Have you gone through a midlife crisis?  Do you believe you are going through one now?

When I was younger, I thought the term “midlife crisis” meant going through some sort of breakdown and needing to go to therapy or worse.  I thought one day you were fine and the next, suddenly you were going through a “crisis”. 

To a certain extent, this is true.  One day, you may wake up and realize, your life isn’t what you thought it would be. 

Life rarely works out as planned.

Most adults over the age of 50 have suffered a midlife crisis to some extent. You may have had dreams of playing in the NBA, going into politics, living in Europe, or writing a best seller. Instead, you’ve spent most of your time at the office or in a job that wasn’t all that fulfilling, not earning enough to retire early and making someone else wealthy. 

It’s natural to have some discouragement or disappointment at this point in life, but it’s not all downhill from here.

Flip the switch on your midlife crisis and use it to your advantage:

Practice Gratitude

The dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

Focus on what you have and practice gratitude. There is always someone else in the world who has it worse than you do.  What do you have in your life that you can be grateful for right now?  I challenge you to take a piece of paper or a journal and list the things you are grateful for.  Begin with a list of 10, but increase it to 30 or 50 each day!

I promise you attitude will change in no time!

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

We tend to downplay things that we’ve done in our lives for various reasons.  Whatever it may be, you should celebrate those accomplishments.  You’ve already accomplished several things you can be happy about. A few examples include:

  • Finishing school (you may be the first in your family, right?).
  • Buying a home.
  • Being a good spouse.
  • Raising successful children.
  • Being a good friend.
  • Showing up to work each day.
  • Being a good neighbor.
  • Anything else that fills you with pride.

Don’t Buy the Hot Rod … just yet

Avoid doing anything impulsive and foolish. Quitting work without another source of income, having an affair, or buying a Porsche you can’t afford creates more challenges than it solves. Now isn’t the time to be impulsive.

However, what you can do is make some plans and begin putting them into action so that down the road, you may be able to leave your job or buy the fancy car. 

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Use your midlife crisis as a wakeup call. A midlife crisis is a signal that your life isn’t going as planned, isn’t as meaningful as you’d like, and you believe you’re running out of time to make a change. But you can still make a change if you get started.

  • People have graduated medical school in their 60s.
  • Some best-selling authors and screenwriters didn’t get started until their 70s.
  • You might be too old to play quarterback for the NFL or CFL, but there is still time to accomplish many amazing things.

Set “Stretch” Goals

Set some exciting stretch goals. Set some goals that will result in feeling more positive about your life when you accomplish them. Start small. Small successes help you to realize that you can accomplish bigger things. Gain some momentum and do something great!

  • What have you always wanted to do?
  • What is your passion? How could you make a living at it?
  • What can you do that would make your life feel more meaningful?

It’s Groundhog Day All Over Again

Do something new. A midlife crisis can be the result of living the same day over and over again) without any reprieve in sight. Who says you can’t shake things up a bit? Attend a yoga class or learn how to weld. Attend a new church or start a blog… ahem.

Look at the Big Picture!

Look at the big picture. Depending on your age and health, you may have 40+ productive years still to come.  As Gary Vaynerchuk asks … do you know what you can do with that time?

It only takes nine years to become a neurosurgeon after college.

You can do a lot in 40 years. How will you spend them?

Make your midlife crisis work for you.  It is a sign that you might want to make a few changes to make your life more fulfilling.

Remember the positive aspects of your life and be grateful for what you have and have accomplished. You’re still young enough girlfriend to set new goals and be excited about what the future holds as you achieve them!

Until next time!