Bruce Feiler talks new book, ‘Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age’

The bestselling author talks about the tools we need to get through “lifequakes,” meaning big disruptions in life, such as the current pandemic.
4:25 | 07/14/20

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Transcript for Bruce Feiler talks new book, ‘Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age’
Well, we have all been dealing with a lot of change over the past few months and our next guest has unique insight that can help us get through it. Bruce Feiler is a best-selling author and a new book out called "Life is in the transitions," mastering change thanks for being with us. It's important to know you actually started this all way before the pandemic started. You traveled the country and you talk to people who had gone through what you call lifequakes. Tell us what a lifequake is. Well, it's great to see you again, Amy. Thank you guys for having me. As you heard robin talking about, we're all wondering, am I going to be okay and this, you know, how am I going to handle my family? Do I need a career change? Where do I want to live? This was thee, I got cancer, I nearly went bankrupt. My dad who has Parkinson's tried to take his own life and I was scared and I realized that everybody was in this situation in one way or another and thought what can I learn from everyone else that can help me be happier? So I set out on this journey and collected life stories in all 50 state, people lost home, lost limbs, changes careered and religion, got sober, got out of bad marriages. I had 6,000 pages of transcripts and I spent a year digging through it looking for patterns that could help all of us and so what I'm unveiling here on this show is the first new model for how to navigate life transitions in 50 years so what I have in this book is a practical tool kit that can help you with whatever you're struggling with and as you said I call them lifequakes. Massive changes that hit us and aftershocks can last for years. Bruce, obviously you talk to many different people, hundreds and got individual story, but you alluded to this earlier. We are all in this massive lifequake right now. What are some of the takeaway, some of the lessons that can be learned for the rest of us? Well, I think the number one lesson, the first lesson is the lifequake you go through may be you may want a fresh start T could be involuntary. You could have gotten bad news or have an emergency but the transition that comes out of it must be voluntary. You must choose to take the steps, to go through the road map that I lay out for you in "Life is in the transitions." Once you choose it and lean in, what is the next step, Bruce? Well, you know, when you first get into a transition you're scared, you're overwhelmed and think I'm the only one going through it. Look at enough of them as I have done and it turns out there is a clear pattern, it turns out transitions have three phases, there's the long good-bye where you say good-bye to the old you and messy middle where you shed certain habits and create new habits then this new beginning where you unveil your new self so it turns out each is good at one phase, our transition superpower and get bogged down in another which is our kryptonite so what I have in the book is a way to walk you through the process to figure out what stage you're best at. My advice is start there. What about those who are really struggling right now, obviously it's an extremely painful time. Is there one additional takeaway that people should really focus on in this moment? Well, I think that one thing I would say, I ask people what was the biggest emotion they struggled with? Fear was the number one answer followed by sadness and shame and people tend to turn to rituals to contain and tame those, you know, they jump out of airplanes and have ceremonies and get tattoos and gather people together and that's sort of a signal to say to people I'm saying good-bye to the old self and welcoming the new self. The answer I would say is the biggest single lesson I learned is that transitions work. 90% of the people I talk to said they got through there so whatever you're struggling with, if you come on this journey with me you'll meet these people. You'll find in this book something you can do tonight, something tomorrow, next week, a whole road map that will take you. Whatever you're strugglinging with, whatever transition you're going through you can do it better and get through it more effectively. We can get through this together. Yeah, Bruce, I love ending on that hopeful note because that is what we need, hope. Great to see you again, Bruce. "Life is in the transitions" is available now. Perfect timing for a book like that. Absolutely. Coming up, a thrill for all

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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