Life Reimagined 9781609949327

Discovering Your New Life Possibilities

| 216 pages

Life Reimagined
  • Introduces a dynamic new phase of life that millions are already exploring and millions more will be: Life Reimagined
  • Provides a map, guideposts, and inspiring stories to help readers thrive in this new phase
  • Serves as the flagship book for AARP's Life Reimagined (lifereimagined.aarp.org)

There comes a time in our lives when we wonder, "What's next?"-when one chapter is finished and the next one has yet to be written. For many it happens at midlife, but it can happen at any point. It's a time full of enormous potential, a whole new phase of life. It's called Life Reimagined.

Here is your GPS for navigating this new life phase. You can use the powerful set of tools, practices, and insights-enhanced online at AARP's Life Reimagined website-to help you uncover your own special gifts, connect with people who can support you, and try out new possibilities. LetLife Reimagined help you take the mystery out of change and take that exciting first step.

You'll be inspired by meeting ordinary people who have reimagined their lives in extraordinary ways. You'll also read the stories of pioneers of the Life Reimagined movement such as Jane Pauley, James Brown, Emilio Estefan, and Chris Gardner. They show us that this journey of discovery can take us to some surprising and unexpected places.

Life Reimagined says that each of us is an experiment of one. Each of us has the right and the responsibility to choose our own way, throughout all the years of our life. No old rules, no outdated societal norms, no boundaries of convention or expectation. Ultimately, Life Reimagined is more than a new phase of life-it's a mindset, a movement, and a moment of possibility that we are all living in.


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Overview

  • Introduces a dynamic new phase of life that millions are already exploring and millions more will be: Life Reimagined
  • Provides a map, guideposts, and inspiring stories to help readers thrive in this new phase
  • Serves as the flagship book for AARP's Life Reimagined (lifereimagined.aarp.org)

There comes a time in our lives when we wonder, "What's next?"-when one chapter is finished and the next one has yet to be written. For many it happens at midlife, but it can happen at any point. It's a time full of enormous potential, a whole new phase of life. It's called Life Reimagined.

Here is your GPS for navigating this new life phase. You can use the powerful set of tools, practices, and insights-enhanced online at AARP's Life Reimagined website-to help you uncover your own special gifts, connect with people who can support you, and try out new possibilities. LetLife Reimagined help you take the mystery out of change and take that exciting first step.

You'll be inspired by meeting ordinary people who have reimagined their lives in extraordinary ways. You'll also read the stories of pioneers of the Life Reimagined movement such as Jane Pauley, James Brown, Emilio Estefan, and Chris Gardner. They show us that this journey of discovery can take us to some surprising and unexpected places.

Life Reimagined says that each of us is an experiment of one. Each of us has the right and the responsibility to choose our own way, throughout all the years of our life. No old rules, no outdated societal norms, no boundaries of convention or expectation. Ultimately, Life Reimagined is more than a new phase of life-it's a mindset, a movement, and a moment of possibility that we are all living in.


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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Richard Leider



Richard Leider is the founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company – and is ranked by Forbes as one of the “Top 5” most respected executive coaches, by Linkage as one of the “Top 50” executive coaches, and by the Conference Board as a “legend in coaching.”

As a Keynote Speaker, he has helped more than 100,000 leaders from over 50 corporations such as AARP, Ericsson, Mayo Clinic, and MetLife discover the power of purpose.

Richard is the author of nine books, including three best sellers, and his work has been translated into 21 languages.Repacking Your Bags and The Power of Purpose are considered classics in the personal growth field. His newest book, Life Reimagined, has been touted as the breakthrough book on the “second half of life.”He is a contributing author to many coaching books, including:Coaching for Leadership, The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching, Executive Coaching for Results, The Leader of the Future, and The Organization of the Future.

Richard holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is a Nationally Certified Master Career Counselor.As a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, he leads The Purpose Project.He is also a Carlson Executive Fellow at the University of Minnesota School of Management and a guest lecturer in the Harvard Business School. 

Richard is quoted regularly in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, and on PBS public television, NPR public radio, and other media sources.

Richard’s work has been recognized with awards from the Bush Foundation, from which he was awarded a Bush Fellowship and the Fielding Institutes Outstanding Scholar for Creative Longevity and Wisdom award.He was named a “Distinguished Alumni” by Gustavus Adolphus College, and to the “Hall of Fame” at Central High School.

For 30 years, Richard has led Inventure Expedition walking safaris in Tanzania, East Africa.He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Visit Author Page - Alan Webber


Alan M. Webber is an award-winning, internationally recognized author, editor, speaker, and consultant. His 40-year career spans work in journalism, entrepreneurship, government, and non-profit organizations.

From 1987 to 1993 he was the managing editor and editorial director of the Harvard Business Review. Under his leadership, HBR was a two-time finalist for National Magazine Awards.

He was the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Fast Company magazine from 1993 to 2003. Fast Company became the fastest growing business magazine in U.S. history and won two National Magazine Awards, one for general excellence and one for design. In 1999, with co-founder William Taylor, Alan was named Adweek's Editor of the Year.

In 2009 Alan published "Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning at Business With Out Losing Your Self." The book has been translated into seven languages and was praised by Paulo Coelho, who said "Rules of Thumb" ". . . transcends categories, offering deep insights into what it means to live life to the fullest . . . ."

Alan has published columns and articles in The New York Times Sunday magazine, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today, among other publications. His career began in government and politics; he served as an administrative assistant to the Mayor of Portland, Oregon in the 1970s and as a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the late 1970s.

Today he sits on the board of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship, the Dorobo Fund, and the international advisory board of The Hub. He holds an honorary degree from the Boston Architectural College and has spoken at events all over the world, from the Waldzell Conference in Austria to the Do Lectures in Wales to Better By Design in New Zealand.

Alan lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Frances Diemoz, an architect and woodworker. They have two children, Adam and Amanda.

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Foreword by Emilio Pardo

Introduction Your Life Reimagined Journey

Chapter 1 This Isn't What I Was Expecting!

Chapter 2 Get Real

Chapter 3 What Works?

Chapter 4 Reflect-What's Real for You?

Chapter 5 Connect-Who's There for You?

Chapter 6 Explore-What's Possible for You?

Chapter 7 Take a Break-Whew!

Chapter 8 Choose-What's Next?

Chapter 9 Repack-What To Lose, What To Take?

Chapter 10 Act-What To Do Now?

Chapter 11 Take a Break-Is It Over Yet?

Chapter 12 Is This Your Life Reimagined Moment?

Chapter 13 It's Your Move

Life Reimagined Conversations

Acknowledgments

Interviews with the Authors

Life Reimagined Resources

Index

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Life Reimagined

Introduction

Your Life Reimagined Journey

Let’s start this book at the end.

In the end it’s up to you.

Will you choose to take your Life Reimagined journey?

Will you choose to add your story to the thousands—the millions—of stories of curious, courageous pioneers of Life Reimagined?

Of course, it’s up to you—to each of us—to make this choice.

But here’s what’s at stake. Here’s why we genuinely believe you should choose to join us in taking the Life Reimagined journey.

The fact is, we are all participants in one of the most significant social movements of our time.

We are engaged in the creation of a new phase of life. We call it Life Reimagined.

This new life phase comes after middle age and before old age. Its impact—the idea of a Life Reimagined moment—can come at any age. This new phase of life renders obsolete the myths and conventional wisdom of the last 50 years, the old story that has defined the trajectory of our life course and constrained the choices available to us in the second half of life.

Life Reimagined says you can choose your own path at any step of your life journey. As we reimagine the way we live and age, we will reimagine every phase of life that comes before and after Life Reimagined. The consequences of each of us exercising choice in our lives will ripple across every generation and every phase of life. Very simply, we are living in a transformational time that is personal for each of us and universal for all of us.

What Is Life Reimagined?

Life Reimagined is three things.

First, it is a map and a guidance system to help people navigate a new phase of life.

Second, it is a growing community of people who, by the way they live their lives, demonstrate the power of possibilities in this new phase of life. They are Life Reimagined pioneers—they exemplify the map in action.

Third, it is an emerging social movement that cuts across all distinctions, including age. It is a movement that will change how we age—and in the process change how we live.

Why Life Reimagined?

Before you read any further, stop and look around you. Check the news. Listen—really listen—to what so many conversations today are all about. Pay attention to the underlying themes and emerging threads that define the times we live in.

If you pay close attention to the forces at work in the world today, you’ll see why Life Reimagined makes sense—in fact, more than makes sense. Why it is necessary and inevitable, why it accurately and honestly captures the new reality of our lives.

First, we are living longer.

Since 1900, when life expectancy in the United States was 47 years, we’ve added more than three decades to the average life span. Those additional years change the whole trajectory of life—and what is possible for each of us to choose to do with those years.

Second, we are working longer and more productively.

Living longer means adding more income-producing years to our lives, whether by choice or by necessity. This new reality has far-reaching implications for generations to come. As you’ll see, work and economics are a large component of Life Reimagined, though they are far from the whole story.

Third, we are living with meaning.

So much change in the world produces uncertainty—and uncertainty returns us to the fundamentals of what matters: our own purpose and our connections to others. Life Reimagined invites us to get in touch with the most authentic meanings in our lives—and to act on them to discover new possibilities and make new choices.

What Does Life Reimagined Say?

At the heart of Life Reimagined is a manifesto that calls upon each of us to live our lives with choice, curiosity, and courage.

It says that each of us is an experiment of one. That there are no one-size-fits-all answers for this new phase of life. Each of us has the freedom to choose our own way, in our own way, throughout all the years of our life. No old rules, no outdated social norms, no boundaries of convention or constraints of expectation.

It says that, in a world of change, there are two constants: having your own purpose and being connected to others.

It says that Life Reimagined is a journey of inner and outer discovery. And that the ultimate discovery each of us can make is self-discovery.

It says that none of us should go it alone on the journey into this new phase of life. Isolation is fatal.

Finally, it says that as we learn to reimagine this new phase of life, we will end up reimagining every phase of life. Thinking differently about how we live the second half of life will inevitably change how we live the years in the first half. As we understand the choices that are open to us as we age, we’ll see that those choices are there for us at any time.

Strengthened by these truths, equipped with a map of the new territory that lies ahead, supported by the stories of countless pioneers of Life Reimagined whose real-life examples show the way forward, Life Reimagined offers each of us the promise of a life of real possibilities.

Mapping the Life Reimagined Territory

As pioneers of Life Reimagined, we are both exploring the territory and describing it as we go deeper into it. With each of our stories we add more detail and clarity to what lies ahead. Since everyone’s life is an experiment of one, everyone’s journey into the Life Reimagined territory will be unique.

That said, there is a map to make sense of this or any new phase of life. The map features six guideposts that can help you find your way on your individual journey. Don’t think of these as steps to be taken in rigid, chronological order but as practices to guide your way:

Reflect: A call to pause before you start the journey and then at various steps along the way, understanding that change and choice occur from the inside out.

Connect: A step where you request feedback and counsel from trusted friends and guides, recognizing that isolation is fatal—no one should make this journey alone.

Explore: A beginning of the journey of discovery, a step of testing different possibilities, both inside and out, in the knowledge that curiosity and courage are essential to finding the way forward.

Choose: A narrowing of options in which you focus on your priorities and do both a deeper dive and a reality check, exploring a smaller number of choices to see which fit your emerging sense of what’s right for you.

Repack: A step of deciding what’s essential for the road ahead—what to let go of and what to keep, how to lighten your load, both tangible and intangible, for the new way that is opening up.

Act: A first step toward making the possibilities real in the recognition that taking action doesn’t drain energy, it releases energy through the optimism that comes with choice, curiosity, and courage.

If you choose to follow this map wherever it leads you, you will be making the choice to become part of the community of Life Reimagined pioneers, whatever your age.

Here’s the story of one person who made that choice.

A Game of Tag

Betty Smith hated her civil service job. A rail-thin woman into her twenties, after giving birth to her daughter she saw her weight balloon to more than 200 pounds. Her diet depended on junk food, and she had turned into a cigarette smoker.

This wasn’t who she’d expected to be or how she’d expected to look in her thirties.

One day, Betty remembers, she found herself at the park with Tracy, her daughter, who wanted to play a game of tag.

“Mom,” Tracy said, tagging her and running away, “you can’t catch me!”

“The thing is,” Betty says, “she was right. I was so out of shape and so out of breath. I decided I had to get off the path that I was on, or I wouldn’t be around to see my daughter grow up.”

That was a Life Reimagined moment for Betty.

It was a moment when she realized that she could make a choice that would fundamentally change her life. It started with a change in her mindset, a change that altered how she saw her life going forward. Because of that moment, Betty saw with startling clarity a new purpose for her life and a new set of practices to help her achieve her life purpose. This Life Reimagined moment changed how she saw herself and how she experienced the world.

She quit smoking.

“I’d been casually saying, ‘I shouldn’t smoke,’ as I was lighting up another one. But then I realized I needed to be there for my daughter,” she says. “That was the passion that I had.”

She worked out a meatless diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts. When she traveled, even to places like France with its noted cuisine, she stuck to her diet, carrying cans of chickpeas to make sure she got enough protein.

She made the decision to begin a regimen of walking, and the pounds started to melt away. Walking gave way to running—first two miles a day, then four, then a 10K race. She entered marathons all over the world, and then took on ultramarathons. From ultramarathons she stepped it up even more, entering twenty-four–and forty-eight–hour races.

“I’ve been running for forty-three years, basically nonstop,” Betty says, “and I’ve clocked well over 100,000 miles.” In all, Betty has run more than seventy marathons, competing on every continent and in locations as exotic as the ice of Antarctica and the pyramids of Egypt.

That game of tag in the park also led her to look at her work life. She went back to school to get an undergraduate degree—and then added on an MA and a PhD. She jettisoned her boring civil service job and embarked on a thirty-year career in early childhood education.

“I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve been able to age agelessly,” Betty says. “And I believe that each person can make a decision to age agelessly.”

Now seventy-one, Betty says, “Everybody has got this inner strength inside. People don’t realize they’ve got this strength and they don’t pull on it. And the strength is just waiting there and it would love to be asked to be active.”

Betty Smith’s story is one story of Life Reimagined. It shows what is possible when you live with choice, curiosity, and courage. And it says that the opportunity for discovering new possibilities in life—possibilities that matter to us, on our own terms—is there at fifty, sixty, seventy—or thirty.

Who Is Life Reimagined For?

There are countless varieties of Life Reimagined stories. Some stories are about family and relationships, some about work and earning a living. Some are about achieving better health or mastering a new skill, some are about transcending tragedy or overcoming heartbreak. Some feature celebrities who have chosen how they will shape their lives, regardless of fame or fortune. Some tell the stories of ordinary people who choose to live by their own rules, seeking their own sense of fulfillment. The simple truth is, Life Reimagined touches all of us.

Life Reimagined is for people who may be pushed by pain or pulled by possibility.

It is for people who are driven by their fears or propelled by their aspirations. People who are ending a relationship, beginning a new one, or burnishing an existing one. People who are trying to make sense of their old way of life or seeking to explore a new one. People who are facing aging and retirement or looking to get started on their lives in uncertain economic times. People who are wrestling with money problems. Dealing with the demands of caregiving. Looking to establish a new identity that better reflects who they really are. People who are looking to find new meaning in a life grown dull.

In other words, it is for people who are in a Life Reimagined moment in their lives.

Living involves change. It’s inevitable and desirable. To make good choices about change, we need guidance and direction, new life skills and new practices. Life Reimagined provides that guidance and those practices.

Here’s the truth: the art of reimagining your life must be learned. The search for “what’s next” in this new phase of life is driving one of the most powerful social movements of our time.

What’s Next?

In the end the choice is yours.

In the end it’s up to you.

Will you choose to take your Life Reimagined journey?

Will you choose to add your story to the thousands—the millions—of stories of curious, courageous pioneers of Life Reimagined?

Will you choose to join the Life Reimagined movement?

Things are about to get interesting.

Will you join us?

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