There is something special that happens when a man reaches forty years old, they don't really give a crap what others think. Just look at what we wear for god sake!
It could be the good old mid-life crisis kicking or perhaps a reaction that all their hopes and dreams of becoming a professional football star are fading from reality. Something mysterious happens at this age, brought on by being fat and follicly challenged, giving up on the residual body image perception we had of ourselves when we were twenty. It messes with our reality. What we thought we would be when we were young, might not be where we are now. So something snaps and we want to bust out and do something radical before it's too late!
We start to do strange things. Buy Mustangs or Harly Davidson motorcycles, get tattoos, jump out of planes, date inappropriately young girls, visit Vegas, start a band, do cross fit or buy a cafe/bar. The things we had on our bucket list all start to seem urgent. 'Honey, of course, I need to drive my mustang across America!" Like it's some kind of birthright.
These activities are all good choices, in my opinion, but I wonder if this energy could be better directed into something more meaningful. Maybe instead of converting angst of busted dreams into a cliched guys movie. Could we use it productively to address the real problem?
Knowing a lot of guys in this age bracket, I think most are just looking for some excitement and meaning from life. Their work isn't providing the juice it once did. It pays the bills, keeps their family fed and has some nice perks, but what really are they achieving? Does it make a difference to anyone? I guess you could call this an existential crisis. The feeling of being phucked half way through your life, looking at the next 20 years doing the same old and wondering if there is another way.
So what do you do? Some dust off the 20-year-old bucket list and start spending large! Or do you quit your job and start a new, more meaningful career?
My view is you get your shit together, man up and address the real issue. If your career juice isn't worth the squeeze, do something about it! Make a difference, do the work, get to the gym and stop buying expensive band-aids.
If you want to figure your shit out, here is a free online assessment you can do in the privacy of your own office and work out what you really want in life. It's up to you how you process this stage of life. But as Yoda once said "do or not do, there is no try".
P.S. Coupon code for free course: I'm avoiding a midlife crisis