The One-Third Life Crisis

Ken Lawrence
6 min readFeb 24, 2020


Thoughts on how to keep growing and stay energized as you leave your most formative years

As I write this, I am 30-years-old. Taking into consideration today’s medical advancements, living in a relatively stable United States, and my (so far) lucky heath and economic situation, it’s fair to think that if I can successfully avoid distracted drivers and natural disasters, I am roughly one-third of the way through my life. And, I am in a crisis.

Being 30-years-old is odd. Life-altering events are never more frequent and impactful as the first one-third of life. Up to this point, my life has essentially been a series of circumstances, choices, and coincidences that have drastically impacted the course of my life and led me to where I find myself today. They have molded me into my personal uniqueness and set me off on a far clearer course for how I will live my remaining years. I went to college, had fun with my friends, experienced adventures traveling, joined the Peace Corps, made tough decisions to start my career, met my partner, and landed in the community I will invest long-term in — among many other defining experiences. They are the most formative years of life and they are fun, hard, happy, sad, and scary.

All of sudden, it feels like those years are over. Kids are arriving, priorities are shifting, and, well, I’m comfortable. I now find myself with a legitimate fear of falling into complacency. Complacency is how days, months, and years begin to blur together. I fear that I’ll wake up soon and be 60-years-old, wondering why the second-third of my life went by so much faster than my first-third.

And I know that I’m not alone.

I hear this often from others who are around their one-third life mark. It certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not happy, it’s just that we want to continue to evolve as a person, find new fulfillment, and grow even if it seems as though our most transformative years have passed.

As I am going through this crisis, I have found a few techniques that help me stay energized and keep me growing personally. Now it simply takes more of a concentrated effort.

Here are the top four techniques that are most effective for me.

1. Give every day the uniqueness that it



Ken Lawrence

Founder of The Modern White Man podcast | Striving to be antiracist, antisexist, & play a part in creating an equitable society where all races & genders thrive