“Who do I wish to be?” is more important to answer then “What do I wish to do?” says H. Norman Wright in his latest book, What’s Next. The book is intended for those who are 50 plus, and yes it hurt to realize I qualified in that group.
More than a retirement planning book, What’s Next, looks more at life planning. As he says, “Consider your age and current stage: What’s the next ‘main event’ on your horizon?” If you are in the 50 plus group, he probably covers that next event in his book. That’s why I appreciated this book and think it will be a great reference to return to when ages 60 and 70 and beyond pop up.
How you view the book might depend on how view age. When you hit 50 is life half over or just begun? If you see life as half over, then this book will give you hope. If just begun, then this book give you some direction in next steps to take. I lean into hope and have 3 favorite parts of this book:
1. Pursuing Purpose-filled Living
Someone noted growing old happens, growing up is optional. Understanding that life can have purpose at any age and especially as the years increase in number is a great gift of the book. While dealing with issues of aging and grief in life, he repeatedly comes back to ideas of purpose and legacy. His goal is not write a book on retirement, but even more a redirection to the life God intended and we each pursue as we age.
2. Building a Strong Marriage and Family
Wright writes from a marriage and family perspective. He is willing to use his own family life as an example as well as his expertise in family and parenting ministry. Throughout each chapter he draws not only on his insights, but builds on those of others. As he observes, “no marriage really stagnates — it’s moving either forward or backward.” Throw in empty nest responses, raising parents, and bodily changes in the aging process, Wright helps navigate such transitions by looking at each issue from multiple angles. This is done honestly and best of all with hope. Instead of giving up, he takes up the passion to leverage one’s life to make a difference in one’s own life and the life of one’s family.
3. Making a Life Review
What story do you want to leave behind? What do you hope people remember when they look back at your life? Most Americans push back from looking at what happens at their death, Wright provides great insights to leave a will that is more than just financial disbursement but one’s values and ethics. Sharing one’s life story can be passed from generation to generation.
I give What’s Next 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a book I will come back to in the years ahead as I seek to navigate life’s transitions in my life and the lives of others. Wright provides a glimpse of what can be and even who I can be as I intentionally live each day.
I received this book as a gift from Bethany Publishing House. I was not required to write a positive review. My thanks to Bethany Publishing House for providing a generous gift and guide for the years ahead.