Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old?: The Path of Purposeful Aging

by Richard Leider & David Shapiro
[Berrett-Koehler, 2021]

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Grow Old on Purpose

Everyone is getting old; not everyone is growing old.

But the path of purposeful aging is accessible to all. It’s fundamental to health, happiness, and longevity.

With a focus on growing whole though developing a sense of purpose in later life, Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old? celebrates the experience of aging through inspiring stories, real-world practices, and provocative questions to help readers navigate the path from adulthood to elderhood with choice, curiosity, and courage.

Framed by a long conversation between two old friends, the book reconceives aging as a liberating experience, one that enables us to become more authentically the person we always meant to be with each passing year.

“In a culture that offers little guidance for growing old but excels at pushing elders aside, here’s a book that will help us age into the fullness of life.”Parker J. Palmer, author of On the Brink of Everything

“This powerful book is a poignant reminder that life is a crescendo. The plot thickens as life quickens toward the end. Richard and David help us make sense of this quickening to assure our life’s path is purposeful.”Chip Conley, bestselling author and founder of the Modern Elder Academy

“With this book, the authors lead an exploration into powerful and meaningful aging with fresh perspectives from inspiring people.”Cathy Wurzer, author and Emmy award-winning public radio and television journalist

Richard J. Leider is the founder of Inventure—The Purpose Company, whose mission is to help people unlock the power of purpose. Widely viewed as a pioneer of the global purpose movement, Leider has written or cowritten eleven books, including three bestsellers, which have sold over one million copies

David A. Shapiro is a philosopher, educator, and writer whose work consistently explores matters of meaning, purpose, and equity in the lives of young people and adults. He is a tenured philosophy professor at Cascadia College, a community college in the Seattle area.