Save your life?

After 40 one tends to be more aware of their time left and the things which are undone in their life. While it usually takes a crisis to become more aware, this doesn’t always move one to make change in their life, especially in areas which are no longer bringing joy and meaning. The mid-life crisis can come in big or small packages. Illness, divorce, layoff, death of a loved one are big packages. Daily boredom, un-ease, sadness, unhappiness or even depression are simply signs that something is no longer working in one’s life. After age 40 and frankly at any age, it is critical to pay attention to these inner signals. Here are the ten critical steps you must take now to redesign your life for more joy, happiness and meaning.

1. Stop working

That’s right, you read this correct. Stop working and start living. Living with daily joy, happiness and purpose is worth striving for. It is enjoyable and refills the water glass of life with more energy, more passion and more excitement!
Start by finding new work which feels like a better alignment of what you truly are interested in and either have or can learn the required abilities. Many people continue to simply work at things which they are good at but no longer have interest in.

2. Find some greater purpose

Identify and find something you feel strongly about or which bothers you about the world and do something about it. For example in America, it bothers me that we are spending billions of dollars in needless wars while our own cities fall apart. We are now a nation of have and have-not’s when it comes to medical care. Our educational system is deeply flawed with too much focus on scores and grades and little focus on learning; not to mention too costly as well.
Pick something which really bothers you and build a life purpose around it. Your life will never be the same for the better

3. Stand up for your beliefs

Don’t be afraid to finally live your life through your causes. Drive yourself finally through internal reward vs. external recognition. Replace old beliefs which are no longer useful with new ones which better serve you

4. Be resilient

Stay focused- strive for more happiness in your life. Make this a goal in itself. Be selfish and define for yourself what being happy really means to you. Despite the barriers and hurdles we must all cross on the journey to more meaning and fulfillment in our lives, keep this vision clear at all times

5. Stay organized and structured

Have a plan for your life. This includes your daily living and your long term goals. Without a plan for one’s life with clear intent, when the crisis hits and it will, your personal roadmap and plan will get you through

6. Surround yourself with love

There is no need to be lonely in one’s life. Surround yourself with people you love. If necessary, find new people to love and receive love from. Build up your relationships in your life which nurture and support your personal roadmap.

7. Learn to accept your mistakes

This is easier said then done! We are good at beating ourselves up when things go wrong and seldom take the time to reflect when things go well. How can you be more of our own best friend? Learn to accept you as you are. Ask yourself; what can I learn from this past experience? What new wisdom can I gain from my actions? Realize that everything you do or did was for a good reason at the time. Learn to love yourself more and others will too.

8. Don’t let the mundane slow you down

Don’t let the mundane aspects of life slow you down. Yes, laundry has to be washed, cars need gas, lunches need to be made, and bills need to be paid. Ensure however that each and every day you identify the most important actions you must take to move you towards what you want vs. what you do not want in your life.

9. Take care of your body and mind

Eat well, sleep well and exercise daily. Take time each day to reflect on your feelings and thoughts. Heard this before? Well, it works. When our bodies and minds are stressed, we lose sight of our goals and what is most important to us in our lives. Writing is a good way to reflect on how you doing. Start a daily journal- just before bed; answer the question; what did I learn today about myself and others?

10. Seek joy not pain

Re-align your life and your work around the sole purpose of acquiring more joy, meaning and happiness in your life. This is in abundance in the world. You just must redesign your life with the intent to create more of it for yourself.

Mid-life Crisis?

Refocus your attention now on what would be perfect for you in your life. Create a new vision and take small steps each and every day with the intent towards creating more joy in your life. It will make your crisis suddenly feel like a crusade. This is good.

As always, I’ll be cheering you on as you go

Craig Nathanson

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