YOUR "LIFE REPORT" AND TRANSITIONING
In David Brooks’ New York Times Op-Ed column (October 28, 2011), “The Life Report,” he asks people over age 70 to reflect, write a report or essay and send it to him evaluating what you did well and not so well and lessons learned along the way. He suggests categories of career, family, self-knowledge, faith and community and even that you give yourself a grade in each area.
Brooks wrote that the main purpose would be to help young people. “Young people are educated in many ways, but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and common blessings of modern adulthood,” he wrote. The other purpose would be mature self-reflection.
That same day, I received an e-mail from Civic Ventures’ Encore Careers (I am on the mailing list because of Next Generation, Next Destination), piggybacking on Brooks’ idea for people who have transitioned to “encore careers” after their major career(s).
I say the life report is a great idea – but why wait till 70? Let’s start doing it at age 50 or 55 when enough experience has accumulated and there is still much time to adjust course. Even people still in their major careers will benefit from the self-reflection (with or without grading). And what a great mentoring tool, a coaching tool and legacy!
So, consider it and start thinking and writing. You don’t have to send it to David Brooks to publish – though go ahead if you want to. Do it for yourself, your family and friends, the students you know and young work colleagues. Share it in alumni groups, community groups, social media, etc. It will help you and others in their growth and transitioning.
Tell me what you think. Comment here. Pass it on. Let me know if you start something going in your circles.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot www.pdcounsel.com