It’s like you’re in limbo in your own personal hell.
The mid-life crisis: we accept this as truth, a normal stage in life even. We see our neighbor driving off in a new, red sports car, the back of his balding head quickly disappearing into the sunset.
“Oh that’s Bob; he’s just going through a mid-life crisis.”
What has become the brunt of many jokes can sometimes have deeper concerns. What if Bob is depressed? What if Bob has such an ardent desire for his past and such bleak hopes for his future, he has become completely disillusioned with the present? I think a lot of people can relate to Bob. They wish they could have a chance to re-do their life but they have a mortgage payment, kids in college to support, etc.
I had a quarter-life crisis when I was 26. Now, I didn’t buy a sports car. I do live in Manhattan you know—can you imagine the cost of parking? As I have told many people, it’s a terrible feeling when you know you want to be doing something else with your life but you’re not sure what. It’s like you’re in limbo in your own personal hell.
Before we break out the Prozac, let’s remember we are the writers of our own lives. After climbing out of the depths of my temporary funk, I realized this was the universe telling me something. I had to make a change. So I did. In an effort to save you tear-inducing, panicked calls to friends and family, I have come up with a list of ways to make sure you’re living your idea of your best life—not someone else’s.
1. Do what you love.
I cannot say it enough. Imagine you have a week to live. What would you be doing? Focus on these things and find a way to do them as much as you can. Perhaps a new career will blossom. The money will come if you are doing what you are passionate about. We are all so much better at the things we enjoy. If it feels effortless, you know you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Screw the Joneses.
Question why you want certain things. Why do you want the bigger house? Is it because of a functional need or is it to keep up with the Joneses? We are constantly bombarded with images of what we should want (i.e. TV ads, magazines, billboards, societal pressures, etc.) that sometimes we lose sight of what it is we actually want. Spending your life worrying about what others think is a waste of time.
3. Plan for the future but live in the moment.
Don’t delay your fun. The last thing you want to do is deny yourself of things now because you are so concerned about the future. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. However, you also want to plan enough so that you can live without stress today. This is a tricky balance and you may need some help but if you can manage to do both, you’re setting yourself up for the best possible outcome.
4. Always be looking out for numero uno.
Other people come and go in and out of your life, but you will always be with yourself. As my friend Bobby says: “No one dies saying, ‘Damn, I wish I would have spent more time at the office!’” When you are happier, you have more to give to others. Don’t brush your interests aside. Surround yourself with things that give you pleasure. Have fun! Stop waiting for later because “later” may never come.
Amanda Rex is a Health Coach who is helping people live their best lives. For many years she struggled with anxiety. She slowly improved it through the pursuit of an honest, healthy and happy life. After experiencing the positive mental and physical changes that developed by simply listening to her intuition, she decided she wanted to share what helped her with the world in order to improve the lives of others. Amanda is receiving her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching to individuals and groups. She enjoys live music, cooking, volunteering, personal finance, discovering new cultures and living in The Big (Organic) Apple. You can follow her on her website, www.amandarex.com, or on Facebook www.facebook.com/#!/AmandaRexHealthCoach.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed: Rebecca Schwarz