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In your late thirties or beyond and feeling stuck?
All of us are prone to feeling out of place at any stage of our lives. Whether working at a comfortable job or doing the same activities every day, “good enough” may be the culprit.
Although it may feel out of reach, attaining happiness and finding purpose is possible. On an online forum, people at different stages of life chimed in on some of the best ways to change your life if you ever find yourself unhappy and without a purpose.
Let’s dive into some responses that may turn your life around!
One user said, “Change usually takes a lot of time, patience, and self-forgiveness.
“A good start would be to make a list of the things that you want to change about your life, write down the advantages for the change, the disadvantages for not changing, and then rank them from 1 to 10 with 1 being the perceived easiest change.”
“Get a calendar: put all your important dates on there, birthday, anniversaries, etc. Now sit back with your SO and look at all the empty dates/weekends on there.
“Next, put plans on the calendar. Overnight camping trips, day trips to somewhere close by, visiting a friend you haven’t seen for awhile, picnics, hiking, bicycle riding, going to a botanical garden, the zoo, any small trips you can do with your family.
“It’s time to start making memories with your family. That’s what your child(ren) will remember,” another user remarked.
Yet another user commented, “Often we think about what is missing in our lives and we imagine what it would take to fulfill those things. The answer usually comes in the form of money or the time that ample money would afford us. This is a trick.
“Instead try imagining how you feel with those new things, then ponder why you aren’t feeling this way with all that you have. Constant competing for more (very American thing) is the opposite of ever being happy.
“Learn to appreciate what you have. Compared to many, it is likely quite a lot.”
“Find something you care about and volunteer. You can do it as a family. Helping others is probably the most fulfilling thing you can do imho,” one user said.
Prioritize Your Health
One commenter said, “This may sound generic suggestions below, but I (39M) was feeling the same. Happy family. Ok career (it pays but it’s boring not the worst thing in the world). Achieved some life goals.
“But I was feeling ‘now what?’ I got out of shape with the second kid being an infant, was sleeping poorly, and anxiety was just a constant s***** on my every day. I started a Coach to 5k program to get back into shape, along with weight lifting twice a week.
“Literally two weeks in and my zest for life is back. Less anxiety, good sleep, the minor aches and pains are going away (now it’s just sore muscles) and I feel like my procrastination is disappearing.”
Make Time for Your Mental Health
Someone remarked, “I’m 50. Exercise is my mental health. If I’m not getting it, the anxiety builds up, I sleep badly, which makes the anxiety worse, the weight builds on, more anxiety.
“Other thing is once you have a couple goals set up, travel, retirement, kids [sic] college, get to a financial counselor. I get overwhelmed by all the parenting/adult stuff, and bringing in an expert helps. Tutor, handyman, housecleaning.
“I need my alone and off time. Trying to be the perfect parent, spouse, career worker, and have hobbies and mental health? That’s a big old burden, especially without family nearby.”
“Be purposeful in your day to day actions. You’re asking for very broad advice but you need to understand that life is the sum of all your decisions. You need to make more decisions that effect [sic] you positively than those that keep you back.
“And also go to therapy. Therapy can help you understand how you think and give you advice on how to control your behavior,” commented a passionate user.
“Free yourself from a goal oriented mindset, it is an internal problem and not an external one. Yes, money and vacations are important but even if you get to those milestones the emptiness and anxiety will come back.
“You need to look within, maybe there is something eating inside of you that makes you want to focus on goals to keep you distracted. I would recommend seeing a therapist.”
Don’t Ignore the Small Things
“Read Krishnamurti and see that you don’t need to accomplish or change or become anything. Still go overseas to learn and explore the beauty of life, but all of us are so insanely conditioned to live life in terms of our accomplishments. We need to pursue them, we need to savor them and broadcast them.
“They are not important; rather, what is significant and important is our experiencing fully the brief moments we have alive. We can work endless hours in a thankless, anonymous life and become more familiar with the beauty of being alive than any famous person.”
Explore Other Hobbies
“It seems like you’re at a crossroads, having accomplished many of the ‘standard’ milestones society often sets for us. This could be the perfect time to explore a hobby or a passion that you’ve always been interested in but never had the time or resources to pursue,” someone commented.
Read New Books
Another user said, “It’s slightly tacky and self-helpy, but a book called “Designing Your Life” (Bill Burnett & Dave Evans) helped push me through a big career change a few years ago.
“Lots of thought experiments and pushing yourself to make decisions and evaluations about your priorities and what you want your life to be. Your library might have it for free. Take what’s useful to you and leave the rest.”
“Well first of all start by appreciating the gift of life. That should count for something. You are in good health thats [sic] a precious gift there. 2ndly, you are probably in a much better country than Zimbabwe.
“Trust me, you do not want to be in Zimbabwe. I am a Zimbabwean and its [sic] crazy. Third try new things buddy, get out of the normal routine and try out other things that you havent [sic] tried before,” another user remarked.
The Journey to Finding Happiness and Fulfillment Beyond Mid-Life Crisis
Life can be hard, but it can also be joyful.
Hopefully, one of these quotes will help you embark on a positive path in your life. Remember, lean on your family and friends during those low moments, and cherish good moments when they come.