When I turned 41 years-old I started to have a mid-life crisis. My mid-life crisis involved a vineyard, a couple of dogs, and a small secluded retreat center – in Tuscany, Italy. The problem was, I couldn’t afford it!
I decided to put my mid-life crisis on hold while I saved up for it. I’m still saving…
In the meantime, I’ve come to the conclusion that a bit of a mid-life crisis now and then is a good thing. Assuming you don’t go off the deep end, the results can produce a more focused life. Here are 3 things I learned.
1. Weariness Dulls Perspective
At the time of my almost mid-life crisis I was weary. Years of pushing forward, stressful living conditions in another country, and not enough regular inner renewal had added up and taken a toll on me.
Weariness causes you to look for easier paths. Huge life shifts don’t seem scary anymore – they actually look attractive. In this frame of mind, it’s easy to do something stupid.
Edna Mode, in the movie “The Incredibles,” put it this way, “Men at Robert’s age are unstable, prone to weakness.” I know that I am.
Examine your pacing, rest, and renewal to greatly increase perspective.
2. Doing the Same Old Thing is Dangerous
We all need challenges. Life can become monotonous and routine. If we get too comfortable in our work, marriage, or social life, we begin to look for new challenges in other places. Sometimes the wrong places.
You need to continually act on your beliefs about life, your values, convictions, and aspirations. If you don’t you’ll be incomplete and ready to fall.
Create new growth points in your work, in your marriage with your spouse, and in other areas of your life to keep growing. Life-long learners finish well.
3. Calling is Powerful
Without a clear and compelling calling for your life, it’s all too easy to be distracted by something else. Building a secluded retreat center in a vineyard in Tuscany was a good idea. The calling I have been granted, however, said that a life in Tuscany was not for me.
Clear vision helps us to stay on track, saying “yes” and “no” to the right things. It was a clear understanding of my calling that kept me on track.
(Re)clarify the your calling and use it as a guide for decision making. Stick to your vision for your life, not somebody else’s.
Ten years later, I’m closer to financially realizing my mid-life crisis dream of a retreat center in Tuscany. This dream doesn’t hold the fascination that it once did, however, because I’m quite fulfilled by and challenged with the life I’m called to.
One final thing, I’m thankful for a group of three guys I regularly met with who helped me successfully navigate my almost mid-life crisis. It’s their strong words and reinforcing encouragement that made all the difference in the world.
Question: Who helps you navigate life’s challenges? You can leave a comment by clicking here.