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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Read This If You Are 35 or 40 And Want To Reinvent Yourself

Bob was turning 35 this Sunday, his hair started to grow grey and he was not as fit as he used to be in his prime. He was bored with his regular work routine and worried about the fact that his career was not going anywhere. On a lazy Saturday morning his friend James asked him to join for a workshop on Public Speaking. Bob was in no mood to do any work on a Saturday morning but when James insisted Bob joined him reluctantly.

At the workshop, Bob was astounded to see very energetic and passionate speakers who had worked very hard to prepare and deliver their speeches. These speakers came from all walks to life: Engineering, Education, Technology, Law and Business etc. In his mind Bob started to compare himself with these folks. He started to feel a bit inferior because he was almost equivalent to them professionally but he was nowhere close to them when it came to public speaking. These folks were just outstanding.

For two days, Bob couldn't sleep peacefully, the thought of being inferior was lingering in his mind. He finally decided to do what he always does when he confused, that is, he called me up. We met the very next day, he narrated all the details and shared his state of mind. It didn't take me a lot of time to understand his mental state because we are good friends since childhood. After listening to him I realized that he was going through pre mid-life crisis. He was showing the signs of anxiety and stress. He was comparing himself with others and feeling frustrated. I told him that he was overthinking the entire thing and he needed to reinvent himself.

He exclaimed 'Are you kidding me? I am just 35 years old and doing well in my profession. What do you mean by reinvent?'

I replied ' Take a deep breath, relax! Don't get worked up. I am not asking you to leave your day job. All I am asking you to do is to Act outside the box'. Below is the excerpt of what I told Bob that day:

Confront your weaknesses and fears

Ask yourself what are you scared of? Make a list of all such things that you don't do because of fear of failure or because you think that it is your weakness. For example, it may be public speaking, making new friends, learning new technology etc. List these things down and then give yourself a challenge that you will learn and master these things one by one. Set a timeline for yourself and get started immediately.

Find out your biggest competitor and beat them

No matter what you do, you will always have competitors, find out who is your biggest competitor and challenge yourself to beat them. Set a timeline and create a plan of action. The competition may be at your workplace or in your friend circle or in your business. Give yourself a pat on your back and go for the kill and don't stop until you win.

Ask your spouse or girlfriend/ boyfriend this question

What do you think I am not good at? Or What do you think is impossible for me to achieve? Listen to whatever they say very carefully. Make a note of it, post that note in your bedroom and at your workplace. Promise yourself that from today you will not stop until you have reached your goal and proved yourself right. Take this as a challenge from your near and dear ones and go for the impossible.

The pre mid-life crisis hits you without any warning. When you are around 35 to 40 years of age you are generally content/ satisfied/ relaxed with whatever you have achieved in your professional career. Your work seems to be pulling all the energy out of you and it appears that there is no thrill left in life. During this time it is very easy to get depressed and demotivated like my friend Bob. To turn things around one really needs to give oneself a kick. Reinventing the lost charm is not easy but by taking up some uphill challenges one can recharge and re-energize the passion.

Give yourself that challenge today, confront your weakness and fears, challenge your competitors and dare to ask your spouse...What do you think I am not good at? 

Go for it.