Photo by Will Hawkins
“This is your encore.”
By Benita Adams
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, plans can change quickly and suddenly, whether or not we want them to – Nothing is guaranteed. But, many of us have also learned to pivot when life throws us a curveball and embrace our Plan B. Change can be by choice or chance. It can be both scary and exciting. But, it’s how we embrace this time in our lives that makes all the difference in how our Second Act will play out, especially in midlife. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 – 1964, live longer because of advances in technology, which has helped improve our health. The average 65-year-old today can expect to live to 84.6, nearly three years longer than a person who was 65 in 1980. Today’s boomers are healthier than their parents’ generation and have the longest life expectancy in history.
With these “supersized” lives, where we’re given perhaps an extra thirty years, boomers have more opportunities to discover their purpose and passion and even consider having encore careers. It causes us to ask: What’s next? Who am I now? Where am I going? and How do I get there? A second act is your encore and chance to keep your mind engaged and gain new experiences. We have a sense of purpose by staying engaged and productive. It increases our happiness and well-being. But, how do we figure out what our second act will be? Most people can figure out what they want next by looking at a few important steps to help them get started and transition into their second act journey. I call these steps the R.E.S.E.T. plan.
Through Reinvention, Education, Self-Discovery, Engagement and Transformation you can begin the process of changing your life:
Change is all about deciding what you want and don’t want and finding out what makes you fulfilled and happy. Consider things like creating a dream board, letting go of regrets, starting or ending relationships, setting new goals, doing something that scares you, and speaking positive affirmations every day.
Is there a skill or trade you want to learn? Try taking a class or get a certification in a particular field, learn to voice what you want, connect to a cause or organization bigger than yourself, and learn to listen to yourself. Trust your life’s experience.
Because most people wear “so many hats” or have a variety of roles they play, it can be challenging to know our authentic selves. But, making peace with who you are is a big must. Start to write your thoughts in a journal, ask a trusted friend to give you some feedback, or go to a therapist or spiritual leader to share your experiences.
So many times, we use our time and energy for other people. In engagement, begin to make and keep promises to yourself. Make room for yourself physically and emotionally and learn to tell other people No instead of Yes. (I know that’s a hard one for many people)
Realize that change takes time. Most things we want to change take time. If you’ve heard of The Serenity Prayer it says, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change – The courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Your transformation will come in its time, and when we make changes in ourselves and our lives people will notice.
The R.E.S.E.T. plan can work for you as you journey and transition into your new phase of life with its possibilities and challenges. Let’s make the rest of our lives the best of our lives. Let’s reinvent ourselves because “It’s Our Time.”