What are some of the characteristic behaviors of a midlife crisis?
Quitting your job without any plan for what’s next? Check.
Going on a flurry of trips after realizing how much of the world you haven’t yet seen? Check.
Embarking on projects you’ve always wanted before it’s too late? Check and check.
Consider this my midlife crisis. Here we go!
What is a midlife crisis but a realization that life, everyone’s life, is finite? We will all reach an age where people begin dying all around us. An age where the age of death of most of the people in the news is around your age, if not younger.
When this realization hits, people will do compulsive things, like making large purchases (sports car, anyone?) or having an affair. Even courageous things, like going parachuting for the first time, or trying stand-up comedy.
But why wait?
Let’s say I have a superpower. With one subliminal suggestion, I can trigger in you a sudden vivid awareness of the delicate nature of human existence, along with a positive impulse to make the best of the time you have, no matter how old you currently are.
What would you do?
It’s the classic exercise. At your funeral, what would you like to have people say about you? What impression do you want to leave on the world? Do you want to change the world or live a quietly satisfied existence?
Do this: from the perspective of someone who knew you intimately, write what they would say about you after you have lived to a respectable old age. Write it as a speech or as a list, whatever gets the thoughts out of your head where you can look at them.
Think about what you would need to do to make that version of you a reality.
What did you learn? What surprised you? What changes are you considering applying today? Let me know in the comments!