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Pursuing Purpose in Midlife

In most countries the older you are, the more prestige and respect you assume. This is not true in the United States. In fact, depression, loneliness, and a lack of self-worth are part of the aging experience for many. Some of this is self-induced. People get stuck in a rut or retire without a plan, goal, or passion. You end up living your life feeling self-defeated as though you’ve done it all before.

Now is the perfect time to consider what you could do to build up and create a life you never thought possible. Like all things, change doesn’t happen unless you change the way you think and what you do with your time.

  • What do you hope to accomplish in the second half in of your life? What have you put off thinking you’d do when you had time? This is the time; redefining your purpose is key. Sitting home wondering why no one visits is much less fulfilling than learning a foreign language or new skill that can help others. Ask yourself, “Does taking this action allow me to grow in my life?”

  • Getting unstuck is about identifying the fear and dealing with it. Look at the areas of your life where you catch yourself making excuses. Excuses cover fear. If you can identify the excuse, you can uncover the fear and talk about it and free yourself from it. Talking to a therapist is helpful with freeing yourself from fears.

  • Look for opportunities to give back. When midlife people take a stance and begin reaching out to fulfill their purpose, age becomes less of an issue. Stop worrying whether someone thinks you’re too old to organize and begin a project, stay focused on your purpose. Living a narrow life that serves only you doesn’t make you happy, nor does it lead to personal growth or meaning.

  • Expand your social circle as you begin to reinvent yourself. Making new friends doesn’t stop at a certain age. Seek out positive, uplifting people and surround yourself with them. They will encourage you to take steps to grow and try new experiences.

Living to midlife and beyond is a privilege. Reinventing your life requires emotional maturity and the ability to think introspectively about what matters most to you. Jotting down ideas of interests helps you navigate how you can contribute to society or projects that restore purpose to your life. Don’t let negative thoughts about aging or not having the right education hold you back. The second half of life should be bigger and fuller than the first half. A life well lived is priceless.


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