Milions of men and women worldwide are dissatisfied with their lives at middle age. Many fail to acknowledge that their life could be better. Others will admit that “all things considered, I’m not that positive about my life today, but I simply can’t spare the time and energy right now to seek a better way.”
Why do so many disheartened men and women refuse to venture outside their comfort zone to seek a brighter future? I’d be willing to bet it’s one of nine common excuses we hear routinely from disgruntled Baby Boomers. When you think about it, none of the excuses makes much sense. We’ll discuss the first four excuses today and the remaining five in our next blog.
Excuse #1: “I’m simply too busy right now!”
Pray tell, what is more important than converting your predominant outlook on life from negative to positive? If you wake up most mornings with worry, boredom or trepidation, you are in dire need of an attitude adjustment. Commit this very day to taking the time out each week to make renewal happen. How about the first 5-10 minutes each morning to reflect upon potential for the day ahead? How about the last 5 or 10 minutes in the evening to reflect upon the day just past: did events go better or worse than you anticipated? How well did you perform on the stage of life and what can you improve upon tomorrow?
Can you find an additional 3 to 5 hours during the week to perform self-help exercises and to visualize an ideal future precisely on your terms? Can’t you give up one or two TV shows. Once you begin to experience a positive outlook, I guarantee you’ll want to finish the job. The longer and more consistently you think like a winner, the easier your journey will become.
Schedule renewal time as you would any other important business or social engagement. Be certain you reschedule any missed renewal sessions and never let too much time lapse between sessions. At first, it may not come easy, but over time a positive outlook on life will become second nature to you. Before long, you will find yourself more in demand both as a friend and as a trusted business associate. Perhaps for the first time in yeasrs, daily living will become a fun adventure.
Excuse #2: “I simply don’t have the assets needed to quit my job or transform my lifestyle. I have too much to lose–I’ll just have to hang in until retirement.”
Guess what: you can radically transform your outlook on life and career without winning a dime. In fact, you may be able to positively transform career without quitting your present job. In past blogs we’ve talked about recharging your vocation right where you are; we’ll talk more about positive transition in the future.
Throughout the process of midlife renewal, keep in mind that your ultimate target is not simply career sucess but joy and fulfillment as a well-rounded adult, both before and after “retirement.” As an immediate objective, look upon even the most boring and mundane assignments as small opportunities to advance to a brighter tomorrow.
Excuse #3: “My life will change for the better someday when….”
“When” is perhaps the most common and counter-productive of all the procrastination excuses. For many, “when” never seems to arrive and if it does it is immediately replaced by a new “when.” For far too many, “when” ultimately turns into the mournful “it could have been.”
So what’s your when?
- “When the kids are grown and out of college.”
- “When I get my next big raise or promotion.”
- “When I find a new job.”
- “Once the economy improves.”
- “As soon as my rich uncle dies and leaves me that anticipated big inheritance.”
I suggest you cast aside each “when” and ask what really is preventing you from thinking and behaving like you are on the road to your dreams, beginning right now, whether or not “when” ever occurs. What matters most in your life and what’s missing today? It’s OK to dream, better yet to visualize a bright future but not one based solely upon unrealistic expectastions over which you have little or no control. Your first task: imagine a boutiful but realistic future which depends mostly upon you. If “when” does occur it will be even better. Your next task is to map out a logical game plan which will carry you from present to future.
Excuse #4: “I could accomplish the life of my dreams if only….”
“If only” is even worse than the “when” excuse because “when” at least implies there is the small possiblity of a positive result. On the other hand, “if only” bitterly laments the passing of an opportunity and blames fate, misfortune, a past mistake, someone else or events outside our control for today’s sorry circumstances.
“If only” purely and simply is a handy excuse for doing nothing. It shouts out “I’m not good enough to improve my situation but it’s not my fault!”
What’s your “if only”?
- “If only I’d finished college!”
- “If only I were computer literate, bilinguel, financially astute, etc.”
- “If only I were better looking, taller, shorter, thinner, smarter, more athletic, etc.”
- “If only my parents had taught me how to make money!”
- “If only I had more time, my job wasn’t so demanding.”
- “If only I’d married someone else, we hadn’t had kids so young, my spouse was more energetic, etc.”
Does it really make you feel better to have an excuse handy for being miserable? I think not! Why not cast aside every “if only” from your life and make the best of what you’ve got. Why not go for what you really want out of life? You’ll never know what you can accomplish in life’s second half until you try!
Bottom line: if less than fully satisfied with life today, personal circumstances are not likely to improve–now or in the future–without your early and sustained positive personal intervention.
We’ll discuss five additional common excuses in our next blog.
Want more on the topic of excuses? Listen in on the June 4 broadcast of our brand new Internet radio program “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age” on www.WebTalkRadio.net. This is a podcast so you can listen anytime at your convenience.
Also, please visit our website, www.middleagerenewal.com, preview my book, A Mid-Life Challenge WAKE UP! and obtain a free gift.