Richard Leider and David Shapiro helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people discover the true purpose of their lives with their classic bestseller Repacking Your Bags. Now they focus their attention on the second half of life, showing readers how to claim their rightful place as new elders, men and women who, the authors write, "use the second half of life as an empty canvas, a blank page, a hunk of clay to be crafted on purpose."
Claiming Your Place at the Fire uses dozens of inspiring and surprising stories of new elders, as well as thought-provoking exercises like the Fireside Chats that conclude each chapter, to help readers address four key questions:
Who am I? How do I stoke the wisdom gained in the first half of my life to burn more brightly in the second half?
Where do I belong? What makes a place the right place for me in the second half?
What do I care about? Where do I want to use my gifts and talents in the second half? What is my purpose? How do I leave a legacy that has real meaning for myself and my loved ones?
What is my purpose? How do I leave a legacy that has real meaning for myself and my loved ones?
For the next 12 years, there will be 10,000 people a day in the U.S. alone turning 50. Never before have so many entered into the second half of life so vital, healthy, and free. And never before have so many had such a hunger for direction in how to live this stage of their lives in a purposeful way. Claiming Your Place at the Fire shows how to embrace the lessons that we learn as we age and share these lessons in a manner that is relevant and meaningful to ourselves and the people whose lives we touch.
If you've just received your AARP membership card and wonder what comes next, you might find some help from Leider and Shapiro, co-authors of Repacking Your Bags. They put it a bit more lyrically, using their fire image: this book is for"people who are ready to stoke the wisdom gained in the first half of their lives to burn with a brighter sense of purpose in the second half." Drawing on what Leider learned while sitting around the fire with tribal elders in Tanzania, he refers to his readers as"new elders," meaning people"who never stop reinventing themselves." This isn't a self-help book, exactly: it doesn't offer advice on activities for elders or where to retire. It is a guide to an internal, spiritual search for the purpose of one's older years. Readers who don't mind the New Age-y tone and the references to Ram Dass and dream interpretation as a source of wisdom may find inspiration here for answering the central questions that can guide them to a fulfilling elder life.