2. Questioning our limiting beliefs
‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’ ~ Socrates
How we experience our reality is a direct reflection of our belief systems. Through structured reflective pauses, particularly with meditation, we gain insights about our deep-seated beliefs that are at the source of our troubling thoughts and feelings – beliefs about our own identity, careers, love and relationships, money, giving, the right way to conduct life and so forth.
For example, what beliefs do you have about success – how do you weigh material progress versus spiritual growth; financial success versus social contribution; career growth versus family and emotional well-being. Your responses dictate the kind of profession you choose and the kind of life you lead. As we reform our beliefs and let go of the ones that no longer serve us well, we give ourselves a great shot at creating a paradigm shift in our life (Read: To create a new reality, start with your beliefs).
Similarly, examining our beliefs about our identity and building a deeper understanding of our spiritual self helps us appreciate the truth of our existence and meaning of life and death; grasping the nature of our eternal being subsides the pressure of accomplishing all our goals in this lifetime and provides us with inner strength and peace.
3. Defining a clear purpose of life
‘What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us into the world, miracles happen.’ ~ Henry David Thoreau
Persevering with these reflections throws light at the futility of some of our mindless pursuits – actions that may well have been relevant for the first half of our life, but ones we could do well to let go of for a meaningful second half. However, to reinvent ourselves, we need to develop a clear picture of what we want the rest of our life to be about.
I believe each one of us is uniquely gifted and has a specific purpose to fulfill in a lifetime – but we need to temporarily get off the treadmill of activity to discover this purpose. The inner turmoil of the mid-life crisis creates the most fertile ground for this discovery – we are young enough to be bold and wise enough to assimilate the experiences, successes and setbacks of our first half.
I recommend writing a statement, in no longer than one sentence, describing the purpose of the rest of your life – what’s that singular pursuit that would be most meaningful for you; the one you would be most happy and proud of when you are 85 years old, having dedicated the previous three-four decades towards. Defining a clear life’s purpose is a liberating exercise – the purpose connects us to our deepest inspiration, becomes our core anchor, and sets a powerful direction for the rest of our life (You may also like to read: Discovering your calling).
4. Committing to becoming who we are meant to be
‘A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.’ ~ William Shedd
When we slow down and listen to the small voice within, it guides us to what we truly want our life to be about – not the one goaded merely by popular trends, but the one that’s a true expression of who we uniquely are. Many a time, we connect with such inspiration on that long weekend, but come Monday morning and we get sucked into the demands of our daily life and lose the spark.
Addressing our limiting beliefs and committing to manifest our chosen life purpose paves the way for creating a happy and fulfilling second-half of our life. Pursuing this purpose does not always mean altering the entire contours of our life, including career or lifestyle; however, it does begin to shape our relationship with whatever we are engaged in.
We start to discover new growth and meaning in our work by either committing to pursue our calling or having a new-found purposeful relationship with our existing work; we become open to overcoming whatever is holding us back in our relationships and discover deeper love and intimacy in our marriage; reform our outlook towards the role of parenting and start enjoying a wonderful friendship with our children; and living our life’s purpose adds happiness and meaning to our journey.
The author Rajiv Vij is a life and executive coach and author of Discovering your sweet spot: a soul-searching guide for creating the life you really want
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