So for the last five years, I've been working to figure out a better way for us to plan the second half of life. Not just our careers and finances, but our lives.
At the University of Wisconsin, I took courses inside ten different academic departments. That's a strange thing to do, but it was the only way to see the big picture. I took courses in everything from adult education to mass communications, and from business to sociology.
I was fortunate to also be able to study with leading professors from other universities, too. Like Martin Seligman, the esteemed research psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania, and David Cooperrider, the revolutionary organizational development theorist from Case Western Reserve. These visionaries helped me see a whole new context and process for life planning and education.
At the same time, I traveled around the country, studying the best planners and educators I could find. I visited eighteen states, and met some of the most amazing real-world, down to earth teachers you can imagine.
So what did all that research lead to?
At the end of all this searching, I was finally able to pull everything together into a single idea. A way to cover all the bases, and yet boil it down to a simple format. It's called the Well-Being Model. Just as you'd expect, it's pretty theoretical. You could even say it goes all the way down the rabbit hole, from a philosophical perspective. But at the other end, it's so practical and concrete that it can help you allocate your investment portfolio, decide where to live, choose a medical doctor, and find your ideal career.
The Well-Being Model is the foundation for my book: What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement (with Richard Bolles, the original genius behind the world's most popular career guide, What Color Is Your Parachute?) My book has just been completely revised and updated for 2010.