Writing a New Life Chapter

New chapter concept.
Illustration depicting a roadsign with a new chapter concept. Sky background.

If you were to think of your life as a book, what would be the title of the last chapter? Even more interesting, what would be the title of the next chapter?

In a previous post I was reflecting on five signs that one phase – or chapter – of your life might be coming to an end. What might be the signs that indicate where the next chapter is beginning?

Beyond the five “disses”

The first sign is the one that moves you from disengagement to re-engagement. Since disengagement is typically a cooling of a former emotional attachment, what’s getting you excited now? To what is your attention being drawn? What are you starting to think more about now that wasn’t on your mind until recently?

Your second sign may be the one that moves you from dismantling to re-designing. You’ve built up a wonderful store of experience, skills, and relationships which are just crying out to be remoulded and re-modelled into something new. If you’re really in a transition to a new chapter you may well notice space opening up in your life that was previously filled.

The third sign could be the one that leads you from dis-identification to re-engineering. Think about what you were doing in the phase you’re moving out from. It’s one thing to describe life in terms of what we are responsible for – it can be quite enlightening to describe it in terms of verbs rather than nouns. Think of your new chapter in the same way. What do you want to be doing next?

Your fourth sign could be drawing you away from disenchantment to re-envisioning. What unfulfilled dreams and hopes are you carrying into your new phase? Which of these could be closer to fulfilment now?

And finally – and isn’t this one of the main reasons we have signs – what’s the sign that’s taking you from disorientation to re-orientation? One of the most powerful insights I’m increasingly seeing is when someone gets hold of the guiding principle or objective – the new North – which provides a focus for their other decisions. This helps to set priorities, and leave behind issues that create unhelpful attachments to a previous life chapter, stifling the creative energy needed to explore the new theme that takes someone into a whole new narrative.

Coaching in action

So the next time you’re out for coffee, dinner, walking with friends, enjoying some refreshment at your local hostelry or wine bar, try throwing this one into the conversation – if you were thinking of your life as a book, what would be the title of the last chapter?

And what would be the next?

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