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What Should I Do With My Life?

Sample Chapters (10 of the book's 50 stories)
The Book's Introduction
A Story about Coincidence
A Story about Epiphanies
A Story about Motherhood
A Story about What Work Teaches
A Story about Holding a Day Job
A Story about Being Realistic
A Story about Life Outside Work
A Story about how Grief Transforms
A Story about how Culture Limits Us

Other Links
Author Notes and Commentary

Listen to an Excerpt of the Audio Book
Who's Reading This Book
The NPR Segment (8 minutes) - wonderful listening
The Fast Company Magazine Adaptation - manifestolike
Reader Testimonials
The Reader's Guide

U.S. and U.K. Jackets

Perhaps the best introduction I can offer to the book - its stories, its tone, its structure - is to listen to the segment I created for NPR's Morning Edition, which aired January 3rd. In this 9 minute piece, I use four people's own words to tell their stories. Click here to go to the NPR page featuring the book. Click on "Listen to Morning Edition audio" once you're there.


I hope the book will grow, a little bit at a time. I'd love to hear more couples' stories, more working class stories, more diversity (even more important as the book is read by more and more people), more international stories. Lots of parents have asked me for help in talking to their children, and so I'll pass this request back to you readers - I'd love to hear some stories about how parents helped their child figure this out after they struggled.


Special thanks to Oprah Winfrey and her team, who put me on for an hour with others from the book.


Oh, and in the chapter about my first job, I mention our greeting cards. Here's a sample of four.


Who's Reading This Book

What Should I Do With My Life? is used by far more than professionals at a mid-career reckoning point. It's widely read by those facing college graduation, and it's been assigned to incoming freshman at some big universities like UMKC, Rutgers, Tenn State, and West Texas A&M. One New York State Supreme Court Justice used it to counsel his son upon graduation. But it's also picked up by those recently diagnosed with cancer who have been given a short time to live. Many National Guardsmen have read the book after they return from their year tour, and one doctor contacted me from an Air Force base in Germany - he was giving the book to soldiers who had lost a limb (to help them accept the inevitable changes in their life). Two famous actresses have read the book to help them understand the lives of regular people (Hah!!!), and one 17-year-old homeless youth in Denver was inspired by the book during the time he was getting off the streets. Housewives read it as they contemplated reentering the workforce after years caring for their children at home. A surprising number of retirees pass the book around, as a call to find a meaningful purpose in their retirement years. Many churches assigned it for Sunday school bible study. These are all audiences I never imagined in my wildest dreams would be reading my words.