If you are a GenXer questioning a lot these days, don’t worry– you are in good company. As we all hit the “mid-life” point we are bound to question whether life has worked out the way we wanted it to, and if not, we are painfully aware that there is no time like the present to make a change. For some that may mean re-evaluating work, for others it’s a time to rethink our personal relationships, and it could even be we need to tweak a little bit in both areas. Questioning is a good thing, but to do so properly you need to make an effort at doing these three things:
1. Unplug– you need to disconnect from the Matrix. Seriously, you need to realize that the social media distractions are just a way to avoid time alone. But time alone is good. If you need to, try this in baby steps. First unplug for a few hours a day, then ramp up to a weekend, then maybe a whole week while on vacation. If you miss it, then you don’t need to give it all up cold turkey, but who knows? You may discover, as I did this summer, that you really don’t miss all the updates, and after reaching this conclusion you may even decide to delete the Facebook app from your phone, as I did recently– and I have not missed it since.
2. Find Silence– go for a daily walk, try meditating a few minutes each day, or just enjoy sitting in silence without any electronics and let your mind wander. It may not be easy at first, but if you stick with it, you will find that silence is golden. It helps center you and allows you to re-engage in tasks with a greater, clearer purpose.
3. Listen to Your Heart- do something because you really want to do it, not because you think you have to or feel pressured to do so for another person’s sake. The truer you are to yourself, the more authentic you will feel, and others will notice and appreciate that you are being genuine.
These 3 simple steps helped me over the last few years confirm that I enjoy my work, but I also enjoy volunteering so I made more time for that in my life; meanwhile there were various relationships that I needed to readjust, and once I was clear about what I really wanted, I was able to align myself more with those closer to my true values.
Many books out there can give you inspiration along the way, and some of my favorites are (1) The Road Less Traveled, (2) The Four Agreements; (3) The Way of the Peaceful Warrior; (4) Butterflies are Free to Fly; and (5) The Soul of Leadership. There are also plenty of life coaches that can guide you through your journey. Here is a link to an interview I did with one last year: