Your One Wild and Precious Life

Once you've got a few decades on the clock, life can seem sort of cross-roadsy. Once you're no longer thinking of yourself as 'young', you may be looking back, thinking 'How did I get here?' And also looking ahead, wondering: 'What do I do now?'

This realization that neither time nor choices are limitless is both daunting and exciting. This is the moment to take stock and figure out how to make the best of every precious moment of the rest of your life. And to develop the tools to be able to do so again and again.

Your One Wild and Precious Life is an eye-opening account of this surprisingly liberating process. Using the latest ground-breaking research, leading psychologist Maureen Gaffney has written an inspiring and practical guide for getting to grips with time. Taking the key stages of our life - from infancy to old age - she explores what we learn at each stage. And, crucially, she explains how, no matter what has happened in the past, and what age you are, you can find a better route forward.

Your One Wild and Precious Life is both profound and reassuring. It will transform your thinking, connect you with who you truly are and help you to reclaim control over your life. Crucially, it will empower you to face the future with optimism. 

It is a book to fundamentally alter your relationship with time and show you that every age can be your best age.


Flourishing is about achieving a deeper sense of well-being, meaning and purpose despite, and indeed very often because of, adversity. Indeed, Dr. Maureen Gaffney explains that adversity can be a positive turning point in our lives if we decide that our goal is not merely returning to the status quo, but having better lives. Her message is that we can do this and in this exciting and innovative book she shows us how. Drawing on her vast experience of working with people and organisations, and on a fascinating body of recent research, Maureen Gaffney has written a gripping, stimulating and inspiring manifesto on how to flourish and why we need to. Learning to flourish - and helping others to flourish - is the most powerful and worthwhile investment we can make in our own well-being and in our country's future. 

  • “For those who like a bit more substance to their personal development, Maureen manages to distill the science of positive psychology into words that even I can understand.”

    Andy Cope The Art of Being Brilliant

  • “A realistic approach to positive thinking.”

    The Sunday Times

  • “It is the science and professional experience at Gaffney's disposal that makes her book so relevant ... presented in such a friendly and persuasive way that it's hard to resist.”

    Irish Examiner

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The way we live now

The book is divided into four sections: childhood and adolescence; self-efficacy; relationships; and women and men. The author discusses subjects as varied as self-esteem in childhood; teenage sex; the search for intimacy; affairs; dieting; mothers and daughters; negotiation skills, both in the workplace and in personal relationships; and the crisis of sexuality in the Catholic Church. Full of intelligent observation and sound suggestions, Maureen Gaffney points to possible ways for each of us to address these issues, all of them central to the way we live now.

goodreads twwln