It is Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, who said, "I had learned that all the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble... They can never be solved, but only outgrown." (From the introduction to The Secret of the Golden Flower)
The young people I work with, the students whom I serve, the masses of people who are wholeheartedly putting their talents and energy to work on worldly problems, big and small, on a daily basis will want to believe otherwise -- that their efforts matter; that with their great will and intelligence, great problems can and are being solved every day -- and in that exists hope and optimism for the future. And they are right! And they may also find, perhaps later in their lives, that it is also true that the greatest challenges of life are "fundamentally insoluble" -- they cannot be solved, only outgrown. It is to this end that we also put our greatest energy, our care, and our compassion. Perhaps at no other time do we experience this as when confronted with our own mortality, or in caring and tending to aging and frail parents, or when holding in our knowledge and to the best of our understandings that certain complex human circumstances cannot be "solved" but accepted, possibly embraced, as is. We give it our best all the same.
I think perhaps the ability to embrace both the practical and the insoluble problems, the immediate and the long-term, and to deal with these with courage and grace are hallmarks of a "second-half of life" well lived.
Why do I address this topic? Because we juggle a lot of complex things in the "second half of life." And we have to keep learning and growing -- and that's my favorite topic. More on that next time.
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.