Midlife can be a time of transition for many people. Children have grown up and left home, parents may be nearing the end of their lives, 20 or so years in a job may mean boredom.
And, of course, there is the natural movement towards considering the meaning of your life, a review of your values and possibly a questioning of some decisions you've previously made.
The life you have built for yourself so that you can be comfortable, may not actually be the life of your dreams. Typically at this stage, the idea of midlife career changes raises its head.
The second reason is that somebody has had some kind of awakening or a shift in awareness of who they actually are, and they want to transition into doing something that is more aligned with who they are becoming.
For more information about the whole process, you'll get a very interesting woman's perspective on midlife crisis men here.
The first scenario above leads to midlife career changes where initially everything is new and different and wonderful. Very quickly though, the individual begins to express themselves in the old ways in the new job. The same patterns begin to emerge and life begins to get very similar to before.
In the second scenario, you first develop a very strong internal awareness of yourself. Then you use a decision making process to choose the things to be doing. And the career and the activities feed forward to strengthen your sense of yourself. This creates a great sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that is ongoing.
Your decision making skills are organized to keep this sense of yourself intact.
Making such midlife career changes assessments affects how you consider the remainder of your life. No longer is growing old associated with all the so-called negative stuff, the changing body, the slowing down, and so on.
Instead there is a pleasure in simply being alive. You actually get more creative. Neuroscientific studies show that the right and left sides of the brain integrate even more fully in midlife. Much research shows that the ageing brain actually grows stronger from use and challenge. As people age, many negative emotions seem to be dampened. Many inhibitions are reduced or disappear altogether.
You get to do those things that you have always dreamed of... you begin to live the life that you should be living, the one that is your own...
"Midlife is the old age of youth and the youth of old age"