Just who are you?

Part of reaching a point we arbitrarily call “mid-life” is that we know who we are. In our youth, we are shaped by our environment and we either conform to or rebel against what we already know. Our twenties are spent trying to measure up to others expectations of us, trying to get on the fast track, start a family or do what we have been conditioned to think we are supposed to do. We can end up in careers, relationships and loan agreements that are the products of trying to please other’s expectations.

It is perfectly healthy and normal to reach a point where we look back at ALL of the decisions we’ve made and wonder: how did I get here?” I don’t like the term “mid life crisis.” Re-examination is a normal and healthy process. We are confronted, at mid life, with this question, “Does the decision making process I’ve used until now still serve me or do I need to change the way I make crucial decisions?”

Because, at mid-life, you begin to realize that you only have so much time left. Why did I come here in the first place, what should I do with the experience, commitments and wisdom I have gained so far? People have been asking this question throughout time, you and I are not the first ones to get to this place.

I’ve had a fairly public mid-life crossing and I am here to tell you what it looks like from the other side. I have made mistakes, as many have, and I have made some mid-course adjustments. I have come to appreciate many of the things I have like family, unconditional love and some of the material things I’ve earned. I’m proud that I have made some good decisions that make me a 1 percenter.

I’ve realized there are some holes in my life, like education, that I need to fill. I know I have a need, at my core, to become a credentialed and educated man, that, for no one but me, being a Phd is important. I’m working on that and loving it. Have you asked yourself what your needs are?

I’ve realized that there is such a thing as right and wrong, that there is a God, that there is something wrong with being self centered and “taking care of number one”. I’ve learned there is no such thing as the “Secret”, there is no Law of Attraction that magically gives us winning lottery tickets or bladder cancer because we mouthed the “right” or “wrong” words. I’ve learned that having a positive, optimistic attitude is a reward itself, as is humility, faith and service. I’ve learned that who you are is pretty much who you are, you can make changes but usually only at the margins. I’ve learned that trying to be someone you are not is not a healthy long term strategy.

I’ve learned that being loyal, loving and dependable are very important to me, I want to be remembered that way. I want to be remembered as someone who served, who was a lover of knowledge and who took care of those who are important to him. I want to be someone who welcomed and explored creativity and admired and encouraged it in others.

How about you? What is at your core?

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