How to Handle a Midlife Crisis
There is some debate out there as to whether or not a ‘midlife’ crisis occurs. The idea is that sometime around your 40th birthday you get hit with the realisation that you are not young anymore and you find yourself understanding the inevitability of your own death. On this happy note, often people make very ‘crazy’ decisions or at least decisions that might be deemed ‘crazy’ by those who know them.
Taking up a brand new hobby that you become obsessed with, buying a flashy new car, taking a spiritual trip to find yourself, changing careers, leaving a relationship, cheating on your partner are all examples of ways that people deal with such a crisis. Whether or not it actually exists or is simply a process that some people go through at a particular age, what are some ideas that might help you deal with it?
As I approach 40 myself, only a couple of years away, I find myself feeling quite philosophical about life. I am spending quite a bit of time thinking about how I am impacting the world and what my life has been like thus far. This is quite normal and can be very beneficial if it leads us to gain more perspective which helps us create more balance in our lives.
Unfortunately, the key problem here is our analysis involves us comparing our lives to other people’s lives. This is one of the best ways to feel bad about your life. The truth is that when we look at someone succeeding, we see their success and we do not see the work they completed in order to create that success. This gives us a false impression as to what is required to be successful.
Similarly, when we look at what another person has done, we fail to see what they haven’t done. When we see what they have, we fail to see what they don’t have. Accepting that you are different to everyone else on this planet and that we all have things that others don’t have, means that you can feel more satisfied than you might do otherwise. To look at a famous basketball player and feel bad about the fact you aren’t as tall as them would seem silly. We need to realise many of the other comparisons we do every day are equally as silly.
Taking this pressure off from looking at others and trying to compete means that we can simply accept wherever we are in life. Next, we must accept the age that we are at. Once again, it is easy to focus on how ‘old’ we are and feel that much closer to the end of your days. But the reality is that young people die every day and old people stay alive every day and the one, most important thing you need to do is to focus on how you will make the most out of the rest of your life. That means embracing what you do have and what you have to feel grateful for as well as building goals for yourself that keep you motivated and excited about life.
The midlife crisis can be a very tough time for many people. But when you allow it to provide you with the opportunity to reflect on your life and take stock of everything, you will find yourself being in a far better position to go through these years happier and better than ever.
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