Blog with Joel Brookman

Prevent a Midlife Crisis

One of my favorite movies is American Beauty. Kevin Spacey plays the role of an incredibly boring husband and father with a monotonous job he hates. He wakes up one day to realize how mundane his life has become. He then proceeds to quit his job, buy a car he’s always wanted, leave his wife, and rid himself of all responsibilities.

What causes a midlife crisis? The point comes when we realize that we have more days behind than ahead. This prompts a life assessment resulting in the realization that either something is missing, or there should be more. There are ways to prevent a midlife crisis.

Break the monotony of life

Go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, repeat. The same routine can get boring. It’s important to find ways to shake things up. Join a basketball league, try a new restaurant with your family on a Tuesday, reconnect with local friends you haven’t seen for a while. Spend more time with people that make you laugh. You may need to put some thought into it and take initiative, but it’s important. Life is about experiences. It’s good to get off the couch and change things. A year from now you’ll never remember the night in front of the television, but you will remember the night you saw a great band or the heard an influential guest lecture at your local university.

Get a clear understanding of what you want to be doing

The midlife crisis kicks in when you are unfulfilled in life. This lack of fulfillment can come from the failure to get clarity about the things you truly want. Fulfillment in life begins with the understanding of what you would like to be, do, or have. For most of my adult life I’ve had a passion for the mountains. While this can be a challenge if you live in Florida, I was driven to find a way to spend part of my time in the Rockies. This served as a clear picture of what I wanted to be doing.

Act on the things you want to be doing

Many people have great intentions. Those that succeed are the ones that act on them. Once you get clear on what you want, take the necessary action needed to bring it into your life. Once I knew what I wanted, I had to find ways to spend more time there. I began skiing several mountains each year. I met with realtors to decide where I wanted to be. I kept it up until I settled on the area I loved. I then followed the real estate market until the property found matched my willingness and ability to move forward.

Continually do things you want to do

I love going to concerts. I love to ski and I love to travel. Through my entire adult life I have done all three consistently. I am fortunate to be married to a woman who understands this and encourages me. I have friends who are in relationships where their significant other inhibits them from doing certain things that they love. Preventing people from doing what they want ends in resentment. Resentment under enough pressure ends relationships.

You can prevent a midlife crisis. Don’t wake up one day realizing that you haven’t lived your life the way you truly wanted. Consider this your wake up call. Start living the life you want to live now. Get clear about what you want, then take the action necessary to bring it into your life.

Posted by Joel Brookman in Achieve Success, Choose who you want to be, Direct Your Life, follow your passion and tagged .


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