Someone asked George Bernard Shaw what, in his opinion, is the most beautiful thing in this world. “Youth, ” he replied, “is the most beautiful thing in this world—and what a pity that it has to be wasted on children!” This quote has often been ascribed as “youth is wasted on the young” but in both instances, it has been held as a self-evident truth for the longest time.
Isn’t it time that that attitude changed because as much as we may want to yearn for the hazy carefree days of our youth, the biggest advantage to living out our best lives right now, is that we finally know exactly how to do it, and do it with style? We think so too and if you need a little help in reclaiming your “you”, here’s a good start.
The delicious journey that is “life” has all of these milestones built into it, certain “rites of passage” that seem to be shared by human beings across different cultures and countries. But there are some similarities. Turning 18, 21…30……40, getting married, (getting divorced), getting your first job, doing a post-grad, losing a loved one. All of these experiences add up to a lived experience that ultimately will have a major influence on the decisions we make which in turn, will define the rest of our lives. Our 40s are designed to be the decade that totally sets up the rest of our lives. It’s the age where we finally come into ourselves and start using all of our experience for “us” instead of against us.
“AT TWENTY YEARS OF AGE, THE WILL REIGNS; AT THIRTY, THE WIT; AND AT FORTY, THE JUDGMENT.” – Benjamin Franklin
The heydays of our 20s are the holdall for some terrible decision in love, in life and everything else and we usually spend our 30s getting over those, but the great thing about our 40s is that we’re entering this brave new chapter of our lives better equipped for it than at any other time. We’re more resilient and have developed thicker skins, if we’re married we’re usually in pretty good places and can vocalize our own needs and wants more efficiently. Work is probably going pretty good too and this means that we’re making smarter and better financial decisions which means we can afford to do more of what we wished we could in our 20s and 30s and we still have the energy to do it.
But if that isn’t true for you in practice (yet), that’s no reason to fret or get stressed because if none of those areas are working the way you want them to work, being in your 40s also means you have more guts to make decisive decisions that will change the direction of your life journey. You may not realize it, but you have throughout your journey so far collected a myriad of experiences that may have harmed or grown you but will ultimately lead to defining you and how do you know you can do it? Make one decision that you know you can make that’s going to create a change on whatever level you’ve been craving it. It doesn’t have to big a big change yet, it can be moving apartments or updating your resumè and getting it out to agencies. The small decisions that you can make now, lead to big results later.
YOUR BEST AMBITIONS COME TO LIFE
It may be down to just plain old impatience, but your 40s are a great time to revisit your ambitions of the past, keep what’s real and discard what was always fantasy (you know you were never going to be in the “Spice Girls Reunited” band), and focus on what you know will make you truly happy going forward into your 50s and beyond. It could be taking on new skills and learning how to manage your finances better with smarter investments, or finally getting onto that training program at the gym to live your best life fitter, stronger, and in better shape. Revisit your “vision boards” or previous years/decades goals and run a quick life audit to see where you are at. Whatever it is, living more authentically starts with you and it starts, right now.
Even if you’ve been taking good care of yourself throughout your life, you will still need to do a check on how your body, hormones, and emotions are changing from this point onwards. Your 40s bring on some unique challenges for both men and women and it’s a really good idea to book a free consultation to get your stats checked out.
It’s true, you’re not 21 anymore, and thank God for that because all of the uncertainty, angst, and indecisiveness of your youth isn’t a “thing” anymore either and this period is truly yours for designing.