Today we find ourselves amidst the hard times. Mid-summer days are unique, in that the naïveté of early summer is gone, but the cynicism of late summer hasn't set in yet. We start getting school emails just when we had gotten used to the peace of a quiet inbox.
For some bizarre reason, a career coach is trying to reach me….I suggested she sign up for my blog.
This is the middle dip. This is the middle age. When a lot has been done, but a lot has also not yet been done. You are afraid to look back but also fearful to look ahead because you definitely have less time than you used to. This is the 3pm-tired-you, when you don’t have the vigorous energy of the morning but yet the day is still not over.
During this time, we are torn apart. You doubt if you did the right things. You question whether you are going to really arrive where you intended to. Not only are we extremely stressed about the progress we still need to make, but we are also just wondering where all that time went. We are compelled to be both extremely reflective on the time losses, and also extremely hyperactive about catching up with our initial goals. As we learned in 👉Confidence Case Study, we want to start training ourselves to set realistic goals and then actually stick to them.(I ran 10k multiple times now so self-confidence is restored)
In 👉Gray Period of Disillusionment we talked about the loss of excitement. This usually happens with processes that are not timed, such as relationships or a project with an indeterminate timeline. This post is more about very timed projects, such as specific goal for specific time blocks.
Whatever your goal and timeline of achieving it is, these feelings are coming.
My friends, welcome to the hell of afternoon slump.
This is where we truly realize:
It’s fucking hard to make progress. It will take all that we have to truly evolve into the better form of ourselves.
Funnily, we are making a full circle to the very first post about 👉Complete Life Overhaul.
In that post, we realized the need for profound transformation when on the path to great changes.
In today’s post, we have enough data on ourselves to have an accurate idea of what it really takes to make those profound changes.
Watching videos, getting inspired, seeing others do it, or getting very close to it yourself will not work.
We need to individually act, and in a much faster, more disruptive way.
In the face of a critical situation- death, an exam or an ambitious goal- right before you are about to step on the finish line, you realize the futility of all the small efforts you made prior to figuring out the few high-impact actions that were needed.
Jeremiah always uses the example of rebounding in basketball. You can be running around doing all sorts of crazy defense moves and wasting a hell of a lot of energy, but if you are not there for the rebound, you lose.
So essentially, when the ball is flying over our head, we finally realize what is actually important.
Let’s not get all sad here! If we catch it early enough, we can still run up to the ball and get it.
So if we are “middle-aged”, the key is by no means to lose confidence and hope in our ability to still have that stuff that we wanted back "when we were young".
Cynicism about your naive, younger aspirations, although more justified at this point, will kill the already challenged momentum and confidence you had.
Tracking progress closely along the timeline of arriving at a certain goal gives us a lot of insight. Being “middle-aged” gives us a lot of insider knowledge into how things work. Maybe we lost time doing things ineffectively, doing the wrong things most likely, but at least we get an idea of what went awry.
Another crucial point we need to be very aware about:
In the afternoon slump of middle age, we start being burdened by a lot of external responsibilities that increase doubts and stress.
We have a bunch of kids and accumulate financial and formal issues.
Like the earthly, annoying tasks of figuring out fall housing, battling with financial aid officers, or arranging classes, for instance.
We need to attend to this stuff, but we shouldn’t let the immediacy and emotional appeal of it get in the way of our summer goals.
This is because it is still July 17th and we are still in the battlefield of summer goals.
Yes, we are booking tickets to fly back to the fall chapter, but we have as much time ahead of us as we have behind.
These days I have been really stressed about my “middle age” and the distance from my summer goals. I came up with a maxim to go by:
Like in the war, it is no-bullshit time. We need to fully collect ourselves and guide every bit of energy towards our direction.
We have insight into what actually works and what is completely inefficient.
We have the extreme urgency of very little time, yet still have just enough time left ahead to act on that urgency.
We don’t lose confidence by any means. We continue to sustain it, even though it’s getting way harder.
Lastly, what do we know about war mobilization?
Because it is so intensive, it is really costly for our system. We will have to be more stingy with our time, energy expenditure, and expenses. At the same time, we don’t want to do an energy overkill because it is like causing a revolution within the country before you enter a war (stuff only Russia could afford😂). We want to be strict, disciplined, and focused.
We need to do whatever it takes for us to reach our goal. With the 17th of July being today’s date, having 37 days left till the return to school, only something close to delusional dedication toward saving our little defenseless country will help us to actually reach our goal.
If at any moment we stop having the confidence in our ability to do it, we are going to be immediately invaded and subjugated.
Let me know of your summer goals and if you have been feeling the same any of this stuff.