You have reached your 50’s. You certainly aren’t old. The new 50 is the old 35, the new 60 is the old 40 and all of that stuff. You are not feeling any sense of decline. You are at the peak of your working career and getting many of the benefits of your hard work.

Do you remember a younger you...years ago? When you wondered what sort of work you liked, dreams to be pursued, people to be with, places to go and skills to be learned? It was a time when you were conscious of what is often called ‘your essence’ – the person you really are, the product of your seed, your genes, your natural selection process. The person you ‘just are’ – a mixture of your unique talents, skills and passionate interests.

Much as you might have changed over the years, your essence hasn’t.

Life is often a battle between your inner essence and the expectations of economic rationalism. Typically you reached a compromise which has stood the real you in good standing. It’s paid the bills, educated the children and given you reasonable satisfaction with life.

There are of course times when you reviewed the compromise. Times like when you got married, had children, turned 30 and 40, perhaps lost a partner, when the children left home, or you moved interstate or overseas.

From age 50 to 60ish has become perhaps the most crucial time for reviewing life. Nature seems to say we have matured to a point whereby its time to again think about our life’s big picture. For you it might be a fear of losing your youthfulness, or being jolted by ‘untimely deaths’ of people around your age, or perhaps you wonder what else you still want to do in life. You kinda like the idea of a creating a new lifecycle with all its stages of new birth, growth and maturity. It’s a pang to change…to adjust your directions and goals.

It’s time to re-connect with your essence.

Nature wonderfully illustrates my point. Take a rosebush for example. The rose has its own magnificent essence, universally loved and unchangeable. When a rose bush reaches maturity, it needs more than water and fertilizer to continue its vigorous growth. It’s time to:

1. step back and look at the bush’s shape, strength and direction
2. look for and selectively prune the deadwood that would inhibit its potential for new growth to flourish and blossom
3. whether you prune lightly or heavily, you do it with a positive desire to ensure the bush’s longevity, beauty, strength and direction.

Mature life is like that. You have reached a stage where your inner essence calls you to:

1. take a renewed, positive and caring approach to the shape and direction of your life,
2. revisit the essence of who you 'just are' and how vigorously the essential self is growing and flourishing
3. prune deadwood pursuits that have lost their life value and inhibit the flow of your life energy into new, life-expanding passions (some of which may not become obvious until after the pruning takes effect!).

You can decide on a light pruning that allows your existing interests to continue but with scope for new interests to emerge. Or you might want to do a hard pruning, enabling a whole new area of personal growth to flourish and bloom.

It’s not about what you’ve done in life to date. Rather, its about allowing your essence to rekindle its natural desire to pursue ‘the magnificence of uncertainty’.

Nature is telling you its time to be true to your essence while you still have the health and strength to do so.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Nicholls is Australia's People Gardener. He believes we can learn much about personal growth and development from observing nature. This article talks of pruning mature plants to energize vigorous new growth,as a powerful analogy for people in their 50's to consider. More at or contact Peter at