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Staying on Top When Your World's Upside Down


Make the most of midlife crisis

Tác giả: Joe Tye

“Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of the ego... Perhaps one can at last in middle age, if not earlier, be completely oneself. And what a liberation that would be!”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Gift from the Sea

Midlife crisis gets a bad name. It is often associated with red sports cars, extra-marital flings, and other craziness. But those are just superficial symptoms of something much deeper. What Dante called “the middle of this road we call life” there comes a growing, and often painful, awareness that one is closer to the end than to the beginning. “Midlife crisis” is often where the “dark night of the soul” first described by the medieval Christian mystics occurs. Alternatively, it can be seen as a whole-life crisis that has finally broken through to the surface somewhere around the midpoint.

As Lindbergh points out, on the other side of the pain, there can be liberation. Many a second career has been more rewarding than the first (often including in a financial sense) precisely because at that point one is able to shed the old shells and learn to be more authentic.

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