Making The Most Of Midlife Crises

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Carl Jung said, “Nobody can live the afternoon of life according to the morning schedule of life; for what was great in the morning will be of no importance in the evening, and what was true in the morning will be false in the evening.” “

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It was actually the physician and psychoanalyst Elliot Jacques who invented the phrase “Midlife Crisis” in an address in 1957. The notion, later found to be semi-autobiographical, that people could be expected to experience depressive periods of several years in midlife, landed with a thud at a gathering of British Psycho-Analyticals. Society. Maybe it was because it was associated with an increased risk of death, or because it was so hard at home for the audience, or both.

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But several years earlier, in 1931, Carl Jung shared the notion of living “two halves of life,” a concept that was more instructive than caution. Indeed, the philosopher and ascetic, Richard Rohr, devoted an entire section, called “falling over, “To approach a redemption of the two halves of life, and especially of the other.

“The first half of life is spent building our sense of identity, importance, and security,” Rohr says. This is when we learn to seek, achieve, and demonstrate visible success, especially in our Western culture. “In the second half of life,” he adds, “we discover that it is no longer enough to find meaning in being successful or healthy. We need a deeper source of purpose.”

OK, a deeper source of purpose. I’m in So, how can we get it? “There is more to face than demand,” says Rohr. And it more closely resembles falling and failing, pain, and purification than “preplanning, purpose, or obsession.”

Ahh, there’s a catch. We “move more by doing wrong than by doing right.”

But here’s the good news: Although we may not be able to try and find the source of common sense in the second half of life, we are guaranteed to encounter many of its originators through traumatic events big and small. We just need to make the most of our woes at any stage of our life.

Yes, that’s even more good news: While some people never succumb to life’s lessons, only to get harsh and bitter in old age, some of us experience more pain, and live a harder life through it. Hui intelligence and its unusual are bestowed with the gift of peace.

As a financial advisor, I have had a first row seat overseeing this phenomenon for over 20 years. Maybe it’s specifically because there’s such a natural similarity to the cadence. While people are accumulating their education, career, wealth, relationships and reputation, they are also in the first half of life, both literally and figuratively; Then, in the second half, they begin to disintegrate, dissipate and spread, when appropriate.

I have seen some people resist reality and others insist on indefinitely holding onto the first half of life’s ambitions. But I have thankfully seen more and more people embrace and accept life’s challenges, allowing those moments and seasons to soften their reactions to despair and refine their attitudes toward life, work, and money. Huh.

Ironically, the most common challenge I’ve seen in working with the wealthy is the realization that the tangible successes they’ve achieved—the pursuit of “Plan A,” professional dominance and financial independence—are far less satisfying than they were. Was. d expected. Collective “That’s it!?” is echoing.

As Thomas Merton said, “People can spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success, only to find that once they reach the top, the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” Is.”

Yet there is no more rewarding task for someone than to make room for someone to step down a ladder, step back, and survey the wall they’re scaling. None of the work done by him has been in vain. What they have learned – often from loss – is earned, and can now be applied even more effectively, in search of that deeper source of purpose, and on behalf of the people they love and be with. work and the communities in which they serve.

I believe that as a financial advisor, we can do the greatest thing. Yes, there is value in the first half of life – the act of accumulating, or as Richard Rohr puts it, “making a proper container for one’s life.” But how much more meaningful is it to make room for others to “find the actual content that this container was meant to hold and deliver”?

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