday afternoon and it has been a hard week. Your PA has been sick for 2 days, your prized report received only a modest acknowledgment from the boss and the systems people cannot guarantee that your project will be completed on time.
You have spent 25 years working up the corporate ladder and you are looking at another 20 years with more of the same. Your children have moved away, your parents are aging and causing some concern and you and your spouse are drifting. You used to wine and dine on Friday night and now you whine and dine.
Is this all there is? As you are driving home, are you wondering what meaning your life has?
Is this a mid life crisis. Maybe. Some people will experience a mild feeling of disappointment and others will look at the rest of their careers with despair and fear. Many people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s will experience some form of mid life crisis.
Fortunately, there are many solutions to the self doubt created during a mid life crisis. If you are no longer moving toward your dreams now is the time to take stock and redirect your life. This is a time for transition, change and personal advancement.
Here are some questions that you and your spouse might address tonight.
What are our goals? Have your dreams and aspirations changed over the past 10 or 15 years? Have your dreams simply faded into the reality of everyday living? If you had all the money and confidence you needed, what would you be doing?
What have you done well that you can be proud of? Now is the time to celebrate your successes. Give yourself a pat on the back for the wonderful things you have achieved so far.
Will remaining in your current employment take you closer to your goals or away from your goals? The job is often the source of a lot of the frustration that accompanies a so-called mid life crisis. If the office politics, the commute to work or the lack of recognition and advancement are eating at you, it is probably time to think about alternatives.
This discussion then leads to the big question. How do you finance a life change without jeopardizing the obligations you already have?
Now is the time for action. Many who feel rudderless find that career counsellors, mentors and personal development experts can play a big part in helping to clarify goals and financial needs. Clearly, a period of taking stock is required. Authors such as Wayne Dyer, David Posen, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki can be very helpful in a mid life crisis.
Dyer and Posen are experts in the areas of mental health and psychology and Trump and Kiyosaki are obviously the business and finance gurus. These four are particularly helpful although, there are many more authors who provide excellent advice on many specialized topics. They can be found in self help or personal development sections of the book stores.
Whether you approach a mid life crisis from a psychological perspective or a business point of view, a change in lifestyle is probably the most common antidote. Change need not be a drastic burn-all-your-bridges event. You might consider volunteering for a charity that meets your goal criterion. Or you might want to challenge your abilities by learning another language. The universal panacea is to get physically fit, eat properly and get plenty of exercise. Finally, becoming self employed to fund your goals, perhaps through consulting, contracting, or network marketing (MLM), will satisfy your employment satisfaction needs.
This may seem daunting, but adding a slight change to your life every day can create miracles within just a year. Author Jeff Olson writes very eloquently about making slight edge changes to your routines to achieve your truly great dreams and goals.
You may remember the old adage given to women suffering from the blues. Go out and buy a new hat! Well, the hat wasn’t what cured the depression. It was the going out and doing something.
Now is the time to take one small step toward your freedom. Start to change your life for the better now. Each small, seemingly insignificant step taken now, will encourage you, excite you toward better things and get you back on a positive and productive track.