The Awkward Adolescence of Mid Life

In my years of coaching, I’ve worked with thousands of people who reach middle age (anywhere from 30-50ish), and start to wonder who they are and what the point of life is.
What is it about mid-life that feels like a second, awkward adolescence?

After years of working to excel in our careers, we accomplished many goals – building a business, building our dream house, squirreling away a retirement fund, and maybe even traveling to some tropical beach. But the nasty surprise we discover about it all is how empty it is. The very goals we set out to accomplish did not bring the joy we thought.
Why is that?

Businessman looking for a change

My observation, after coaching many, many people, is this:
We don’t know what we really want because we don’t know who we really are.

In our first adolescence, we struggle to figure out who we are. Sometimes that process is short-circuited by well meaning friends and family who want ‘the best’ for us. They may urge and suggest ideas of what we ‘should’ do, based on their perceptions and preferences.

The process of self-discovery can also be short-circuited by fear of what others think. Social norms and peer pressure motivate us to exchange our preferences for approval.
And so one starts on the path of pleasing others or fitting in, and exceeding expectations.
(Because surely if we make others happy, we’ll be happy too, right?)

It often takes years for us to realize the folly of this logic. Finally, exhausted and frustrated, we stop and wonder what the meaning of our life really is. This is where, hopefully, we become ready to look at who we are and let the goals unfold from there.
This is critical to happiness and job satisfaction.

Discover WHO you are
WHERE you want to go
And HOW to get there ©

Sam Koshy was recommended to me by a friend, and he was absolutely instrumental in helping me discover life-altering realizations that changed the entire course of my journey. You can try reading his workbook and completing it on your own, but your experience will not be the same without Sam’s insight.

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I’m still in my fifties, and I’m personally worth a million or more. I made a lot of money through long hours of hard work in the family owned trucking company I inherited. I wanted to retire, but the thought of sitting around not working is not my idea of having fun. I need to be active, but I was not sure what I could do to keep myself busy. I saw an article in our community paper about a lawyer who had successfully redirected her life during one of Sam’s workshops; so I booked myself into one, booked a room in a hotel and drove into the city to attend Sam’s weekend workshop.

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I have a great husband and two wonderful kids. We have more than enough money and I have a great job as a senior executive at a telecommunications firm. Yet I had been unhappy for a long time and felt guilty because of my unhappiness. I just couldn’t understand why I was unhappy, neither could my husband. During the ReDirections workshop I re-discovered my passion for archeology, and realized my career and family had taken me away from my dream of becoming an archaeologist. I remembered I had abandoned archaeology because I felt I would have to be away from those I loved for months on end while I was away on digs in remote parts of the world.

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I’m a married priest in mid-life with a wife and children and had been frustrated for a long time by church bureaucracy. In the section of the workshop where we set goals, I was totally stuck. I guess my red face betrayed my frustration. When Sam asked me what was wrong I burst into an invective-filled tirade that I couldn’t make any “d – - -” goals because I had never made a “d – - -” goal for myself in my life. I could see a priest using common expletives shocked the other participants as I described my situation, but I couldn’t help myself! All my goals were set by my parents in my youth, and later by the church. I had no idea even where to begin to make goals for myself.

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In the Midlife Career and Life Tune-Up, I help you discover or rediscover who you really are. Your personality, values and skills culminate to reveal the highly unique person you are. Once you know that, setting goals becomes a whole lot easier.

Because once you know who you are, you can figure out where you want to go, and how to get there.

As surely as aging is a reality. It is also a state of mind: one that you can actively direct towards a living a life that is authentically and joyfully yours — Sam Koshy

Ready to stop people-pleasing and figure out what’s best for YOU? Time for a tune-up!

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