written by LOU BLASER

A version of this essay first appeared in Midlife Cues, a weekly newsletter about intentional living in our middle years. Get it in your inbox; you're going to love it.


Most of the reinvention and pivot stories we read about are career-change-related.

The second act in midlife as someone transitions from one type of work to another… that kind of stuff.

I myself spent the first 3 years of the Second Breaks podcast exploring these kinds of pivot stories.

Since 2021, I found myself pulled to explore other kinds of reinventions. The kinds that don’t — or not only — have to do with a career change.

Work is understandably one of the major things that can shift for us in midlife.

We retire from one kind of career and start another.

And sometimes, these changes aren’t of our own volition but are imposed.

But midlife is also ripe with major realizations, re-alignment, and personal growth “spurts”.

Midlife can trigger the kind of profound change that, sadly, others refer to as midlife crisis.

As I purposely sought out different conversations for the podcast, what became clear to me was the variety and texture of midlife reinventions:

  • A change from one lifestyle to another
  • A move to get healthier – physically, mentally, or emotionally
  • A shift in one’s worldview that changes how they show up and engage
  • A reconsideration of one’s long-held beliefs
  • A transformation of one’s relationship with himself/herself

Often, these kinds of reinventions are trickier and harder to carry out than career changes.

Late-night conversations with that person reflected in the mirror… you know how those can be 😊


Sure, let’s applaud and celebrate brave stories of career pivots.

And, let’s also open our hearts and acknowledge those who are working on changing themselves.

Those who are trying to live with more intention in the second half of their lives, especially those who are working to better themselves.


  • “When we want to improve ourselves, we often pursue dramatic changes with little success. A better idea is to go for small, incremental improvements that add up over time.” Tiny Gains. Massive Results.
  • “It’s one of the great paradoxes of mental life that we’re often unable to access our true feelings about important matters. What we really think about — for example, the character of a friend, or the next best move we should make in our career or our stance towards an incident in childhood — All of our conclusions on such critical topics can remain locked inside us, part of us but inaccessible to ordinary consciousness.” How to Figure Out What You Really, Really Think
  • Video: The Incredible Benefits of a “Get Better” Mindset | 99U. Researcher and social psychologist Dr. Heidi Grant discusses the difference between the “Be Good” and the “Get Better” mindset… and why the “Be Good” mindset — which many of us are operating under — is fundamentally problematic.


“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
— Ernest Hemmingway


The 5 Dimensions of Well-Being in Midlife and Beyond

The powerhouse duo, Ellen Kocher and Dominique Ben Dhaou, co-founders of Wake Up, Shake Up, Thrive, joined me on the podcast to discuss the 5 dimensions of well-being.

We talked about actionable steps to incorporate these dimensions into our lives today… and, speaking of personal reinventions… why it’s literally never too late to start!


I’ve been told more than a few times that I’m markedly a “different” person from the one they knew 10 years ago.

Some of the descriptions I’ve heard are: less uptight, more relaxed, less controlling, more patient.

Thank goodness! 😊

Some of the changes are about getting older, sure. But I know, some are due to deliberate hard choices, too.

How have you changed over the last 10 years?

Cool Beans,
Lou Blaser


A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.