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Meet Yourself: Everything you need to know to create a future you’ll love happened in your thirties!

“So you really think you could do a better job?”

To this day I regret holding my tongue and not saying “well, I could hardly do a worse one!”

There I was, newly-minted CEO of a well-established business sitting in the wood-panelled Board-room of a well-known bank telling the five older, well-respected lawyers, bankers and businessmen (yes, all men) who constituted my board that I was letting them all go.

They were affronted, disgusted, angry and in some cases, vengeful.

We stumbled through the next few months until eventually a new Board was established, and then the real work of rebuilding began.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because I was 38 years old when I made my stand and it was around then that you probably did too.

“I felt like I was stepping out of my own skin…”

These are the words I wrote about that year while doing my own Midlife Creation program. I read them to my wife last night: “Well, you essentially were” she said to me, “you were stepping out of your concern for what others thought and material results and into your true self…” No wonder it was uncomfortable!

It’s a bit like a second birth, the birth of the second half of life

For me, and virtually all of my clients, this period at the end of the 30’s was challenging. Personally, I felt alone, stressed and unsure if I had what it took, but I also felt I had to do it because there was no-one else coming!

The process of rebuilding the enterprise took a couple of years and felt like I was like was dragging an oil-tanker through mud. In the end, I came out with an unshakeable sense of what I stood for, but also the limits of what I could actually achieve.
The well-known American journalist, Gail Sheehy calls this phase “the authenticity crisis”, or the period of demystification of dreams. It is a time we dismantle illusions we have held through our youth (including about ourselves). It is also when we start to authentically create from our inner resources and not just rearrange things others have created before us (a process that, managed well, continues to deepen and grow through the 40’s – see HERE).
In this period many people leave or change jobs, start a new business or otherwise begin realistically reassessing their lives. What are the real chances of changing our relationships, our lifestyle, our work?
It is also a time we start questioning the roles we have assumed: mother/father, boss, husband, carer, professional. What if we took those roles away? Who would we be? What if we took all of our things away? Who would we be without our career, our house, our partner, our children? All the things we’ve spent the first half of life so assiduously creating are put on the block for reassessment.
For the first time many of us start to think about death. We realise that time is limited so what are we really going to leave behind when it's done? This period marks the beginning of a deepening awareness of the value of relationships and a connection with spirit that should continue to grow in our forties.

Quite a number of my clients have experienced serious illnesses in this period - an experience that quite literally forced them to make an honest (sometimes radical) reassessment of what was important to them, in some cases including whether they wanted to be alive at all.

So what can we make of all this? Why is it useful to know?

Understanding what happened in these years, and who you chose to be about it, is important if you want to understand who you really are and what you really value or, to but it more esoterically; your life’s purpose or soul’s journey. The bones of your Leitmotif (the recurring theme of your life) are never so close to the surface as they are in these years so exploring them, and how you chose to ‘meet’ them provides profound insights into the kind of life that will give you real joy and satisfaction for the long second-half (for many of us, up to 60 more years!).

For me, stressful as they were, those 2 years opened the door to the life I am now creating for myself and my family. They highlighted the fact that my energy and personal resources were finite and that, successful as I ultimately was, that was not the way I wanted to play the game. The stress and confront of those years helped me refocus my life on the things I most love: travel and teaching.
This understanding only came with reflection and the help of mentors and support but now forms the basis of the life I am consciously creating as I enter my middle-forties, a trajectory I am confident will now carry and support me to 80 years old and maybe beyond.
When YOU look at those years, what did you have to overcome or deal with? What did you learn about your values and limitations, and what can that tell you about your future?
To create a powerful future, sometimes you have to look backwards if you want to go forwards.
 

If you like this/think it's useful, please share the love ...

P.S Whenever you’re ready to look at new ways to take charge of the second half …. here are here are four ways we can help:

1. Request some articles on how to take charge of the second half of life by discovering you Leitmotif (the recurring theme of your life) email me
2. Join our private group on Facebook: a great place to share and learn from other’s sharing, get ideas, ask questions and hangout with others the same place you’re at
3. Get a free pre-order of our book (just pay shipping). It’s called “Midlife Creation: how to take charge of the second half of your life. Just email “BOOK PLEASE” and I’ll send you a copy when it is published (around December).
4. If you want to ask some questions or get a sense of how to start looking for your own Leitmotif you can book a quick private chat with me HERE (pls note you can't register into a program this way, but you can check me out and see if we click)

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