Imagine planning your mid life crisis like this

52 year old Google CFO Patrick Pichette has come out overnight and said on his own Google plus post that  he is leaving the workplace to pursue his own mid-life crisis.  His wife caused the epiphany that has the whole world talking about what an inspiration it is that people can choose life over work before they retire.   When standing atop Mt Kilimanjaro at sunrise when she asked him out of the blue “Hey, why don’t we just keep on going”. Let’s explore Africa, and then turn east to make our way to India, it’s just next door, and we’re here already. Then, we keep going; the Himalayas, Everest, go to Bali, the Great Barrier Reef… Antarctica, let’s go see Antarctica!?”

He says, “Little did she know, she was tempting fate”.

“I could not find a good argument to tell Tamar [his wife] we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road and celebrate our last 25 years together by turning the page and enjoy a perfectly fine mid life crisis full of bliss and beauty, and leave the door open to serendipity for our next leadership opportunities, once our long list of travels and adventures is exhausted.”

An inspirational tail isn’t it, but I urge you to consider how it would have fit into the map of your own life?

For the Pichettes, at 52, they have it pretty good by many of our standards.  Their children have all grown up and are in college or graduated.  He’s spent 7 years at the helm of one of the world’s largest companies, growing their revenue and no doubt his retirement fund healthily.  But amongst that success Pichette notes that his marriage has really missed out in the last 25 years.

Ad. Article continues below.

…”this summer, Tamar and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. When our kids are asked by their friends about the success of the longevity of our marriage, they simply joke that Tamar and I have spent so little time together that ‘it’s really too early to tell’ if our marriage will in fact succeed.”

“I am completing this summer 25-30 years of nearly non-stop work (depending on how you wish to cut the data). And being member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers, it has been a whirlwind of truly amazing experiences. But as I count it now, it has also been a frenetic pace for about 1500 weeks now. Always on – even when I was not supposed to be. Especially when I was not supposed to be. And am guilty as charged – I love my job (still do), my colleagues, my friends, the opportunities to lead and change the world.”

He also complains about the frenetic pace of life in his career.

“I am completing this summer 25-30 years of nearly non-stop work (depending on how you wish to cut the data). And being member of FWIO, the noble Fraternity of Worldwide Insecure Over-achievers, it has been a whirlwind of truly amazing experiences. But as I count it now, it has also been a frenetic pace for about 1500 weeks now. Always on – even when I was not supposed to be. Especially when I was not supposed to be. And am guilty as charged – I love my job (still do), my colleagues, my friends, the opportunities to lead and change the world.”

So Mr Pichette has called it… he’s off for a mid life crisis travelling the world with the love of his life, after a fulfilling career changing the world.  Sounds perfect to me.

Ad. Article continues below.

I am sure many of you will roll back and say “but I couldn’t afford it”.  And that might well be the case.  Not every 50-60 year old has made such life and wealth-building decisions through their life as Mr Pichette.  But would you ever have had the courage, or wish you had the courage to call it on your own mid-life crisis!  Or was yours forced upon you by changes to marriage, job status or health when you could least plan for it?

Read Patrick Pichette’s Google plus post – I think it is inspiring to see someone putting their own life before their work in today’s rush of life.

pichette