I am Still 29 - my mid-life befuddlement

” I am 29, with 12 years experience”

Regardless of the risk of sounding like a broken record I must admit that I cannot really recollect what it feels like being 29 anymore. Especially because I have been 29 for the last 12 years. I must be the oldest 29year old there ever was and with loads of experience too. Fancy that!

Perhaps the continued self-declaration of my “pseudo” age will remain a reminder that will somewhat trigger the potency of the elixir of life that is released from my brain every now and then, keeping me forever young and restless. Perhaps!

Would this change the fact that I have crossed the Rubicon where my ruby anniversary is now well and truly behind me? Or could this be the onset of the infamous mid-life crisis?

Questions, more questions!

Not everyone has been agreeable to this declaration. I have had a few snide remarks from some of my friends when they laugh off my “new” age almost with scorn.

29! Common don’t be ridiculous

Wake up from your self-delusion bro

Get a grip of yourself and face your mid-life

You can see how tough it is being 29 at my age! It has proven to be one of the most difficult conundrum for the lot!

But I am still 29, ageless and unyielding, daring and restless, energetic and fierce. This is how I choose to be. A choice!

To be honest, my slightly protruding potbelly, my slightly overweight physique and sliver of greying facial hairs disagree vehemently, but they are work in progress in my head.

I didn’t choose the number 29 because it had a rounded feel to it, I did so because at 29 every young adult must be absolutely clear about the sort of life they would love to enjoy decades later.  As young adults, every decision taken at this age holds critical implication for the future. And it serves as the last frontier for making those life changing decisions before one crosses into 30!

My choice of 29 is therefore borne out of the realization that if you are unclear about the future at 29 you are most likely going to be a fool at 40.

What choices you might ask?

Your career for starters, investment in long term financial instruments, good health and fitness regime, settling down with a better half, having your first kid, investing in properties, completing your MBA and other important/similar certifications, reading tons of books and a host of other critical achievements represents decisions that would define the future.

If you are yet to hit 29, there is a chance you can start to reconsider your priorities. If 29 is long behind you and you still got a few boxes to check, please be kind to join me in the false age declaration.

To be candid, not everyone can achieve all of these by 29! Some will tick almost all the boxes way before they hit 25. Life can change so fast, so unexpectedly for some others and they would struggle with a good many way after 30.

The biggest adventure you can take in life is to live the life of your dreams, and that depends on the sort of foundation you have laid in your twenties and thirties for some.

Life is replete with successful stories of late starters who braved the odds and yet made lemonades from the proverbial lemons. But they are only but a very few and not enough to believe you got a real chance being a late starter.

Young adults must therefore be intentional about the sort and quality of life they want when they are 40 and beyond. The choices they make about their social lifestyle will determine if they would grapple with medical issues when they are older. The choices they make about their career path would determine if the journey would fizzle out by 40. Understandably the distraction at this age can be overwhelming and this is not to mention the influences of peers and how this can set one back regrettably.

In my coaching practice, I tell my clients to visualize the desired outcome in the future based on their aspirations and then work their way back to the present time. Sometimes I call it the “helicopter view“, where they literally zoom out of their present situation to look at the big picture, leaving behind the distractions and the niggling self-doubts. The objective is to just focus on the big picture.

Your visuals of the desired end must be so strong, so much that when you finally achieve it, you would not be in doubt that you have reached a defining milestone.

At a talk with a group of students at my alma mata (Mayflower school Ikenne) three years ago, I asked one of the girls who volunteered up on the stage with me.

I asked her what she wanted to be in the future.

I want to be a pharmacist” she answered.

I probed further.

why is that?”

“I want to help as many people as possible with drugs that can cure any ailment

Okay, fair and ambitious enough” I consented.

How would you want to live your life? What kind of house would you love to live in, what kind of car would you love to drive?”  My next set of questions came in torrents.

I want to live in a mansion” she says after a thoughtful moment.

How many rooms would this mansion have?” I probed further.

5 rooms” her teenage voice bellowed over the microphone.

Can you see and imagine the color of the rooms? Can you smell the aroma of the dinner you are cooking from your future kitchen?” I asked

She paused as synapses from her brain made vital connections to create the vision.

What do you see yourself cooking in there?” I asked softly.

“I am frying eggs and my kids are at the dining table waiting for breakfast. The colors of the first room is………”

And on she went about describing her perfect house along with her brand-new Mercedes Benz (tear-rubber she called it) to my amazement. I just triggered her imaginative mind!

The truth is, “if you can dream it, you can achieve it” 

Do not limit your mind. Expand your horizon by reading and acquiring knowledge like never so you can break the frontiers and seeming limitations of life to make the right decision and choices.

Nothing happens by chance; we play a big role in how our life plays out in front of us.

If you lack clarity of vision at your younger age, the future would be just as hazy. But if you can smell the scent of a brand-new car, feel the excitement of a deserved promotion way before it happens, then the choices you make will be geared towards making it happen. The fulfilment you will get when it happens is incomparable.

Did I leave out discipline and unalloyed commitment to your goals?

Sure, you must be committed to making your vision come to life, you will have to be undeterred in your approach, focused on the plan, determined despite the odds, denying yourself of pleasure if you must until the goal is reached.

Would there be challenges? Absolutely. If there weren’t any, it would not be deserving, would it?

Success is sweeter when it comes after overcoming unbelievable challenges or setbacks that would test your resolve and determination. You would never truly experience success until you are clear about how important it is to you and your future.

Well…. To cap it, I missed some of those lofty goals I set at 29. I am certainly far from perfection. And I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. But God has been kind to me too. Now I am resetting my horizon, refocusing and aligning my goals, values and strengths towards a future undeniably clear.

So, when I say I am still 29, you better believe.

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