A pioneering and timely study of how to navigate life’s biggest transitions with meaning, purpose, and skill.
Bruce Feiler, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Secrets of Happy Families and Council of Dads, has long explored the stories that give our lives meaning. Galvanized by a personal crisis, he spent the last few years crisscrossing the country, collecting hundreds of life stories of Americans in all 50 states who’d been through major life changes—from losing jobs to losing loved ones; changing careers to changing relationships; getting sober to getting healthy to simply looking for a fresh start. He then spent a year coding these stories, identifying patterns and takeaways that can help all of us survive and thrive in times of change.
What Feiler discovered was a world in which transitions are becoming more plentiful and the skills to manage them more urgent for all of us to master. The idea that we’ll have one job, one relationship, one source of happiness is hopelessly outdated. We all feel unnerved by this upheaval. We’re concerned that our lives are not what we expected, that we’ve veered off course, living life out of order. But we’re not alone.
Life Is in the Transitions introduces the fresh, illuminating vision of the nonlinear life, in which each of us faces dozens of disruptors. One in ten of those becomes what Feiler calls a lifequake, a massive change that leads to a life transition. The average length of these transition is five years. The upshot: We all spend half our lives in this unsettled state. You or someone you know is going through one now.
The most exciting thing Feiler identified is a powerful new toolkit for navigating these pivotal times. Drawing on his extraordinary trove of insights, he lays out specific strategies each of us can use to reimagine and rebuild our lives, often stronger than before.
From a master storyteller with an essential message, Life Is in the Transitions can move readers of any age think deeply about times of change and how to transform them into periods of creativity and growth.