A New Long Life – Book Review

A New Long Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
A framework for flourishing in a changing world.

This book was launched during lockdown, and I read it during the month of May. It was not written with COVID-19 in mind, but it certainly has escalated some of the ideas, and it was a great navigation tool for me to use during this time.

This is a second book by these authors. The first one was the 100-year life. The first book focused on longevity and how this is impacting individuals, business, government, and society. The second book includes how technology is impacting the way we live and has some great ideas to use as you navigate your own life currently. This is leading to a changing landscape of jobs and careers for the future. Technologies are not just changing jobs but also how we live and work. COVID-19 certainly accelerated this process as so many of us found ourselves communicating more online and via platforms like Zoom.

Lifespan and life stages are changing. Many over the age of 65 are living longer, healthier lives. What does it mean NOW to be old? Younger generations will need to structure and finance for a 100-year life.

The old story was the linear story of education, work, retirement, and death. Three stages. This story is now shifting. Longer life, technology disruption- creates more transitions. This moves us to a multi-stage life. It needs to change the questions we ask and how we narrate our story.

Looking at your story and designing future possibilities can create several paths. This is your crossroads moment. The past is known. We need to imagine the future. Each of us is unique. We all arrive at this point with a number of factors to consider and are the collective of our past. We need to imagine age as malleable to design a different future. Age needs to be disrupted. People are living longer, and how they age is changing. Age is influenced by your actions and beliefs

For your age to be malleable, you need to focus on making significant investments in your future through learning new skills, building relationships and investing in your health.

We each age uniquely, shaped by our behaviour, environment, circumstances, and genetics.

The book brings together three main areas we need to focus on in the design of our lives. Our lives have all been impacted, and this brings time for reflection and asking some questions may help each of us to reimagine a new future.

Narrate
Navigating a life story and creating a narrative that brings meaning to life and helps to navigate the choices we need to make.

  • What will my job be if any?
  • What skills will I need?
  • What does it look like?
  • What does it mean to be old?

Explore
Learning and transforming that enable us to successfully make the transitions that will be part of our lives

  • How do I explore the new options?
  • How will I learn the new skills I require?
  • How do I experiment with change and navigate through a life with more transitions?

Relate
Connecting deeply and building and sustaining meaningful relationships.

  • How do I respond to changing family structures?
  • What will a world with more older people and fewer children look like?
  • How do we learn to bring generational harmony?

For each of us, this is a personal journey of reflection. It can also be a wonderful way to start and work together as a couple or even as a family. These new macro trends are changing the way we need to think, plan, and live our lives. We are social pioneers in this space. Our parents and grandparents did not have the privilege of this longevity or the technology that is driving change. “A new long-life” will take you on an exciting journey. Be curious, engage and experiment.

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