I turned 50 in September and it surprised me how it got into my head in the two weeks leading up to it. Everyone joked about being on the backside of life, service dogs and other cliches. On thing they all had in common were that they had negative connatations and played to the notion that the best has passed and now it was just decline.
This is no different, in many ways, to how people may (unintentionally) make entrepreneurs feel about their venture. It won't work, look at the challenges, burning money, why isn't anyone buying, you're a CEO?, etc. It all comes down to how you frame your life and your journey. Below is one of many positive takes on turning 50. Hell, I would argue that you can create a similar list for any age and frame it as an opportunity to reinvent, to realize your freedom of choices, be inspired, have courage, etc. Life is a series of Hero's Journeys...50 is not the only one! So, seize the day (or Birthday) as the case may be and don't let those influences around let you think small or feel small.
Michelle Obama has turned 50, and now the nation is talking about this magical age. Is it over the hill or the peak of life? The benefits of turning 50 can outweigh the negatives if you look for them. And I looked! Here are 10 perks of reaching the half-century mark.
- Wisdom. At this point of life, you've had 5 decades of experiences. Hopefully you have gained perspective, insight and wisdom. Many 50 year olds begin to share this wisdom verbally with children or write a book to reach a larger audience. The question is…do the youth of today pay attention or will they have to suffer the hard lessons personally? Regardless of the answer, share your wisdom anyhow!
- Freedom. Many parents who turn 50 are finding themselves with an empty nest. They now have the opportunity to plan their days to do what they wish instead of being a taxi service, maid, chef, laundress, and general manager of the family schedule. Now, you have the option to have a simple dinner, a tidy house, and more free time to plan your own activities! It's all about you now.
- Inspiration. Due to your increased wisdom and freedom, you may feel inspired to resume a career, switch jobs, knock off items on your bucket list, take a class to learn something new, write a book, champion a cause or take a vacation! The sky is the limit and if not now, when?
- Reinvention. Sometimes when hitting 50, you may feel like becoming a new person. Women may radically change their hairstyle, men may go grey or even shave it off! Try some new clothing styles and colors to spice up your attire. If you have your own business, consider re-branding. Allow yourself to shake up your world and experiment with new looks and new directions.
- Courage. This is a decade to go for it! Be daring! Get a tattoo (if you have never had one), go on an African Safari, climb a mountain, skydive, and try new things. What do you have to lose? Look for opportunities to taste new food, see a new place and feel a new experience. It's all about the new!
- Improved Relationships. If your parents are still alive, spend time with them and ask them what they have learned in their life. If you have children and they are off to college or beyond, visit them, share your wisdom, find out what their life is like now. You have the ability to be the bridge between two generations and your relationships on both sides can strengthen. See your current friends more and look up ones in which you have lost touch. Find some new friends who have a mutual interest in maximizing this time of your life by sharing adventures.
- Love. If you are in a relationship, you may be able to strengthen it with more time and focus. If love has faded, it might be time to re-kindle it. Go to a relationship retreat together or consult a relationship coach or professional. If you are single, this may be the time to start dating again and allowing love back into your life.
- Health. If parts of your health have slipped, this is the time to make adjustments. Visit your doctor for a physical exam and blood work and see what needs improvement. Eat better, exercise more, and focus on feeling great so you can enjoy many more decades of a life well lived!
- Mastery. At this point in your life, you may be enjoying mastery in your career, sport or hobby. This mastery leads to increased ease, confidence, recognition, rewards, credibility, expertise, position, respect and satisfaction. Savor this place and time in your life and consider mentoring others to share your knowledge!
- Purpose. By this time of your life, there may be organizations and charities that touch your heart. You may now be able to funnel your time, attention and money towards worthy causes. Begin to think about what legacy you wish to leave behind you. Give actively now to enjoy making a difference while you can see the results and create a way to keep giving after your death to continue your contribution when you are gone.
These are just a few of the many benefits of turning 50. I encourage you to look for these and more as you reach this magical age. The best is yet to come with the right attitude!