According to the Harvard Business Review, the term ‘mid-life crisis’ was coined by Elliot Jacques in 1965, when he explained that this refers to a period in our life that we recognize our restricted possibilities, our limitations, and our mortality. However, there are positives to be found at any time in life when you’re feeling dissatisfied or concerned about the way things are going, and it’s the perfect opportunity to really reflect and consider what your motivations and passions are, and how your working life could be a supplement to your overall wellbeing, rather than a detriment. So how can you identify a business life mission which will bring vision and purpose to your everyday reality?
Starting at the beginning
Think about all the things you’ve already done throughout your life, and identify the skills, talents and experiences that have made you most happy. For some people, these are obvious – perhaps you’ve loved drawing from a young age, or creating projects or writing; or you may have particular interests such as sports, gaming or technology that naturally steer you towards a specific sector or career. For others, this distinction is not so clear, and you may find yourself regularly wondering, ‘What should I do with my life?’ This is something that can be most clearly evaluated by undertaking a deeper exploration, and giving yourself a bit of time to understand the things you love doing, your passions, and which of these also come easily to you.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to ruminate on the qualities that you value most – which do you enjoy expressing, and how do you enjoy expressing them the most? If you value diligence and determination, for example, that could lead you to follow a very different path than one founded on eloquence and enthusiasm. In business terms, expressing these qualities could take the form of working hard and being self-motivated, inspiring others to succeed, or feeling happy when you communicate effectively with others, putting your all into everything you do to really get your passion across and leave others feeling excited too.
State your purpose
Once you’ve identified what really drives you, it’s time to write a description of what your world would ideally look like if it operated in perfect terms according to your own preferences. Combine this with the things you’ve identified that are important to you, and it should give you a good steer towards the perfect business sector, which can then be refined if you listen to your gut – what is your heart telling you that you should do? Finally, decide how to put this into practice, and construct a route you can follow which incorporates a series of shorter-term goals that will allow you to celebrate successes, affirm your decisions, and reflect on any changes you may want to make to future goals.
If you take the time to find your focus and follow your inner guidance system, you may well end up with a career you could never previously have dreamed of. Life isn’t always perfect, but it’s perfectly possible to be exceedingly content with it.