Second Act

personal development Mar 31, 2021
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It's frequently called a second act. In his book on the subject, David Brooks named it in the title, The Second Mountain. Fr. Richard Rohr calls it "the second half of life" in Falling Upward.

Whatever you call it, some of us at some point decide to move from making a living to living a legacy.

Work is how human beings build identity. We think we are what we do. In a quest to define and develop ourselves, many of us follow the herd and chase status and stuff. If we're lucky, we may also forge some meaning for our lives through our job or career. If not, sometimes we find it in relationships or recreation.

Too often, we identify solely with where we got and what we have. Many never even consider a second act, mountain, or half.

It often takes an unexpected or even unfair failure or fall for someone to turn away from working for selfish pursuits and instead turn toward serving others. In the process, we discover that we're not just what we do for a living but also our values and virtue.

A second act helps us shed our attachment to prestige and prosperity and instead aspire to contribute to others. A more enlightened view of ourselves emerges. We realize that we enhance our own lives most through efforts that elevate others.

Here's the thing, a second act doesn't have to begin when we're ready to retire from what we do as our livelihood. You can choose to start to craft a contribution at any age, and you don't have to do it after or at the expense of what you do to make a living.

A life of contribution, service, and making things better begins whenever you decide to do so. Is now the right time for you to start or begin to level up in your second act?


Scott Perry, Difference-Maker Coach at Creative on Purpose.

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