The Search for Fulfillment: Revolutionary New Research That Reveals the Secret to Long-term Happiness


For forty years Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a pioneer in the field of adult development, tracked a group of baby boomers from college to retirement. The comprehensive data on these baby boomers has yielded insights into the myriad of factors that cause lives to go in one direction or another. One of the most interesting findings involves the idea of legacy. The level of happiness felt by people in the sample group correlates with their sense of purpose—their sense of legacy-building. Whitbourne found legacy is as much a feeling as it is an action—it is only when we feel that we are reaching outside ourselves to help a cause greater than ourselves do we experience a sense of fulfillment in our lives.


THE SEARCH FOR FULFILLMENT: Revolutionary New Research That Reveals the Secret to Long-term Happiness uses the examples of people from Whitbourne's study to explore the concept of legacy. It provides readers with concrete ways to discover and successfully build their own legacies, and it gives them means to redirect their lives if they have gone off track. Its overriding message is that it is never too late to jumpstart the process of legacy-building, and in doing so, to feel like your life is worth living—all the while making the world a better place. 



North American publisher: Ballantine Books

Foreign rights:  Ballantine Books, Rachel Kind (

Foreign rights sold: Dutch to Uitgeverij Archipel

Film rights: Gillian MacKenzie (


"Whitbourne deserves commendation for both the hopeful message she delivers and the elegant prose with which she conveys her complex research."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)