When we are young, we dream of succeeding in a career, creating a family, establishing a social position in the world and making money, lots of it. In psychological parlance: developing and structuring our ego.
With the coming of years, having achieved our first half of life goals, our objectives should change.It is the time we meet the middle-age crisis.
The psychological literature abounds with books dealing with the subject. One of the best I recommend is Finding meaning in the second half of life, by James Hollis. He is a Jungian analyst, but his writings do not require any knowledge of Jungian psychology. This book starts with the statement: Your life is addressing these questions to you. It follows eleven very trying questions that we have to answer if we want to be happy. And you won’t be if you don’t find meaning in your life.
You better answer James Hollis’ questions. Otherwise, the crisis may come to you, sent by theSelf, which is the divine inside our psyche. The objective of the Self is to induce us to change the way we face life, to correct our life journey. Our old objectives, valid for the first half of our life, have to be changed, and the Self creates problems in our life, stones in the middle of the road to induce us into the right direction, into the right journey of growth. As Jung calls it, the journey of individuation.
Not all adapt to the new requirements of this period of life. Many cling to the first half objectives, struggling to make more money, getting more power, amassing more material goods. If things get though, they search for a young lover, or wife, thinking that it can be the solution, but it only gives them a temporary break.
Or they try to work fourteen or more hours a day, avoiding time to think about life. If you readThe Little Prince by Saint Exupéry, you may remember the characters of the lamplighter, the drunkard, the astronomer and others trying to fill their life, avoiding to think about its objectives. I discuss these issues in my book The Little Prince for Grown-ups.
If you are searching for happiness, think about Hollis’s questions.
Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and Spirituality, his main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. He is the author of several books, including “The Little Prince for Grown-ups” and “The Jungian Bible” that can be found in Amazon. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.
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