Article of the month for February, 2004
Have you thought about what's really important to you?
By Craig Nathanson
Many people may be content for the majority of their working life if their situation meets externally viable needs and they are rewarded properly.
Many people assume that rewards follow correct behavior if we are willing to sacrifice for success. We expect that if we do our part, life will pay off accordingly. I saw many people in my corporate career just waiting for their magic ticket to arrive.
Some however, while in mid-life start to come to terms with the value and purpose of their work in their lives. This is why it's important in mid-life to consider not only your values but also the degree of fit between you and your current work environment. At mid-life, you might discover during self-reflection that your current work situation may not be suitable, as it does not allow for you to carry out important aspects of yourself. Can you relate to this?
This can relate to your values, hopes and dreams.
Even in the worse conditions, the motivation to survive can be supported by the knowledge that there is meaning in one's life.
Many people pay a price when the vision of their life does not match internal expectations. Many people remain in jobs for many years feeling empty while doing work, which is of little importance to them.
Is this you?
Sadly, I have seen very few HR related programs that help people get to the core of what is important to them. Then again, this is usually not the concern of most organizations.
This pattern can continue until a combination of external pressure and inner readiness emerges.
In mid-life self-reflection takes on new light. You many find yourself asking deep questions about the value of your life and your contribution to society.
This is reflective of this time of questioning your life and current possibilities.
Most important however is the possible realization that there might be a gap between where you expected to be and where you are. This tension is inherent in the human condition and therefore is indispensable to mental well being. In mid-life, individuals once started on the cycle of self-reflection start to announce their intentions based on what they prize most in their lives. In mid-life starting to follow what is most important in one's heart however can subject one to external views from family and friends.
Had this happened to you?
As a result, it is easy in mid-life to get lost or have your path blocked by the on-going demands of your current activities.
Mid-life can be a period of awakening. A time of re-assessing your work and life. This period can be a good time for dealing with self-doubt and using new ideas to reflect about your time left.
I know this can be a difficult thing for you to ponder. But let's face it, you only have so many heartbeats left. Do you really care about what others think or what may be written some day on your tombstone? I want you to live your life now with energy, passion and a smile on your face.
For many, mid-life can be a time of transition while at the same time feeling that the sense of urgency is raised about life and work.
Mid-life can be a time for strengthening your work commitments or deciding to take action to move towards new directions.
In mid-life, new perspectives can occur as a result of new questioning about your life and what really matters in your work.
Use this as an opportunity to question what you are currently doing. Does it give you passion, energy and a sense that your work matters?
If so, great! If not, now is the time for reflection and action to make your second half the best yet!
I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines!
Regards Craig Nathanson 2-04
The Vocational Coach (tm)
Craig Nathanson The Vocational Coach™
''The world works a little better when we do the work we love''
Craig Nathanson specializes in helping adults in mid-life discover and live their vocational passion.
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