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Taking Risks In Midlife So You Can Find Your Purpose For The Second Half Of Life

Hey there, Easy Ager. Today we're diving into a topic that's close to my heart and has the power to transform the second half of your life: taking risks in midlife to discover your purpose.

I know the word "risk" might break you out into a cold sweat but trust me, by the end of this episode, you'll be embracing it like a long-lost friend. And you'll see that taking a chance is so worth it.

When you take a risk, you step into possibility, and that's the exciting thing about trying something new and different. Seeing possibilities for your life is fun. It's refreshing. It's eye-opening. It can even be mind-blowing!

I'm going to give you three things to think about and a few questions to answer. By the end of this episode, I hope you have a new perspective on how taking a risk can get you to a richer, more rewarding life.

1. Limit the regret of "what if"

Let's start with the classic scenario we've all heard before, the regret of not taking that leap of faith.

Picture this: You're sitting in your cozy chair, reminiscing about the past and suddenly, it hits you. That moment you hesitated. The opportunity you let slip away. The regret of never even trying.

Do you remember the actor who played Martin Crane, the father on the "Frazier" sitcom? His name was John Mahoney. According to, he had been interested in acting for a long time, but he didn't make the leap until he was almost 40.

He took acting classes and eventually quit his day job to pursue acting full-time. John Malkovich, who was an original founder of the Steppenwolf Theater, encouraged Mahoney to join them, which he did.

In 1986, Mahoney won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and has a number of nominations for his stage work. He was in "Frazier," but he was also in several movies like "Moonstruck," "Say Anything," "Suspect," In the Line of Fire," "Primal Fear," "The American President," and the list goes on and on.

Here's a quote from Mahoney about quitting his job and pursuing acting full time.

"I finally thought before I get too old, I've got to try it and if it doesn't work out, at least I'm not going to be 65 years old looking back over my life and saying, 'God, why didn't I at least try?'"

He tried and he won. He took the risk. He was so successful with "Frazier" and other projects that he had the financial freedom to do what he loved most, which was the theater.

In my experience, it's the not trying that's the most painful of all. In the past, I've backed away from an opportunity under the guise of making a practical decision or being realistic. Then I would spend all this time and energy wondering:

What if I had tried? What if I could have done it? What if I was actually good at it, and I enjoyed it? What if this was my moment to shine...and I walked away from it?

The regret of "what if" is not worth it at this point in my life. I would rather take a leap of faith and fall flat on my face publicly than play the "what if" game anymore.

So what if I fail? So what if I'm humiliated? At least I was out there! At least I gave it my best shot, and I know I won't be haunted by the "what if" question in my old age.

Think about that. Think about which risk is bigger: the risk of taking a chance, or the risk of being haunted by "what if."

2. Find your sweet spot

There's something exciting about trying different things. Midlife is a perfect time to experiment, to dabble in areas you've always been curious about.

That's why it's important to pay attention to your thoughts. Everything in your life begins with a thought, and if you're not monitoring what thoughts are passing through your big, beautiful, gorgeous brain, you're not going to have a clue about what you're interested in. You're not going to even know what you want to try.

Think about those hobbies or those interests that have been quietly calling your name. It could be pottery, painting or even starting a podcast. You never know where your sweet spot might be hiding until you try things.

  • Did you help with something at church that left you feeling refreshed?
  • Did you talk with a neighbor about a topic that invigorated you and gave you energy?
  • Did you discover a topic that intrigued you and made you curious to know more?

These are the types of questions you can ask yourself to get a better handle on what might be bubbling up, what might be calling your name.

If you don't take the time to try something different, nothing is going to change. That means you'll be moving into next year with the same level of dissatisfaction and frustration as you currently have.

Trying something new gets you one step closer to that sweet spot that makes your heart sing.

3. Break free from the comfort zone

Midlife is a time when comfort zones can become a little too cozy. I know this because I love my comfort zones. I have a refrigerator magnet that says:

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -- Neil Donald Walsh

So true! That's the reason I bought it. I know that until I start moving, nothing is going to change. Absolutely nothing. Everything will stay the same.

If you want something different, you have to exit your comfort zone and take an action. It doesn't have to be a huge action. It can be as simple as having a big glass of water first thing in the morning, instead of guzzling coffee from the moment your feet hit the ground.

It could be reading for two minutes a day, or journaling for two pages. If you want to increase your spiritual life, commit to listening to a daily devotional for five minutes.

The YouVersion Bible app has some great devotionals that are short and sweet. They offer a lot of things like a verse of the day, or reading or listening to the Bible anywhere you are.

You can do guided prayer; you can add your own prayers; you can do a Bible reading plan. There's a ton of content on this app and, as of this recording date, it's free. This is an excellent way to start a spiritual practice, or to get some variety in your current practice.

That's just one example of how you can take fun-sized actions to get started. Don't overthink it, or you're going to overwhelm yourself. You'll be increasing the amount as you go, but these baby steps will help you break free of that annoying comfort zone and let the excitement of a new adventure reinvigorate your life.

I've given you a few things to think about and offered a few questions you can ask, but the biggest question you can ask yourself is:

How will I feel when I take the first step toward my purpose?

Imagine how good it's going to feel when you get going! Easy Ager, embrace the idea of taking risks, of trying new things, and don't let fear hold you back. This is your time to shine. Use it wisely.

Grab your free copy of How To Reclaim Your Energy And Kick Midlife Blues To The Curb: A Simple Guide

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