Notes on Generative Living

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This book is about integrating two big ideas. One is an exploration of generativity. There is little that guts me more than hearing people late in their lives reflect on the choices they wish they had made. We only have ourselves to blame for regret, but hindsight gives us clarity that somehow seems elusive in the busyness and complexity of life. How do we know that the extrapolation of the trajectory of our lives as we are living them today, will lead to deep satisfaction rather than gut-wrenching regret? The Generative Living Model is designed to help, by giving us a lens on our current living that places it in a broader framework of what living fully really means.

The other is about harmonising three drivers in life; the drive to experience pleasure, the drive to reach our potential as people, and the drive to make a contribution. We will explore how potent each of these are, and draw on the work of Martin Seligman and following him, Clive Hamilton,  to understand the different ways that the pursuit of each of these leads to happiness and satisfaction.

The model offers two uses; as a diagnostic to explain deep peace or complex frustration (and everything in between), and as a lever for making choices about lifestyle trajectories.

The contents of the draft book are:



  1. Pleasure

2. Goodness

3. Meaning

4. Harmonising pleasure, goodness and meaning

5. A diagnostic lens

6. Community

7. Home

8. Unstuck

9. Uncluttered

10. Modal Living

11. Contentment


12. An introduction to generativity

13. Generativity and living well

14. Generative engagements

15. Summary and conclusions

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