In the movie City Slickers, Billy Crystal feels the onset of a mid-life crisis and asks: “Did you ever reach a point in your life when you say to yourself: ‘This is the best I’m ever going to look, this is the best I’m ever going to feel, the best I’m ever going to do, and it ain’t that great’?” We’ve all been there. We’ve strived to achieve and get ahead in our careers and be honored for our accomplishments. And we wake up one day and realize that our dream has died.
What we do with that feeling of emptiness will speak volumes about our character. Will we get depressed and want to throw ourselves a lifelong, woe-is-me pity party? Will we file for divorce and run off with a younger woman? Or will we use the opportunity of our midlife to examine ourselves, rearrange our priorities, and work toward building a better future?
Let’s do the latter. Here are the 10 must do's of middle age for men:
Make Health a Priority
Diet, exercise, and how we deal with stress all go a long way to determine midlife vibrancy. It’s no fun starting a big adventure only to stop after a mile. We know how to take care of our bodies; put that knowledge into practice.
Escape the Rat Race
The “Rat Race” puts extra stress on men already struggling with life. We need to escape from time to time. Take a spontaneous trip with your wife. Play “hooky” and spend the day having fun. Escape into your favorite music or novel. Reinvent.
Regain Your Child-like Joy
“Behaving like a child” isn’t always all bad! Avoid irresponsibility, but embrace child-like joy. In the eyes of child, the world has endless possibilities. Wake up with a gleam in your eye and joy in your heart. Determine to discover one new thing about the world every day.
Make a Pilgrimage
Many men harbor a burning desire to explore, challenge limits, engage a quest, and redefine who they are. What’s your ultimate pilgrimage? What does your soul want to experience? Answer that question and plan.
Become a Mentor
Success, mistakes, joy, and heartbreak. Knowledge multiplies with experience. By mid-life, it’s time to share. We can teach, volunteer, encourage, and listen. The only skill necessary is the courage to step out.
Discover a Deeper Purpose
Sometimes life can grow stagnant, a repetitive loop in the same endless circle disconnected and barely making do. Such thoughts can lead to depression, alcohol abuse, marital troubles, and more. The first solution is to realize your need; that’s the most difficult part. Once that happens, vigorously seek God’s will.
Avoid Tragic Mistakes
There are many common pitfalls. Cheating, over-reaching financially, walking away from people or jobs we’re invested in, giving in to despair. But nothing destroys like cheating. Don’t even put yourself in a position to be tempted.
Take Leadership Responsibility
Wisdom comes with age and then the responsibility to share. There’s a place that needs your leadership right now. Find it and step up.
We all fail when it comes to recognizing our blessings. In business, it’s imperative to take stock. The same goes for our personal lives.
The Past is Past
We don’t reach midlife without trauma. Life shapes us. It can build character or destroy it, leaving bitterness and heartache. The past is a resource, but the future is where hope lives.
Huddle up with your wife tonight and ask her:
What is one thing I have not done yet that you think I should do?
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