At a certain point in your life, you may stop feeling fulfilled by success. You have either had enough of it or striving for success is losing its meaning. You may feel that there must be more than success. You may begin to ponder if you are making a difference or whether your life has any significance.
For me, this shift began when I was around age 50. I had placed a large focus in my 40's on success and by many standards had achieved it by 50. I then found myself asking, "Is there more?" When most financial goals are met or success has lost its luster, then what?
I am witnessing my parents aging and slowing down. As my parents begin to face end-of-life issues, it forces me to look ahead through their eyes and reassess what might be important to me to do and be in the coming decades.
I have started to ask myself a lot of questions. What is most important in life? Do all the things I thought mattered the first half-century of my life really matter? Will anything I have done live on beyond me? What legacy do I want to leave to my children and my community?
All of the sudden, I find myself decreasing the amount of stuff I have and own. That stuff feels heavy. I do not want to accumulate any more things. I have downsized my home, sold things and given things away. I continually find things to get rid of, paring down to what I truly love and use. M. Chadbourne says, "Maturity is a process of subtraction, not addition."
I don't need as many clothes, jewelry or trinkets. Instead I crave experiences, beauty, and connections with others. I spend more time outside to be in nature and breathe fresh air. I care about how my body feels and I eat better and I am gentler with myself. I get more rest and play more often. And I am kinder to other people. I smile more, wave more, tip more and care more.
And with this shift away from the focus of success, I feel an opening of my heart to all that is. And surprisingly, success still occurs from the momentum of my time before as well as an attraction of people, events and circumstances that happens when I am in a good place of energy and vibration. So success continues, but something more important is brewing inside me.
I was relieved to have found Bob Buford's book Halftime, Moving from Success to Significance because I did not feel as alone in this transition time of my life. "Halftime" in the game of life as Bob Buford calls it, is not always a comfortable time of life.Things that mattered so much to me in the first half of my life seem less important now, and I am asking hard questions of myself.
I find I am reviewing the first half of my life to know what worked and what did not work. Sometimes regret and guilt can spring up and I have to constantly practice forgiveness of myself. There was some pain and drama and thankfully I have moved to a much more peaceful place.
I have chosen to live a peaceful life now because it feels so much better, and the chaotic periods of my life took a heavy toll. I don't have the energy to deal with drama anymore, and I have a strong desire to funnel the energy I do have into contribution to a better life and world around me.
I have gained wisdom and experience from my first half "failures" and disappointments as well as my successes. I crave to share my wisdom, and I do that primarily with my writing.
I recently wrote a book for high school and college graduates titled, Ready or Not, Tips for the New Grad. This was the step forward for me to begin to share publicly what I learned and wish I had known when I stepped out into the world of work and relationships.
Moving from halftime into the second half of my life takes courage. I feel out of my comfort zone, but I know at age 50 that moving beyond the comfort zone is where the most potential is located and often where the most fulfillment can be achieved.
I realize that the second half of my life will be very different but ultimately richer and more fulfilling than only pushing for success. Moving to significance forces me to dig deep into my creative forces, speak up and say what needs to be said and leave a positive legacy.
It means living fully present each day now because there is no guarantee of how long the second half period will last. It might last another 50 years or be over tomorrow.
Of course everyone could draw his or her last breath today at any age. But I have achieved the half-century mark, so I am grateful to have the opportunity to be in halftime moving into the final half. I get a chance to consciously create a legacy and decide what I want to be remembered for. I won't be playing the second half the way I played the first half, and what a relief! There is another way!
If you are much younger than I am at 50 and never considered shifting your life from success to significance, know that you can at any age when you are ready. If you are in transition now, know that you are not alone!
And if you have already moved into creating a life of significance, I applaud you! As Bob Buford says, “What you ultimately leave behind will be more important than anything you could have achieved in the first half of your life.”
If you found this article of value, it likely resonated with you. You may also enjoy “Kick Busyness and Exhaustion Out The Door" also found on YourTango.
Let's connect on Facebook or Twitter and I'll share more healthy dating and relationship tips with you. And learn more about me and the books I have written by visiting my website: www.LisaJShultz.com.
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