Most adults over the age of 50 have suffered a midlife crisis to some extent. Life rarely works out as planned. You may have had dreams of playing in the NBA, becoming a senator, living in Europe, or writing a best seller. Instead, you’ve spent your time in a cubicle helping your company sell paperclips to other people in cubicles.
It’s natural to have some discouragement, but it’s not all downhill from here.
Use your midlife crisis to your advantage:
1. Focus on what you have. There are places in the world where 7-year old orphans are digging through the dump for food and face sexual abuse on a daily basis. You may not have become the CEO of your company by age 45, but you’ll survive.
* What do you have in your life that you can be grateful about right now?
2. Remember what you’ve accomplished. You’ve already accomplished several things you can be happy about. A few examples include:
* Finishing school.
* 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.
3. Avoid doing anything foolish. Quitting work without another source of income, having an affair, or buying a Ferrari you can’t afford creates more challenges than it solves. Now isn’t the time to be impulsive.
* You can make plans and begin putting them into action, but avoid making your life more challenging.
4. 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 Steelers, but there’s still time to accomplish plenty of amazing things.
5. Set some exciting goals. Set some goals that will result in feeling more positive about your life when you accomplish them. Start small. A small success will allow 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?
6. 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. If your life is in a rut, you can only blame the person in the mirror.
7. Look at the big picture. Depending on your age and health, you may have 40+ productive years still to come. That’s a lot of 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?
Use your midlife crisis as 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 to set new goals and be excited about what the future holds as you achieve them.