Life Is in the Transitions Book Summary - Life Is in the Transitions Book explained in key points
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Life Is in the Transitions summary

Bruce Feiler

Mastering Change at Any Age

4.5 (221 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

Life Is in the Transitions by Bruce Feiler is a guide to navigating life's unpredictable transitions. It offers practical advice on how to manage change, find meaning in difficult times, and create a roadmap for the future.

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    Life Is in the Transitions
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    Storytelling is a lifeline in a crisis.

    What are the stories that you tell about your life? And how do you respond when the “plot” of your life takes a sudden turn that you never chose, and couldn’t have predicted? 

    Bruce Feiler was faced with those questions when his otherwise regular life was walloped by a series of personal crises. He was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of bone cancer. He almost went bankrupt. And to make matters much, much worse, he learned that his father who was battling Parkinson’s disease had repeatedly attempted to kill himself. 

    The key message here is: Storytelling is a lifeline in a crisis.

    Bruce had made a successful career out of writing, but suddenly he felt like he’d lost control of his own story. His father was having the same experience: having Parkinson’s made him feel like his life no longer had any value. Bruce realized that as much as anything, what he and his father were experiencing was a narrative problem: their lives had swerved off course, and they no longer knew how to make sense of their life stories. 

    Bruce set out to find what he termed a narrative solution and began interviewing his father. He started by asking simple questions like, “What were your favorite toys when you were a child?” When his father responded eagerly, Bruce advanced to more complex questions like, “What is your biggest regret?” 

    The process transformed his father’s life – by the end of four years he had written an autobiography and regained the will to live. For Bruce, the exercise was just as transformational. He realized that he’d stumbled upon a much bigger problem: people don’t know how to handle major life transitions because they don’t know how to include them in their life stories. 

    Bruce decided that he needed to support his hunch by doing more research. Over the following three years, he traveled across the United States doing interviews for what he called the Life Story Project. By the end of the project, he’d completed 225 interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds. They all had one thing in common: their lives were shaken by unexpected changes, and they were struggling to find a way to make sense of them. In the following blinks, you’ll hear some of their extraordinary tales and learn how stories can guide us through change. 

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    What is Life Is in the Transitions about?

    Life is in the Transitions (2020) is a guidebook to weathering the big changes we may experience in our lives, from getting divorced to starting a new job, from coping with illness to winning the lottery. These major transitions can cause us to feel unstable, uncertain, and overwhelmed. Our lives rarely go as planned, but we can learn to navigate life's changes and better understand what makes them meaningful by changing the stories we tell about ourselves.

    Life Is in the Transitions Review

    Life Is in the Transitions (2020) by Bruce Feiler offers profound insights on navigating life's inevitable transitions with resilience and purpose. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Feiler's book is a compelling exploration of how transitions, both big and small, can be transformative and opportunities for personal growth.
    • Through a series of real-life stories and interviews, Feiler provides readers with relatable experiences that inspire and motivate.
    • What sets this book apart is Feiler's refreshing perspective on viewing transitions as a chance for reinvention rather than a hurdle to overcome, making it a refreshing and thought-provoking read.

    Who should read Life Is in the Transitions?

    • Entrepreneurs who want to become better equipped for sudden work transitions
    • People who are grieving a loss
    • Memoir-lovers who are fascinated by how stories give meaning to our lives

    About the Author

    Bruce Feiler is the author of six New York Times best sellers, including The Secrets of Happy Families and The Council of Dads. He also writes and presents two primetime series on PBS, and his two Ted Talks have been viewed more than two million times.

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    Life Is in the Transitions FAQs 

    What is the main message of Life Is in the Transitions?

    Life Is in the Transitions explores how navigating life's transitions can lead to growth and transformation.

    How long does it take to read Life Is in the Transitions?

    The reading time for Life Is in the Transitions can vary, but you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is Life Is in the Transitions a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Life Is in the Transitions is worth reading for its valuable insights on navigating life's changes and finding personal growth.

    Who is the author of Life Is in the Transitions?

    The author of Life Is in the Transitions is Bruce Feiler.

    What to read after Life Is in the Transitions?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Life Is in the Transitions, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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