Author Q & A

How do you describe yourself?

I love the line by T.S. Eliot: “Old men ought to be explorers.” I’m an explorer. What does that mean? It means that I’m personally burying the old story of retirement. I’m enlarging the real possibilities of my life right now, not retiring from them.

Interesting.  What’s next for you?

One of my colleagues calls me “the Pope of Purpose.” A bit of a stretch, for sure. But for more than four decades, I’ve dedicated myself to helping people find their purpose – their reason for getting up in the morning. My curiosity about this has taken me as a keynote speaker to all 50 states, Canada, and four continents. Along the way, I’ve written eight books (now nine!), including two international bestsellers, Repacking Your Bags and The Power of Purpose. Also, I’ve fit in time to lead 28 walking safaris in Tanzania. I “bagged” 30 sleeping-bag nights last year. My goal is 40 nights a year sleeping out – in a tent. I feel that I’m in my prime time in both my life and my work. For me, it’s time to move forward, not to look backward, and change the conversation for the better and forever.

What’s it like to work with Alan?

We both like adventure. All kinds. To me, working together felt like an intellectual adventure. A journey of curiosity. Alan’s one of the toughest critics I ever met. And, at the same time, one of the most curious and compassionate people I’ve ever met. He cares a great deal. As a result, his insights mean the most to me. Nobody intrigues me more than Alan. Rarely does a conversation between us go by that I’m not making mental notes or spending valuable time later contemplating his words. It’s quite a gift to work together. And it’s fun. Alan is playful and incredibly funny.

What was your writing process?

It’s hard to explain simply the alchemy of synergy. It’s a mystery. With two of us writing, it was like mixing up a good dish. First, you start with separate ingredients – ideas. Then you take what’s there and mix it up. Often, not always, you emerge with something so much better, so much more palatable, that you cannot imagine that anything different was ever intended in the first place. We need curiosity to live. It’s as essential as bread to eat. Conspiring, creating, and now, writing with Alan has become an essential part of my diet.

Anything else about yourself and Life Reimagined?

We set out to capture the “voice” of the Life Reimagined movement. That was our creative challenge. We wanted to be of service, to be human, to connect at the core with ordinary folks. We wanted to create a work that would change the conversation from aging to living. People would want to pass it on to their spouse, partner, or best friends. We said at the end of the Introduction, “Things are about to get interesting.” That’s true for Alan and me. We’re eager ourselves to continue the conversation and, maybe, the writing.