I was in conversation with a women the other day who was just about to launch her first business at age 42 and she referred to this time in her life as her second life!
She is one of a growing number of people finding the courage to step up and change their lives but it seems to me this change more often than not follows some sort of event – including…. children leaving home, redundancy, marital breakdown, second/third marriage, bereavement, illness, trauma etc . What we see here is the classic pain versus pleasure syndrome.
One of our flaws as human beings is that we are constantly in the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain and unless we are in serious pain we avoid change of any kind. This is why once we create dissonance with our status quo we tend to change several things in our immediate environment simultaneously.
How many times have you listened to women tell the story of their life post divorce or relationship break up. They describe change on a multitude of levels ‘When John and I finally called it a day I moved house, enrolled at college to study law, started a part time job in an internet café, booked a holiday and lost 3 stone.’ Or another one ‘After I was made redundant I started my own business, broke up with my long term boyfriend, moved to another city and bought a motor bike’!
It is as though one event triggers a complete re-invention. As a coach and leader of a personal development organisation I see these transformations first hand every day and I often wonder why we wait until we are in pain to change? It would be so much easier to make incremental shifts in our lives so that we are always moving at a steady pace but we constantly choose to go for frame-breaking change and shift the lot in one go! Maybe we need this to feel alive?
Whatever the case, the so called mid life crisis, which I like to refer to as a mid life refocus is still prevalent across both genders and also tends to happen on a more regular basis, say every five to ten years.
But it is more complex than this…..
I challenge you to look at where you were in life just 5 years ago – are you living in the same house, same town even? What about your work? Same company, same position, same sector even? And relationships? – what about your friends, peers, partners? The pace of our life dictates the need for continual change, whether we like it or not. The world is shifting at an ever increasing rate ensuring that the pain I referred to earlier creeps up on us faster and faster.
If you are in any doubt about the speed of change, believe me we are living in exponential times.
Here a few facts to get you thinking;
* China will soon become the number one English speaking nation in the world.
* 351 babies will be born in India by the time you have read this article.
* The top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t even exist in 2004.
* We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist; to solve problems we haven’t yet identified.
* If my space were a country, it would be the 11th largest in the world, sitting between Japan and Mexico.
* The number of text messages sent and received every day exceed the population of the planet.
* More than 3000 books are published daily.
* 47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year.
Technology is moving at an amazing rate and this is speeding up our change cycles too. What an amazing world we live in and what an amazing time to be alive. Change is positive, change is good, and change is here to stay.
Now is always the perfect time to be, do and have anything you so desire – so go for it, there are no longer any rules – you are never too young, too old, too rich or too shy!
For more amazing facts on the speed of change, have a look at this
I guarantee you will not be able to watch it just once.