In midlife, many smart and accomplished people find themselves in a new and precarious situation. They realize that life is no longer “life as usual.” For some it shows up as a general dissatisfaction, a general malaise that they cannot quite put their finger on. They are dissatisfied with their jobs and with they have this impending sense of doom, scared to live out the rest of their years in the same manner that they have been living it.

Usually, something pretty major happens that is the big “straw” that breaks the camel’s back. There is a huge loss of some sort, such as:

~End of a marriage or a long term relationship.
~Layoff from a job.
~Loss of your home to foreclosure.
~Diagnosis of an illness such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems.
~Empty nest syndrome.
~Failure of a business.
~Caring for aging parents.
~Death of one or both of your parents.
~Death of friends or siblings prematurely.
~Loss of a pet.
~For women, the onset of peri-menopause or menopause.
~Any major life change.
~Realization that you may never have children.
~Any sort of major life change.

Understand that there has been some sort of tumultuous change that has triggered a whole new set of feelings.
You may not know what is going on with you. You cannot “think” your way through these problems. You may try to work your way out of this feeling. You may find yourself spending more money to cover up the feelings. You may find yourself becoming obsessed with fitness to cover up the feelings. You may even find yourself getting a prescription for prozac or an antidepressant.

Guess what?

All this is very normal.

Life is cyclical on many levels: daily, monthly, yearly and even over your lifetime. It is time to reinvent your life and hear the cry of your soul that wants more attention.

So the first step in this whole process is to understand what is going on. Let us look at a some brain science information to help you understand what is going on.
At this point in your life, you have spent many years garnering a superb education and getting trained for leadership in your work environment. You have everything externally that anyone will consider success. However, it is no longer enough.

Recent findings in the field of neuroscience indicate that intelligence, in itself, is not sufficient for being a good leader and living a fulfilling life. The research of Dr. Matthew Lieberman of UCLA suggests that high intelligence often corresponds with low self-awareness. The neural networks involved in information holding, planning, and cognitive problem solving reside in the lateral, or outer, portions of the brain, whereas the middle regions of the brain support self-awareness, social skills, and empathy.

If you have high skills in one area, then you probably have lower skills in the other area. As Lieberman notes, “If you spend a lot of time in cognitive tasks, your ability to have empathy for people is reduced simply because that part of your circuitry doesn’t get much use.”

Now, experiences and events like I listed previously such as health issues or the death of a parent, trigger the need for empathy for yourself as you go through life transitions. However, if you never paid much attention to developing skills such as self awareness, social skills and empathy and you are faced with such tumultuous life experiences, you will find that you cannot use cognitive skills to carry you through these experiences.
To reinvent your life, you need those brain skills of self awareness and empathy.
You see, midlife is a season of your life right in the middle of your projected life span. The first forty years or so are a time to focus on building your life. When midlife hits, and you start having more of those tumultuous events, you naturally begin to take stock:

~What is going on?
~Who am I?
~Is this the person I want to be?
~Is this all there is to my life?
~What now?
~Am I still relevant?

As your parents or older relatives transition into their twilight years, it triggers images of your own mortality in your life. All of a sudden you feel an urge to really live your life. Yet, you may not feel motivated to move forward.

When these issues come up, it is time to look at your life and decide how you want the next forty years or so to look. If you are satisfied, then you may not need to make any changes. However, if you discover that you want to take control of the next forty or so years, then it is time to reinvent your life.

Author's Bio: 

This article is part of a 40 page report by Iyabo Asani on "How to Reinvent Yourself at Midlife and Maintain Your Sanity." If you would like a complimentary copy of the full report, please visit:

Iyabo Asani is a life and business coach and she helps smart boomer men and women create abundance by discovering their Inner Genius and reinventing their lives. She practiced law for twenty years. Burnt out and frustrated, she could no longer put legal band aids on peoples problems. She hired a life coach to help her and discovered that she could no longer live out of alignment with her values and life purpose.

She now enjoys empowering others to attract abundance, discover their life purpose and live life on their terms.