How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life – Book Review

Both authors of How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life are wise, experienced, and have used their own advice with admirable results. Mark Victor Hansen is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books and is a very popular public speaker. Art Linkletter is the TV host and author of Kids Say the Darndest Things. He is a highly regarded speaker and advice giver. Both men have inspired many with their well regarded writings and wise advice.

How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life is divided into two parts. The first part of the book presents examples and dispels myths about how an older person can be vital, active, healthy, and full of purpose. As the authors say, “it can be an incredible time of freedom and discovery and learning and purpose.” They assert that “The 60’s are the new 40’s and the 80’s are the new 60’s.” The second and longer part of the book is specific and in-depth about eight aspects of the life of the older person. This part of the book gives new and surprising information about health, money, sex, creativity, attitude, spirituality, and the active mind.

The goal of the book’s two parts is to help the reader to embrace the Ten Empowerments, as outlined in the book’s Introduction. With these empowerments, the reader will be ready to purposely live the second set of the prime years of their life.

The book is full of fun and enlightening features that make it easy to read. For example, the authors are good at creating meaningful lists. In the first few pages of the book the authors present one of the book’s underlying themes, The Ten Empowerments. These empowerments are reflected in the chapters of Part II where eight of the empowerments are talked about in great detail. The next list is given in the book’s first chapter where the authors discuss the Eight Great Myths About Growing Old. They, of course, skillfully knock down the myths that they identify. Then, throughout the book’s Part II the reader will find 11 Agelessness Secrets. The Agelessness Secrets are fun to read because they are remarkably simple and of an everyday nature. Here’s one of my favorites: Do the Crossword Puzzle. I shook my head in surprise at first but it made sense when I read the explanation for it.

A couple of other attractive features of the book are the way the authors use quotes and humorous stories. Each chapter begins with a couple of quotes that are appropriate to the topic of the chapter. The quotes are often inspirational or funny and always worth reading. The humorous stories are easily identified by the grey background color. Some of the stories are true, some are anecdotes, and some are old jokes that are worth hearing again. Either way, the stories are fun.

Another great feature of the book is the way the chapters are summarized at the end of each chapter. The authors include exercises and lists designed to help the reader put into action what they have learned in the chapter. The lists also serve as a helpful summary of the chapter.

Lastly, a feature that I greatly appreciated was a long listing at the end of the book of resources appropriate to each of the Empowerments that are discussed in the book. The resources include websites, magazines, and books, many of which were mentioned earlier in the text of the chapters. The resource list is there to supplement the memory of the reader who may have forgotten to write down an idea or a resource that they ran across earlier in the book.

Hansen and Linkletter have done an inspired job of writing a book that all older adults should read. The result will be a better and fuller life. As the authors say in the closing of the book, “That is the vision we have for you: of a life that’s rich and crazy and audacious and passionate and brilliant and giving.”