“Unless you make peace
with who you are,
you’ll never be content
with what you have.”
– Doris Mortman
There are transitions in life that everybody goes through, some smooth, some rough. There are the age transitions, from infancy to childhood, through adolescence, adulthood, midlife and finally old age. Within these transitions there are also other changes, such as starting school, entering the workforce, marriage, parenthood, retirement.
By the time we reach midlife, we have been through many experiences. We have most likely been married at least once, had children, have an established career. There are fundamental changes that occur during this time, depending on the person. For many, our mortality becomes apparent, we may see the passing away of close friends and family. There may be a marriage breakup, empty nesting, unemployment, not to mention changes in physical appearance as we age. These are just a few of the things that can serve as catalysts for a mid life crisis or at least prompt serious deliberation about our lives; who we are, what should be do with the rest our lives? Did we make the right decisions about what career we chose and who we married?
This time of questioning and doubting can be quite destabilizing. Looking back with regret on our choices is not a positive or productive thing to do. In fact, in extreme cases, it can lead to a state of depression! There is certainly nothing wrong through with evaluating our current status and perhaps having a “midlife makeover” of sorts.
What things we want at age 40 – 60, are undoubtedly different than what we wanted when we were in our twenties! There are some of our values that will have changed. If we are still trying to hold on to those values, we will eventually exhaust ourselves and lose our passion for life. We must align our life to new values that are applicable to our current state of being. It’s when we are not living a life aligned with our true values that life can go astray.
Many experts agree our values or passions fall into six core categories
- Personal mastery – taking care of yourself, have a good life balance, confidence and self esteem
- Achievement – work, team sports participation, making progress, setting goals
- Intimacy – relationships with others
- Play and Creativity – your artistic side
- Search for meaning- your spritiual side
- Compassion and Contribution – giving back to society
You can think of these passions as navigation markers, they set you on course for the direction in the next half of your life. Obviously, some will have a stronger pull then others, there are not right or wrong choices in which passions you pick as being most important to you at this time of your life, choose the ones that resonate most strongly with you.