Yesterday we were having a goals discussion at Niswey and I raised the point of a “purposeful life”
Later in the day I was discussing this with a friend and he told me how most of his friends are now lost in life and do not know what to do. Read the write up he sent, you will know what I mean. BTW, he’s aged 40+
There’s a trend that I have noticed this year. I probably have seen signs of it over the past years, but this year the trend is sharper.
A whole lot of my friends are dealing with emptiness or boredom or depression. Some of them are touching 40, or have crossed 40.
All of them are financially well off. They have lovely spouses, and lovely kids. They have lovely homes and lovelier vacations. They party a lot. But once in a while they come across this feeling that they don’t know what to do about.
All of them are great at what they do….great teachers, business development ninjas, even a couple of entrepreneurs.
‘I am bored, I swear I am going to quit my job and work for an NGO,’ says my super saleswoman friend.
‘I am so unhappy man…feel like going and having an affair,’ says a one-woman man. ‘Money and family isn’t everything, is it?’ he wonders.
‘I don’t know, I have been thinking of meaning a lot these past few days. What does this all mean?,’ says a super smart guy that others would gladly exchange places with.
‘I like my life, I have nothing to complain about. My students adore me. I am the life of every party. My son thinks I am the best mom in the world. But there are days like today, when I am so low, I don’t know what hit me,’ one 43-year whatsapps me.
One close friend group has been having discussions on anti-depressants, and people in the group have run up research on ‘not having a purpose in life’ as a cause of depression.
Call it mid-life crisis, call it boredom, call it what you will.
But I really think, all these wonderful, happy, competent, brilliant friends of mine didn’t spend much time to think how would they live their meaningfully. They got excellent at their careers, made money, married the right people, and so on. But they stare at emptiness, maybe not all the time. But I suspect the frequency of it is more than before.
Which is why I hear of it from them, a lot more now.
Upto you to decide whether you want to do what you love or tell your friends at 40 that you are depressed. Your call!