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This study examined the circumstances and processes involved in transformational and intentional (self-initiated) midlife change to yield insights about how and why people intentionally change in midlife. Despite Western cultural beliefs that midlife is a time of undesired aging and demise, midlife actually is a dynamic and ever-changing life stage in which people often reclaim hidden potentials, undergo significant self-development, and pursue dramatic changes.The study utilized a qualitative research interviewing design. Of the eleven participants, ten one-on-one in-person interviews were conducted with men and women who had initiated permanent and transformative midlife change, while one interview was conducted through telephone. Participants’ life stories relevant to the circumstances and processes of their change were captured.Findings were reported regarding participant demographics and reported common themes across the participants’ stories concerning the circumstances provoking intentional change, pathways to transition and transformation, outcomes of the transformation experience, making sense and drawing meaning from the transformation experience, and lessons learned from intentional change. Multiple circumstances provoked midlife intentional change, including external experiences; internal crises, dilemmas, discomfort, and drive; the recognition that old approaches were not working; and parental influence carrying over from childhood. Findings also suggested that the pathway to transformation is not one long straight road from a starting point to a finish line but that it unfolds as a lengthy, evolving, and challenging process. Outcomes of the participants’ transformation experiences included changes in their self-identities, self-concept, and priorities; deeper expression of their spirituality, purpose, and meaning; changes in their views of the world; and a deeper sense of fulfillment. Overall, participants believed they gained more than they had lost from their transitions and resolved that perseverance and resilience were necessary ingredients for continually moving forward. These insights and lessons can be utilized and implemented by others seeking to create their own intentional midlife change. In addition, more remains to be learned about midlife change regarding how people of other personal, educational, and professional backgrounds pursue change.
Published: Xlibris on
ISBN: 9781456801144
List price: $9.99
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