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How to combat midlife career crisis

4 steps to tackle the midlife moron

These are my thoughts on “how to tame” the midlife moron that sabotaged the lives of at least three good friends of mine in the recent past.

You're diagnosed

Sarah didn’t feel like getting up in the morning. She did’t look forward to a great day. She dragged herself to work everyday and reluctantly worked to finish stuff for the sake of a pay check. Sarah clearly realised she had lost her inner mojo. She yapped about doing something more interesting with her life — but wasn’t sure how or where to begin. When colleagues talked about people who had moved on to newer careers or ventures, she felt a deep longing for change. She’d start thinking about her own interests, but would apply a quick brake when she mused about her financial or personal commitments. Skepticism & fear of failure are still keeping her at her status quo. If you identify with Sarah, you’ve arrived at a station called “Mid-life crisis’ in the journey of your life. The pangs hit people as early as in thirties, now — happens to men and women alike. Good news: You are not alone!

The painkiller — commit to your calling

Easier said than done but ask yourself — who is the the best person to solve it for you other than your self?. Although the world is full of inspiring stories of risk takers who go all out to slay the crisis demon, you don’t have to be an overnight ’all-or-nothing’ change maker.

Start small but think big

Invest an hour a day for your personal development. In a year’s time you will be surprised to have renewed yourself and regained your mojo. Here’s a four step action plan for you.

1. Ask yourself these hard questions — what interests you deeply? and why?. The answer that brings you some inner sense of joy is the exciting gig that you need to commit to. Pen your thoughts down — it’s important because it helps reinforce your commitment. If you have more than one, note them all down. Be patient and tackle them one at a time, so you don’t lose focus.

2. Note down your fears that prevent you from pursuing your exciting gig. Score-off all these negatives — just disregard them. This exercise is meant to make you aware of what’s been holding you back.

3. Now write down some small steps you can do in an hour a day, of your ‘me’ time to get your exciting gigs done. Read about your field of interest everyday — from books, magazines or blogs. Connect, listen and learn from people who’ve done it. Sign up for a course — free or paid. Volunteer or intern for learning by doing. Take up a side project to work during off-hours or weekends. Just do whatever it takes.

4. Slowly chart your course to make your gig a full-time vocation. Plan it meticulously considering all dimensions of your life. If full-time gig is not your forte, run it as a committed side gig as long as you wish to.

Happy experimenting!

To cut a long story short: If you have a vision and work to follow it through, success often follows. You get the hang of it! Just repeat the cycle once in few years. Run some experiments with your life — you gain in some, lose in some — but the journey is super exciting to make you look forward to an awesome day, every day.

Originally posted on my blog. If you’d like to get more such change making muses, subscribe to Dentmaker.

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