When I turned 41 years old I started to have a mid-life crisis. My mid-life crisis involved a vineyard, a couple of dogs, and a small monastic retreat center – all in Tuscany, Italy. The problem was, I couldn’t afford it!I decided to put my mid-life crisis on hold while I saved up for it. I’m still saving…
In the meantime, I’ve come to the conclusion that a bit of a mid-life crisis now and then is a good thing. Assuming you don’t go off the deep end, the results can produce a more focused life. Here are 3 things I’ve learned.
1. Weariness Dulls Perspective
At the time of my almost mid-life crisis I was weary. Years of pushing forward, stressful living conditions in another country, and not enough regular inner renewal had added up and taken a toll on me.
Weariness causes you to look for easier paths. Huge life shifts don’t seem scary anymore – they actually look attractive. In this frame of mind, it’s easy to do something stupid. I bet King David was weary when he stayed in Jerusalem instead of going off to war. That didn’t end well for anyone (2 Samuel 11:1).
In the movie, “The Incredibles,” Edna Mode put it this way, “Men at Robert’s age are unstable, prone to weakness.” I know that I am.
Examine your pacing, rest, and renewal to greatly increase perspective.
2. Doing the Same Old Thing is Dangerous
We all need challenges. Life can become monotonous and routine. If we get too comfortable in our work, marriage, or social life, we begin to look for new challenges in other places. Sometimes the wrong places.
You need to continually act on your beliefs about life, your values, convictions, and aspirations (James 2:22). If you don’t you’ll be incomplete and ready to fall.
Create new challenges in your work, marriage, and other areas of your life to keep growing. Life-long learners finish well.
3. Vision is Powerful
Without a compelling vision for your life, it’s all too easy to be distracted by something else. Building a monastic retreat center in Tuscany was a good idea. The vision God had given me for my life, however, said that it was not for me.
Clear vision helps us to stay on track, saying “yes” and “no” to the right things. It was a clear understanding of my vision that kept me on track.
Re)clarify the vision God has given you and use that vision as a guide for decision making. Stick to God’s vision for your life, not somebody else’s (Ephesians 2:10).
Nine years later I’m not much closer to financially realizing my mid-life crisis vision of a retreat center in Tuscany. It’s a good thing too, because I’m quite fulfilled by and challenged with the life God has given.
I’m thankful for the guys who helped me successfully navigate my almost mid-life crisis. As a final thought, who helps you as you navigate life?
~Keith Webb, Owner of Creative Results Management