In our youth, baby boomers were famous for questioning social norms. But now that the youngest of our generation have long ago celebrated their 50th birthdays, it’s important to shift the focus inward and begin to ask ourselves the big questions.
Thanks to advances in medical science, improved living conditions and the downright audacity of our generation, middle age has now been extended by decades. In comparison to the life expectancy of our grandparents, the forever-young generation can anticipate at least another twenty years of a relatively healthy life. Yet it goes without saying that we can’t push the clock back forever. The oldest of us are entering our seventies. And, despite our formidable flower power, Mother Nature is likely to win out sooner or later. At some point in the not too distant future, each of us will have to face old age.
The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it.
So had Doris Day gotten it right when she made the wry observation quoted above? Is growing older something to fear? Are we destined to experience a downhill slide that inexorably depletes our life force and dooms us to decrepitude? Or… will our rebellious spirit lead us to finding new and innovative ways to revolutionize the post-midlife experience?
My money is on the latter.
But to grow older with purpose and meaning, we have to turn within. Now, more than ever before, is the time to ask ourselves the big questions. So…
- What do you want out of life as the years become more precious?
- How can you achieve greater authenticity in your relationships and a deeper bonding with those you love?
- Which practices will help you connect with your developing wisdom?
- What do you need to do to live in alignment with your unique gifts and life purpose?
These are awfully important questions. Yet they are rarely asked—drowned out by the steady flow of details and demands of daily life. However, if you end your life having never understood—or even questioned—the greater meaning of your existence, you will certainly have missed out. In fact, this is a fate none of us would wish for. Each of us wants our lives to matter.
Therefore, now is the time to pinpoint what you truly value, reassess your priorities and get very clear on the aspects of life that feed your soul. And if you need any extra motivation to focus your mind on the big questions of life, a quick glance in the mirror should do the trick. The signs of age are signaling each of us with ever increasing insistence: if not now… when?