Whether you’re at the start of the career or see retirement on the horizon, Dr. Christine Whelan’s work on finding and acting upon your purpose can be valuable. Christine spent years studying the self-help industry to understand what really supports people to develop and change. I discovered her work when I met he directors of AARP’s groundbreaking program “Life Reimagined” – a program that helped adults, mid-life and beyond, to reinvent their lives. Christine was one of their key thought leaders designing innovative programs for self-improvement. But as I learned more about her background, I discovered that Christine is gifted in working with the college and millennial age generation as well – a generation she calls WTF – wise, tenacious, and fearless.
And perhaps we all have more in common than we know!
Part of Christine’s mission is to make information and research from academic social sciences become accessible, real and relevant to people. She calls this Public Sociology and uses her extensive background as a journalist to turn research into compelling stories. Boy is this needed!
Currently she directs MORE program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. MORE stands for Money, Relationships and Equality.
Highlights from the show
The work of purpose formation: how it differs across generations from millennials to boomers and beyond.
The three key questions: What’s important, why it’s important and how to make it happen.
How to identify your strengths, core values and the people you want to impact.
What Christine discovered studying the self-help industry in the United States.
Why quick-fix books don’t work and what does.
“Self-improvement is a shared language that people want to grasp on to because they want to change their lives in some ways– they want control over their futures. Self help books are manuals of self-control that we seek when we feel out of control with the rest of our lives.”
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About my guest
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She is the author of The Big Picture: A Guide to Finding Your Purpose in Life (Templeton Press, 2016), Generation WTF: From “What the &%#$?” to a Wise, Tenacious and Fearless You (Templeton Press, 2011), Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women (Simon & Schuster, 2006).
“As an interdisciplinary scholar and public sociologist, my job is to shape national dialogue to establish equality for women and men in relationships, family life and financial decision making, while embracing central questions of self-worth, purpose and meaning for both individuals and couples throughout the life course.”
Christine is a clinical professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and director of MORE: Money, Relationships and Equality. She earned a masters and doctorate from the University of Oxford and has held teaching positions at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Iowa and Princeton University. She has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other national outlets. She has appeared live on television programs and radio programs across the nation.
She’s a thought leader at the Life Reimagined Institute, where she serves as chief curator, advising on self-improvement strategies for life’s transitions. She is on the board of SEEK Safely, and an outspoken advocate for the dissemination of research-based advice.
Christine graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Princetonian and was awarded the Daniel M. Sachs Scholarship to attend Worcester College at the University of Oxford. She and her husband, Peter, live and work in Madison, Wisconsin with their three young children, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purrron.
The Show Notes