If you are in your forties or fifties–heck even if you are 60+–you may be approaching or have already arived at your “midlife choice point.” Where do you go from here? To illustrate your dilemma, let’s examine the life of an imaginary protagonist named “Fred” (our subject’s name could be “Frederica”; both sexes encounter “choice points.”)
Fred is 53, quite handsome and athletic in his younger days. Fred always took pride in his pleasing features, health, fitness and robust appearance. Although he remains relatively good looking, Fred recently gained 20 pounds and seems to be losing his energy and enthusiasm. Just last month, Fred’s kids hegan teasing him about his loss of hair. Sadly, Fred is beginning to picture himself as an “over-the-hill, out-of-shape, once attractive gentleman who has seen better days.”
Worse yet, Fred fears that Darlene, his wife of 25 years, is losing interest in him as a romantic partner. Although he has absolutely no evidence of marital infidelity, Fred and Darlene rarely share intimate moments; passion has gone missing from their marital partnership. Five years younger than Fred, Darlene remains beautiful, stays in shape and is considered by most men to be “sexy.”
Day in and day out, Fred mourns the passing of youth, firmly convinced that his best years are behind him. He absolutely dreads the thought of growing older and foresees few if any golden times ahead. As a former “top 5%” manufacturer’s rep for sophisticated business software, lack of a positive self-image is beginning to impact Fred’s performance on the job. While awaiting sales appointments, Fred often finds himself fretting over his receding hairline, his expanding waisteline, his double chin and his wrinkles.
Clearly, Fred has arrived at his critical midlife choice point. Going forward, he has three options:
- Resign himself to being “over-the-hill”, concentrate on negative thoughts and spend the rest of his life fighting to maintain the status quo while resenting others and mourning chances not taken. Suspicious by nature, Fred can confront his wife, seriously damaging their relationship. In a few years, he can retire uninspired and aimless, routinely finding fault with others, watching TV all day while whining about bad breaks and unfair circumstances that once held him back. In all likelihood, Fred will die young.
- Make a foolish attempt to recapture his youth and to prove he “still can” through quick fixes resulting in instantaneous gratification but long-term regret. We often refer to this phenomenon as going “middle-age crazy.” For example, Fred might begin to flirt with attractive women , purchase Viagra, drink a little more, take off his ring and hang out at a singles bar after work, practice comb-overs or join the “Hair Club for Men”, wear youthful clothing and buy or lease an expensive muscle car. Unfortunately, unless he quickly comes to his senses, Fred is all but certain to destroy his marriage and to wind up in old age alone and misearable.
- Pursue the sensible path of “conscious aging.” Fred can accept and be proud and confident in his middle years, mature enough to reflect upon and learn from the lessions of youth but young and energetic enough to set ambitious future goals and to visualize a joyful, eventful and productive second half. This very day, Fred can launch a search for his authentic “inner you”, the confident, insightful, caring and inner-directed person he was created to be. Once he understands previously hidden motives and accepts fully the person he is today and can become tomorrow, bountiful, stress-free and productive days lie ahead. Like the rest of us, Fred needs to become “CEO of himself”, his very own creative artist of each new day. Not so different from the old, he will reawken as “the new and improved person within”!
Once he executes a conscious 180 degree turn in attitude from negative to positive, Fred will begin to envision and anticipate consistently favorable conclusions. Based upon the time-tested “law of attraction”, positve outcomes will follow. Similar positive outcomes are awaiting you! In my book, A Mid-Life Challenge WAKE UP! I offer a comprehensive, step-by-step roadmap to your better tomorrow. Read through the eighteen chapters, perform the 21 recommended self-help exercises, apply the lessions learned–I promise you won’t be disappointed!
For more ideas on positive self-discovery, tune in to the January 28, 2013 weekly broadcast of my Internet radio program, “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age” on WebTalkRadio.net. My guests and I point out the path to discovery of your genuine “inner goddess,” (yes, men as well as women have one), identification of hidden stumbling blocks which are holding you back and the launch pad for your journey to a brighter tomorrow. You have been sleepwalking through life and career long enough! Right now is your personal midlife choice point to wake up to the positive second half you so richly deserve.