Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age (Hardcover)
New York Times bestselling author and co-founder/CEO of The Modern Elder Academy inspires readers to embrace midlife as a time of joy in this “clear blueprint for creating the lives we want” (Gretchen Rubin)
The midlife crisis is the butt of so many jokes, but this long-derided life stage has an upside. What if we could reframe our thinking about the natural transition of midlife not as a crisis, but as a chrysalis—a time when something profound awakens in us, as we shed our skin, spread our wings, and pollinate our wisdom to the world?
In Learning to Love Midlife, Chip Conley offers an alternative narrative to the way we commonly think of our 40s, 50s and 60s. Drawing on the latest social science research, inspiring stories, and timeless wisdom, he reveals 12 reasons why life gets better with age. They include:
- The relief of “my body doesn’t define me:” We finally grow comfortable in our own skin
- Stepping off the treadmill: We redefine what a successful life looks like
- The “Great Midlife Edit:” We let go of our emotional baggage, mindsets, and obligations that no longer serve us
- Growing whole: We begin to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves
No matter where you are in your midlife journey, this perspective‑shifting guide will inspire you to find joy, purpose and success in the years that lie ahead—and how those years can be your best ones yet.
About the Author
At 26, Chip Conley founded what became the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. Twenty-four years later he sold his company and joined Airbnb as the in-house “modern elder” to the three young founders. Today he is CEO of the Modern Elder Academy, with a campus in Baja California Sur and two forthcoming locations in Santa Fe, NM. He is a popular keynote speaker and the author of seven books.
“Rarely have I read a book that so succinctly captures the upside of midlife, a life stage that is more an opportunity than a crisis. Chip Conley reminds us all to savor the wisdom, self-knowledge, and joy that accompanies this time in our lives.” —Father Richard Rohr, bestselling author, speaker and spiritual thought leader
“Does aging give you a sense of dread? If so, you need to read Learning to Love Midlife right now. In this wonderful book, Chip Conley will show you that aging is a superpower, capable of changing you (and our world) for the better.”—Arthur C. Brooks, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, and #1 New York Times bestselling author of From Strength to Strength
“If we are lucky enough, midlife will find us all, but that doesn’t mean crisis has to accompany it. The brilliant and beloved Conley reminds us that with transition and uncertainty comes possibility. No, our doors are not closed after forty, fifty, sixty: in many ways, they are more open than ever. Read this book to reimagine every stage of midlife.” —Esther Perel, psychotherapist, author and host of Where Should We Begin
"I've personally experienced the magic of midlife at Chip Conley's MEA where thousands of people have learned how to curate a life that's as deep and meaningful as it is long. Finally, Chip has gathered the secrets of that program into a book that will help you to feel happier, healthier, and wiser starting in your 40s."—Dan Buettner, New York Times bestselling author, creator of "The Blue Zones," and National Geographic Fellow
“This vital and necessary book is a roadmap for the rest of your life. With large doses of wisdom and frequent sprinkles of wit, Chip Conley shows how all of us can approach our 40s, 50s, and 60s with intention and wonder. Learning to Love Midlife will stir brains, open souls, and transform lives.” —Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and The Power of Regret
“For many of us, midlife can be a confusing stage of life, full of unfamiliar transitions and few clear milestones. And now that we’re living longer, this period lasts much longer than it did in the past. Learning to Love Midlife is an invaluable guide to how to navigate this period with curiosity, energy, and optimism. With cutting-edge research, deep insight, and examples drawn from real life—including candid accounts of his own experience—Conley provides a clear blueprint for creating the lives we want.”—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Life in Five Senses
“One of the most fascinating developments of this cathartic time we inhabit, surely, is the evolution of aging itself. Chip Conley's work in nourishing and reinventing eldering has been groundbreaking. Now this book is a beautiful offering to us all — spiritual and pragmatic at once — on the generative possibilities of the new midlife. What a joy and a gift it is to read, and to have as a companion for living.”—Krista Tippett, Founder and Host of The On Being Project
“As the founder of the world’s first midlife wisdom school (I’m an enthusiastic alum!), Chip addresses head-on the question, ‘what’s next?’ With his perfect mix of personal anecdotes, professional observation and social science research, this book is packed with insights to live your life’s next best chapter.” —Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx
"Chip Conley is a builder. He's a master of making people feel welcome and comfortable even in places where they sometimes fear to tread. Like his legendary retreats, Learning to Love Midlife is a warm, hospitable gathering place where readers can learn to embrace their messy selves and transform their lives for the better."—Bruce Feiler, New York Times bestselling author of Life Is in the Transitions and The Search
“Conley’s enthusiasm for grasping the full potential of the midlife years is contagious and inspiring.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Chip’s book is wonderful for those who are not yet in midlife and want to get know what’s ahead, those that are going through it now, as well as those of us who are in the next stage and reflecting on our life journey in our ‘senior years.’”—Jed Diamond, PhD, Men Alive