From Tragic to Mythic

Suggested Song: Brand New Day, Ryan Star
Suggested Drink: Samuel Adams Ambition Pale Ale

A few questions for my mid-life readers.

Q1: Approaching the end of your core career and anticipating retirement years filled with golf, travel, grandkids, and wine collecting? That’s tragic!

gearsQ2: Building a unique base of talents, knowledge, experience, and contacts over decades of studies, work, moves, parenting and life lessons, and letting that skill-set decay in pursuit of the good life? That’s tragic!

Q3: Committing that sizeable retirement stipend to a beautiful home remodel, new furnishings, flashy toys in the driveway, and other impress-the-neighbors stuff? That’s tragic!

Q4: Over 50 and still living someone else’s vision of your life? Unwilling to disappointment a parent, partner, boss, friend, or child? Now that is really tragic!

Our greatest potential starts at midlife. By then we have made our share of mistakes; been scarred and tempered by life’s nasty lessons; been educated, coached, and drilled; have a clearer sense of our natural strengths, weaknesses, and motivations; and are driven less by income, more by passion. We may also have more disposable time and income as the core careers wind down and the kids move out. All of this offers tremendous possibilities.

Yet this is the moment when many of us decide to downshift, to redirect our time and savings toward the good life, and let our toolkit slowly rust. The truth is, sadly, that a lot of folks are happy to let entropy do its dirty deed on their brains and bodies while parking their derrieres on the proverbial bar stool of retirement. For the rest of us there is hope in the engaged life. It is one of our own choosing and can generate tremendous meaning and sense of purpose during the most productive years of our lives.

1 personQ1: Approaching the end of you core career and anticipating a new mission; an exciting challenge steeped deeply in your grandest ambitions? That’s mythic!

Q2: Using your singularly unique base of talents, knowledge, experience, and contacts compiled over decades of studies, work, moves, parenting and life lessons toward this mission that defines your powerful sense of purpose? Pursuing the engaged life. That’s mythic!

Q3: Committing the lion’s share of that sizeable retirement stipend toward the planning and implementation of your greatest ambition? Classes and training, tools and gadgets, educational travel, new contacts for new horizons; the things that strengthen your abilities, expand your awareness, and build your legend, …not fill your garage. A pursuit centered on creative production, not competitive consumption. That’s mythic!

Q4: Over 50 and living where you want, with whom you want, and doing what you want? Writing your own life story and pursuing a Grand Ambition that brings the greatest sense of anticipation for every new day. Now that is truly mythic!

 What’s your Grand Ambition? What are you waiting for?

Bill Magill


Posted in


  1. Hello…I stumbled upon your blog and I believe it is truly “Tragic”. Judging by the number of comments and readers of the blog I am guessing I am not the only one with these beliefs. As a blog author, you have the ability to change lives (if anyone reads the blog). To take such a one sided approach, to life, after you hit this magic mid-life age could be Tragic for relationships with loved ones who have shared so much of one’s life with throughout your years.

    You see, I am far from retirement or a mid-life crisis. My life, however, was boring, not fun and very stressful. I was spending my work day with less than fulfilling co-workers who brainwashed and encouraged negative thoughts and actions. A lot of people can relate to this whether it is a stale marriage heading to retirement or a college student trying to find their future. A culmination of a couple less than desirable events can lead to a bad day or two. Should this cause us to want to rewind our life and disregard everything and/or everyone who has loved, encouraged and helped us grow over the years? I do not believe so, once again, this would be Tragic.

    In my situation with work, I knew change would happen, not because I would irrationally and carelessly leave a great paying job, change employers or start my own business without planning. No, change happened for me because I did not believe in the “Mythical”. I looked for counseling, strength and courage in the One who always provides. Jesus Christ! Jesus is…Love, Strength, Courage, Judge, Savior! Jesus is the Great I Am!

    One thing Jesus Christ is not is Mythical! Look around, His plan always prevails. So, while silly Blog writers “ride off into the sunset” with Tragic Blogs, appearing to have all the answers to Life as we know it. Realize, perhaps, the writer’s words are missing guidance from the One true author of truth and life…Jesus Christ. Do you want to be Mythical Mr. Blog Writer? Let my God guide your fingers across the keyboard next time. Please consider how your “wisdom” may effect the lives of graduates, husbands and wives, children, grandsons, granddaughters, friends and other family members with your one sided approach. People you may be encouraging and infecting, may have been Blessed with past lives that do not agree with your renegade lifestyle. None of us are perfect and because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for my sins and your sins we do not have to be! This is called Love. Far from mythical.

    So Mr. Blog Writer, I ask you, where will you be when an occasional reader stumbles across this blog topic and takes your advice without regard for Jesus Christ’s plan for their life? The answer, you will be not mythical but, simply a Mystery nowhere to be found. Their is Good News.. Have no fear…God, Jesus Christ, The Great I Am will be there to lift us up and pick up the pieces of loneliness, regret etc, through repentance.

  2. I appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken in reading my piece and writing this comment. Thank you. If faith and worship fills you with meaning and happiness at their most profound I am thrilled for you, truly. Many people of all faiths across this beautiful globe find their deepest purpose in understanding the scriptures of the holy books, whichever books those may be, shaping their days and relating to others according to the lessons therein, and sharing the “good news”.

    But being good shepherds or sheep isn’t enough for those of us who believe in the obligation to uncover and offer to the world that singular ability each of us possess; to develop and deliver on that promise defined by our unique DNA, education, life experiences, personal networks, and authentic passions. I think God with a capital G, whichever god(s) to which one ascribes, bestowed in each of us a Picasso, Mozart, Einstein, or Jobs, and as with any parent now looks on us to deliver. She loves us, her children, and wants us to live to the greatest of our potential, to leave legacies that are truly mythic, to do more than promote her list of rules-to-live-by and parenting skills, as we all want the most for our children. God forbid they exist to praise our glory or pursue lives by our expectations.

    Religious beliefs can provide tremendous comfort and balance in support of one’s Grand Ambition. Other rituals can be equally effective. No harm and all good as long as the ritual serves as a means to an end, no the end itself.

    Thank you again.

Comments are closed.