The following excerpt is from their new book, Life Reimagined.
Richard LeiderStop 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 No old rules, no outdated social norms, no boundaries of convention or constraints of expectation.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.
To order your pre-release copy of Life Reimagined, click here. To learn more about Life Reimagined, visit AARP’s Life Reimagined Web site.