During certain phases in life, particularly when reaching maturity, some people look for a new meaning in their lives.
This might be part of a major life transition like in midlife, or as a result of difficulties . Then comes the need to reassess the goals we had set for ourselves in life. “What do I really want out of my life?” might be a recurring question.
“ Midlife is a time to look back and a time to look ahead, a time to ask how are things going and what is left to do” (Lachman)
Although the idea of a midlife crisis has been somewhat over-simplified, the concept that life is a life long developmental process with major transition phases remains true. For example, Erikson divided life span into 8 different phases of development. For him, the task of midlife is “generativity” i.e. the desire to guide and nurture next generations.
At some stage in our life, some people come to realize they have been overly directed by outside circumstances and people around them. In adjusting to the demands of society too much, they have lost parts of themselves. When they realise this, they feel the need to invest in meaningful activities and be more “at the centre of one’s own life”.