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If, like millions of adults, you have ever asked yourself, "What is the purpose of my life?" then you will discover in this thoughtful book an original guide for finding life's meaning. Acclaimed psychologist John Kotre offers a surprising solution for soul searchers in their thirties, forties, midlife, and beyond. The key to overcoming the obstacles that get in the way of finding fulfillment in adulthood is to shape a legacy that will last beyond our lifetimes.
Expanding upon the psychological phenomenon of generativity -- a term Erik Erikson first coined fifty years ago to explain how individuals create forms of life and work or legacies that live on after their deaths -- Kotre shows us how to cultivate a desire to impact future generations. Building a solid business or developing a new idea can be as vital as raising children or sharing our wisdom with young ones -- and for each of us, finding the kind of generativity that is right is half the challenge.
Kotre clearly outlines a step-by-step pathway we will move along to a more complete and fulfilling life. By listening to the past, finding a voice, and selecting an audience, we will be able to create and grow. In the first step, we begin by talking to our past, dealing with positive or negative legacies received from our parents. The second step is called stopping the damage because it is the stage when we as parents can buffer or protect our children from our own painful legacies. In the third step we find our voice; the fourth and fifth steps call for blending our creations with the creations of others. With selecting, step six, we choose what to hold onto, which leads to step seven -- letting go of our creations, such as seeing our children off to find their own way, or selling a business when the time comes to move on. And it is in the final step, when we learn to share, that we experience the ultimate fulfillment.
John Kotre says that creating a legacy that lasts is within each person's grasp. This innovative and sophisticated guide will inspire anyone who may be suffering from a midlife crisis, seeking guidance in life decisions, or engaged in the universal search for meaning.