The Meaning of the Middle Series: Part 2

Life in the Middle - The Myth of the Mid-Life CrisisYou hear and read about it. You may think you experience it. You hit your mid-40s to early 50s, and you feel like you have missed something. Whether it is some experience, a tangible object, or a key relationship, you feel the dreaded mid-life crisis.

It is all a myth. A hoax. The auto dealers and other expendable income retailers will not like to hear it, but a mid-life crisis is a fake crisis.

If you live your life fully for the first half, you will not need to be in a crisis-mode during the second half.

Here is why there is no such thing as a mid-life crisis. Answer one question:  Do you know when your life will end? Simple question.

The simple answer is we do not know. We could live twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or one-hundred plus years, so where is the mid-point? Life can be short. Life can be long. I know it has become a tired expression, but live your life as if it would end soon.

Why does this simple fact always escape us?

The myth of the middle-life crisis is real, yet many adopt it as a normal stage of life.

The other day, I had an interesting thought about life in our 40s and early 50s. At that time, if we have kids, our kids are teenagers. This is a big transition for them as well as for parents. When the parents are having a supposed mid-life crisis, our kids are having a leave-me-alone-I-can-do-it-myself life adjustment. We both are going through life transitions; it just happens that the adult version of it is called a mid-life crisis.

The key light-bulb moment is that our adult life changes when our kids are teenagers. This adds to any thoughts of what am I really doing with my life.

Out of this comes this conclusion. Life transitions are good and natural. Embrace them and make adjustments to add to your life in meaningful ways. Spend more time being a coach to your kids. Spend more effort to fill your time in spirit-filled initiatives.

Okay. This discussion does not cover up the fact that a mid-life crisis is still a myth. A simple fact which bears repeating:  since we do not know when our time is up, we do not know the mid-point of our life. There is no real concept of middle in our life.

Repeat it. There is no middle in life.

What exists then? Living life filled with spirit, meaning, and engaged fully.

I know. It sounds obvious, uplifting, yet unreal. Life gets in the way of all that stuff. We need to make a living. We need to make ends meet. We need to save for college, homes, cars, and the list goes on. And, we need to balance all the transitions in our family life.

I get it. I understand it. However, I don’t accept it. I know I do not have all the answers, but I know we can live a life which meets those three elements – with spirit, meaning, and engaged.


It is interesting this “stage” is called a mid-life crisis. Mid equals middle. Middle equals center. Center equals core. So, it really is a core life crisis. It is really this!

We lost our core, our purpose, and our way of leading a life of meaning. This happens at any age and needs to be addressed right away rather than festering for 10 or 20 years. It shouldn’t become a crisis at any point. It should be about aligning ourselves to a personal philosophy, an approach to living meaningfully, and making choices which elevate and engage us.

It should not be about just going along with what life delivers or what happens to unfold. This is passive, un-engaged.

Here we stand. No such thing as a mid-life crisis. There is a reality of a core life crisis, however. Addressing this can be done by:

Core Life Step 1: Defining a personal philosophy and then engaging and living in it

Core Life Step 2: Making engaged choices in our lives

Core Life Step 3: Keeping ourselves moving forward while reviewing our life, making refinements as needed

What keeps your core fulfilled? What keeps your life on a meaningful, spirit-filled track?