For each of us there will likely be several times on our adult journey when we find compelling reasons to craft a new chapter. Sometimes we intentionally plan it, and other times we are thrown into new circumstances with little notice.

Whatever the reason, we are served by getting clarity about what matters most in our lives and developing an intentional plan for the road ahead. I’m excited to share LifeForward: Charting The Journey Ahead by Dr. Pamela D. McLean with contributions by Fredrick M. Hudson.

In this short video, I introduce my new series called the Book Club, starting with LifeForward.

I’ve heard it said people should be born with a manual! And who hasn’t wished for some type of instructions for navigating life when you started out, especially in your 20s and 30s or… even now when you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s… or beyond.

The most basic life plan message most of us got was to finish school, get a good job, find a partner, and maybe have some kids. If you do that all successfully, you will likely have a mid-life crisis around your 40s. But hold on, because when you retire, life will be good. That may have worked 50 years ago.

Life planning handed down from previous generations was simple for simpler times. Today’s world is infinitely more complex, the choices are endless, and the rate of change is unprecedented. It makes sense that we need new skills to create the life we want and to have a model to continue to adjust as our dreams evolve.

On the flip side, there will be inevitable changes in the world around us that we do not control, and it takes resilience to keep a positive perspective and the wisdom to adjust our plans in a way that fits the current reality. The naive or overly optimistic person may feel helpless and unprepared. So much can happen that is outside of our control: The economy shifts, businesses downsize, health crises happen, marriages go through stress, kids struggle. In other words, life is loaded.

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is.
The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

—Virginia Satir

Dr. McClean offers a Whole Person Model, all in the context of a LifeLong Learning Agenda.

LifeForward’s whole person model takes you through 5 Maps that will equip you to live your best life. It will also help you be ready for the unexpected, avoid burnout, and strengthen your ability to bounce back from setbacks of all kinds.

Map 1, the Cycle of Renewal, will help you stay present and in charge of your own life. Use it to discover if you’re up or down or a bit off course. This method will help you tap the cycle of change for designing the next chapter of your life and teach you how to use change as a major resource for your future life designs.

Map 2 will help you seek clarity about your current core values. As you shape your next chapter you feel more alive and purposeful. Your recalibrated values become your compass for the journey ahead

Map 3 will help you identify and prioritize your roles that matter most to you as you create a compelling future. Roles do change at different ages and stages. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or imbalanced, it may be time to reevaluate. Appropriate role balancing leads to a sense of control, efficiency, and time to rest and recreate.

Map 4 will help you explore the predictable changes that take place in adult lives from ages 20–95, suggesting ways to optimize the life stage you’re in. One of my favorite sections of the book names the likely priorities and best practice skills of each decade. The 20s and 30s are all about exploring and taking risks to find one’s place in the world. While the 60s are more about letting go, envisioning a new way to live, contribute, and leave a legacy.

Map 5 evokes a meaningful learning agenda, identifying specific skills and abilities to master the journey ahead. Probing questions are posed, such as what needs to be learned or what needs to be unlearned in order to move to this new place.

The LifeForward Formula will provide an integration of your purpose, vision, and plan.

LifeForward helps you to identify where you are right now. And by engaging in practical and compelling exercises, you have the opportunity to build the essential skills of self-renewal!

“We neither get better or worse as we get older, but more like ourselves.”

—Robert Anthony

Thanks for reading.

Elaine Morris
Executive coach and positive intelligence expert

Meet Elaine and get started.

Elaine Morris is a master-level emotional intelligence and executive coach who brings more than 30 years of experience to upper level executives and their teams.

Elaine Morris