“Life is in the Transitions; Mastering Change at any Age” by Bruce Feiler
I found this book quite profound and it made me reflect on getting the most out of my life, and rather than moving on through the difficult times to pause and reflect on what I am learning now. Last couple of years have been very tough for me with two members in my family dying and another member of my family almost killed in a murder attempt. I myself had a challenging time in accident and emergency at hospital but I’ve recovered well from that. All these moments have much do teachers if only we would stop and reflect. In my leadership Coaching I meet many people and I often ask them to share their life stories and the meaning they take from them to make them into the leaders they are today.
Bruce Feiler has long been thinking and writing about the stories that give our lives meaning.
Several years ago he began to notice a new pattern: the old stories about the major plot points of our lives – a straight line from childhood to education to rising within a single career, having a family, and growing old with a life partner – were no longer holding true. Increasingly, he observed, the stories we all inherit to explain how our lives should unfold were clashing with reality and creating more anxiety than guidance.
People felt they were living their lives out of the expected order and weren’t sure how to navigate everything that wasn’t supposed to happen. Galvanised by a family crisis that spoke quite poignantly to this loss of meaning, Feiler set out on what became an epic journey to harvest American life stories and see what he could learn from them. What began organically, radiating out from family and friends, became more ambitious and rigorous, until he gathered 225 extended life stories from all 50 states in what he called The Life Story Project. As Feiler sifted through and coded the themes of his interviews, powerful and pressing patterns emerged. We are living our lives out of order – the midlife crisis, for one, thing, is a big myth.
The old linear model of life has been replaced by what Bruce calls the nonlinear life, but rather than being lost without the traditional mould, Life is the Story You Tell Yourself speaks to how you can make your own model. Feiler draws on an extraordinary well of insight from his interviewees and offers a powerful new ‘transition toolkit’ for navigating the growing number of life changes we all face. His is a book that can move readers of any age and any life moment to think deeply about how their story serves them and how it can serve them better.
I recommend you read and reflect on it