Midlife Crisis? Reinvent Yourself!

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I grew up knowing that I would one day join the U.S. Army and be a soldier. That was the life I was raised to embrace as an Army B.R.A.T. with a mother who said to me almost daily, “You have to go to school, get good grades, and become an officer.”

My favorite pastime wasn’t playing baseball like many of my friends would believe. It was pretending to be a soldier, playing war with my friends, playing war with G.I. Joe, watching war movies, etc.

As I creep up on midlife, I find myself taking inventory on where I am in the areas of my faith, family, fitness, finances, and my career. In the spirit of being open and real with you, I will say that I have been struggling with where I am financially and within my own career. Those two areas in particular have been frustrating. Why? It’s because 11 years ago, I walked away from life in the Army. A year later, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, but I never really embraced what that would mean for the rest of my life. 

So, here I am at 38 years old, and wondering where I go from here. Am I pursuing the path I was meant to go? What does that path look like? 
“Reinventing” and “renaming” are themes that have surrounded me in recent months. My church, Bay Area Fellowship, just changed its name to Church Unlimited and embraces its identity as a church that is unlimited in what it can do because of what God brings to the table. I learned of a businessman from Corpus Christi named Michael Johnson who decided to produce a movie called “The Identical” starring Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd. He just reinvented himself.

History is filled with people who reinvented themselves and found their success or purpose in the latter half of life.

  • Colonel Harland Sanders held many jobs and tried multiple businesses until he found his KFC success in his 60s!
  • Wells Fargo reinvented not only itself but how banking was done after the deregulation of banks in the 1980s. Read Good to Great by Jim Collins.
  • Apple shifted from just computers to handheld entertainment devices like iPod, iPad, and iPhone. 10 companies that completely reinvented themselves.
  • Stan Lee was 43 when he began drawing the superheroes that made him famous. In fact, he was born Stanley Martin Lieber, and served in the U.S. Army. Talk about reinventing oneself!
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40 years old!

Our midlife can be a time of transition and transformation, or it can be a time of desperation and depression. I choose transformation.

Who am I?

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For me, it won’t be a Kaizan of my life. My transformation won’t be the buying of a sports car or throwing away my family for a younger woman.

Mostly, it will entail a reconciling of who I am with what I perceived I was supposed to be.

Knowing who you are is huge in knowing how you will reinvent yourself. I know that I am a man of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, a man dedicated to his wife and children. That won’t change.

Where I really want to reinvent myself is in my career path, embracing where my gifts, talents, and passion really lies rather than trying to fulfill what other people have expected of me. It means embracing the fact that I am not a soldier any longer, that I hung that career path up when I chose my family over a military career.

What I needed to know was already in front of me. I enjoy writing, speaking, blogging, and teaching. Heck, I recently earned my Masters degree in Educational Technology. I am already doing what I enjoy doing! I guess I’m saying that my transition is in progress right now as I write this. I’m removing all my doubts. You haven’t heard about these doubts, but my closest friends and family have.

You’ll see more of me on this blog. You’ll hear more from my family in our podcast, Family Time Q&A, and you’ll see us promoting healthy marriages and healthy families in the years to come.

How will you reinvent yourself?

Click here to download a free copy of Strength Revisited based on the TEDxCorpusChristi Talk about redefining strength in manhood.

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Reinvent Yourself from Psychology Today

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