A Dangerous Opportunity
The Chinese word for crisis readily shows these two basic elements. In the Chinese language the ideogram for crisis is made up of two separate characters. One of these characters represents “danger” and the other represents “opportunity.” Thus the proper translation of crisis from Chinese is as a “dangerous opportunity.” Any crisis in our lives provides the chance for change and growth — the opportunity — as well as the risk of regression or stagnation — the danger. In the images of Quest, Metamorphosis, or Renaissance both opportunity and danger exist. You may not always attain the goal of the Quest, the Metamorphosis may not be complete, and the Renaissance may be a still birth. The danger of midlife is very real. Successful transition to the next life stage is not guaranteed.
Excerpt from http://www.lessons4living.com/midlife.htm