Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up

by James Hollis

Book, 2006



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Avery (2006), Edition: Reprint, 276 pages

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Physical description

276 p.; 5.28 inches

Local notes

What does it really mean to be a grown up in today’s world? We assume that once we “get it together” with the right job, marry the right person, have children, and buy a home, all is settled and well. But adulthood presents varying levels of growth, and is rarely the respite of stability we expected. Turbulent emotional shifts can take place anywhere between the age of thirty-five and seventy when we question the choices we’ve made, realize our limitations, and feel stuck— commonly known as the “midlife crisis.” Jungian psycho-analyst James Hollis believes it is only in the second half of life that we can truly come to know who we are and thus create a life that has meaning. In Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Hollis explores the ways we can grow and evolve to fully become ourselves when the traditional roles of adulthood aren’t quite working for us, revealing a new way of uncovering and embracing our authentic selves. Offering wisdom to anyone facing a career that no longer seems fulfilling, a long-term relationship that has shifted, or family transitions that raise issues of aging and mortality, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life provides a reassuring message and a crucial bridge across this critical passage of adult development.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ZenPatrice
Hollis was a humanities professor turned Jungian analyst. He has the most amazing citations!
LibraryThing member Arctic-Stranger
This is a more popular version of Hollis's other book on midlife transitions, The Middle Passage. His insights are pretty sharp, and more than once I have used some of his insights in my own counseling practice.

Essentially Hollis says the first half of our live we are trying to deal with the question, "What do I need to do to succeed?" The the second half, we have a new question. "Who am I?" (Apparently this is not just a question for bored twenty-somethings anymore.)

Hollis is a Jungian therapist, but he rarely lets that get in the way of work. It feeds his insights, but does not overpower them.

Like any "self-help" or self therapy book, some of this is really helpful, and some is not, but when Hollis hits the mark, at least for me, it is a hit worth taking.
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