The Midlife Transition Series

Moving through MY midlife.Some researchers have argued that there is no such thing as a midlife crisis.  They say that it is not an actual event or crisis.

But just ask any therapist or life coach.  You will hear a different story.  We work with people in the midst of a midlife crisis (or trying to put the pieces of life back together after a crisis) on a regular basis.

The problem is the research assumptions.  Yes, everyone goes through adolescence.  And there are clear indications of this life stage.

But not everyone has a midlife crisis.  And the indications can vary from person to person.

If you are here, you probably aren’t doubting the reality of a midlife crisis.  You are probably trying to understand it or figure out what to do about it (or the damage from it).

I put together a series on midlife crises.  You can find the links to each episode in the series below.

MID LIFE TRANSITION SERIES:

4 Myths of a Mid Life Crisis

The Heart Of A Midlife Crisis

A Healthy Midlife Transition

Midlife Crisis or Depression?

My Midlife

3 Ways Fear Keeps You Stuck

3WaysFearKeepsYouStuckIt seems to be a specialty of mine… getting people UN-stuck.  Which means I spend a fair amount of time noting what gets people stuck in the first place.  Makes sense, right?  If you want to get un-stuck, you need to know why you got stuck.

There are some clear reasons why people get stuck.  For example, when you violate one of the 16 Immutable Laws Of Living I highlight in my latest book, you will end up stuck.  Guaranteed.  Which is why I try to spell them out for you, so you can get unstuck.

One area that consistently gets people stuck is fear.  And the way to get un-stuck is not to eliminate fear.  Mostly because it is impossible to eliminate fear.  It is wired into your brain.  Just part of being alive.

But, and this is the good news, you only have to do a little pivot in order to let fear help you.

Before I go into how you can pivot, though, I clarify three primary ways that fear can get you stuck (and keep you stuck).  Listen to learn the three ways, and the one necessary pivot.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Immutable Laws of Living Book
Getting Un-Stuck
Fear and Living

When Your Ego Trips You Up

WhenEgoTripsA couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu.  One of my lessons was about “egoless learning.”  Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved.  And what’s wrong with that… the ego?

Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives.  Why?  Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like.  And because of that, we try to keep up an image.

And because of that, we trip.

Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor.  Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching.

So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process.  It was supposed to be a learning event.  A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach.

They weren’t looking for me to be the best teacher.  I was at the beginning of my teaching.

That said, part of my task was to teach… so they could evaluate me and help me to be better.  And to get ready, I had practiced.  I created a killer PowerPoint.  I had “show and tells.”  I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was.  I would show them!

I finished.  They offered feedback.  The first piece, “You went 2 minutes longer than your limit.”  I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized… I was not learning.  I was proving.  I was worried about my appearance.  My ego was there.

More feedback.  More temptation for rebuttal.  My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn’t the first time.  When ego appears, learning disappears.

Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
Trial and Error Living
Life As An Experiment
Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

Live Each Day As THE Day

Rules for Living Series

Rules for Living: Forgive and move forwardAncient Stoics and Latin Christians believed that every day we should “memento mori,” we should remember our death.  This practice was not to contemplate how you might die, but that you will die.  As will I.  And everyone else.

Which is what makes life so precious.  And which is what gives value and power to the choices we make in how to live this day.  Not how we lived yesterday or last year, nor how we plan to live tomorrow or next year.  But how we live today.  This is THE day you have.  The only one.

This moment.

We live our lives, spending our time (our most precious resource) moment-by-moment.  Sometimes, time slips away… with us making little progress (or maybe even some regress) toward what we want in life.

This moment.

We move toward our hopes and dreams… we carry out our life purpose… we make an impact in the world in this moment, this day.

It is the only one we have.

In this podcast episode, we talk about living life more fully, more in the moment — today.  In this moment.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
#9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment

Do Your Part (And Wait For The Moment)

Rules for Living Series

KnowTheRulesSome people feel that they are at the whims of the world, unable to make a difference in their own lives.  (They often fall into blame and helplessness.)

Other people believe that they are fully in charge, their lives entirely in their control. (Ironically, they also often fall into blame — self-blame — and frustration.)

The fact is, life is a combination of things that happen and what you do about them — your you respond to the situations life throws your way.  Events, good and bad, are unavoidable.  Your choice is how you deal with them, how you choose to respond.

And if you are trying to get somewhere… if you have some hope or dream… then the process is to keep moving forward, making your choices and taking action.  And at the same time, you wait for the timing to be right.

It is more likely that the timing will be right when you keep taking actions in the direction of what you want.  Luck follows action.

Listen to this week’s podcast for how you might use an equation to get to the outcome you want.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest

Control What You Can; Release The Rest

Rules for Living Series

Rules123It was interesting to see how much my client seemed to relish her self-diagnosed “issue” when she smilingly told me, “I’m a bit of a control freak. I just want things my way.  Mostly because I know how they should be.”

So, I asked that tough question, “How is that working out for you?”

The smile turned to tears as she told me how much pushback she was getting from people.  “They just don’t know better,” she assured me, letting me know that she just needed some better ways of getting people to follow her lead (ummm, demands).

My client was making a common mistake.  One that leads to misery — on her part and the part of others around her.  She was trying to control things she could not.  AND she was failing to control things she could.

The desire to control comes from fear.  We fear things won’t go well, won’t work out.  So, we innocently try to control things… the wrong things.

There are only a few things we can control. But when we switch from trying to control the things we cannot to the things we can, life opens up! Controlling what we can, it turns out, is enough.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I cover another Rule for Living:  Control the Things You Can, and Release the Rest.  Listen below.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Teach Others How To Treat You

Rules For Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?“Why don’t they treat me the way I want to be treated?”, my client asked me.

So, I asked, “Have you taught them how to treat you?”

The silence let me know.  But after a pause, my client said, “I guess it never crossed my mind I needed to do that.”

The fact is that people do not know how we want to be treated… unless we are clear about how we are to be treated.  Otherwise, we get treated the way THEY want to treat US, and not the reverse.

In the end, that leaves people frustrated, defensive, and feeling mistreated.

Your BOUNDARIES are what lets people know how you want to be treated.  They are your “NO’s” of life.  Things you will not let people do to(wards) you.

If your boundaries are solid, you are already following this rule.  But if you find yourself being treated in ways you don’t want to be, time to start following this rule, “Teach others how to treat you.”

Listen to this week’s Thriveology Podcast for yet another Rule for Living.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Listen To Your Higher Self

Rules For Living Series

Rules for Living:  Listen to your Higher Self

Have you ever had that moment when you were doing something or saying something, and there was that other voice in your head… the one questioning why?  Maybe you already knew you were acting in a way you would not want to, or perhaps you were saying something you knew would be hurtful.  But you found yourself doing or saying it anyway….

Your Higher Self was talking.  Were you listening?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we talk about listening to that Higher Self.  It is far more resilient and wise than that other voice, the Ego, that gets our ear (and our actions) lots of times.

But when we make a shift… to that Higher Self… our lives make a shift, too.  We make better choices, treat others better (along with ourselves), and work from a place of courage.

This week’s Rule?  Listen to your Higher Self.  Listen to this episode for more.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Find Freedom From Forgiving

Rules For Living Series

The Rules of Living Series:  Forgive to Move Forward.Have you ever noticed how many times, we get dragged into the past and the pain, even when those hurtful times are over?  Those remnants of the events can keep us stuck, frozen in the hurt and pain.

Unless we forgive.

That’s a big word, I know.  One that is packed with meaning… and not always helpful meanings.

In another podcast, I highlight my process for actually forgiving.  It is important enough that I have a book coming out on the Forgive Process (actually, the name of the book) in October.

In this episode, we discuss why it is so hard to forgive, why you should do it anyway, and why this is so important as a rule for living.  If you struggle with forgiving, please take a listen.  It might just change your mind!

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains

Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Rules for Living Series

Rules for Living:  Accept the past and revise the future

Time is an interesting thing, isn’t it?  How often do we keep reliving the past, and imagining the future?  Unfortunately, when we are caught in the past and the future, the present suffers.

As I have watched myself and others, I have noticed the tendency we have in trying to change what has happened.  We try to find some way to re-do what has already been done.  We want to find a revisable past.

And simultaneously, we don’t do what we can to revise and re-envision the future.  If only we could swap those two approaches!

What if we accept the past and revised the future, versus trying to revise the past and giving up on the future?

As we continue our series on the Rules for Living, this week, we look at how to accept the past and look toward the best possible future.

Listen below

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present