Just what is a mid-life crisis, anyway?

Shirley Emiling of the Huffington Post described it as: “An often dreaded period of time that conjures up images of a Harley-mounted silver-haired 50-something man (or woman) riding off into the sunset with a younger partner”.


The reason for asking this is that I have been going through a kind of transition of my own, and because, for me, it is an attempt to shift my alignment to something more in keeping with my own personal life goals.

As I fall into the so called “mid-life” bracket – I am now 55 – it did make me wonder if I had finally hit that dreaded “midlife crisis” stage. Not that I had big images of the Harley Davidson motor cycle, or having a younger partner for that matter, but i certainly have been giving the rest of my life and lifestyle the once-over, and taking stock of whether it actually measured up to my dreams and aims as a younger man, fresh out of Uni, taking on the world.

Wake Up Call

February 2016 was my wake up call: a minor health scare, a number of hospital tests, and months of waiting in between, and in the end a vague and uncertain conclusion. But what it did do is give me some clarity on what I haven’t achieved yet in other areas of my life.

I’m not going to just simply spend the rest of this post making a list of tick boxes, yeah done that, haven’t done that yet, etc. But in doing this exercise, I actually came to a number of hard conclusions about myself:

  1. I realise that, in the scheme of things, I still have a lot to learn. At least for me, learning never stops.
  2. My biggest enemy has been fear of failure, and the very thing that was preventing me from attempting any of my most challenging of goals was the fear of falling on my arse, or looking stupid in the process.
  3. The goals I hadn’t achieved yet were mostly things I had tried to accomplish completely in isolation. You know, the “If you want it doing quicker, do it yourself” mentality. To put that right, I had to go and get help, and get the best help that I could. There are always people out there who are better at certain things than you. Learn from them. Hire them if it helps you do the job more effectively.
  4. On top of that, I realise that I hate not being in control, hence my tendency to work in isolation. But when you delegate, or outsource, relinquishing some of that control is precisely what needs to happen. I’m still having to learn to let go of this, give clear instructions, then be prepared to let the results take a bit longer, rather than take on the burden of it all on my one set of shoulders, and get overwhelmed in the process. You really cannot do it all.

So – Isn’t this more of a mid-life evaluation than a crisis? And why shouldn’t this happen? In truth, why didn’t this happen sooner?

Reality check

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My advice to you… Don’t wait until you have a serious health problem to force you into taking stock of your dreams and goals in life.

Invest in them today.

Be the person you were meant to be.

Stay creative.