The Third Act:
I’ve talked about the Third Act and people ask ‘what do you mean by The Third Act?’ This was an idea introduced to me by my friend Edward Kelly. Ed developed and has taught the concept for the past few years initially in Ireland, and now across Europe. We are living longer, and the idea of retirement, as conceived in our parents and grandparents day has changed.
So what is the Third Act?
Image your life as a play.
The beginning, like a play sets the stage for your life: You are born and the influences you have during childhood and adolescence, the family you are born into, where you live, the principals and values that are instilled in you and that you may still live by are formed during this time. This is the nature/nurture period, and sets the stage for Act Two.
In your Second Act, there may be further development and learning – like the second act of a play there is growth, maybe complications. You are independent, building a career, partnering, bringing up a family, saving for later… Independent, however as you progress through this act there are often others dependent on you. Often in a play the Second Act ends with questions, so too as we transition to the end of this act, we wonder – What happens next? What should I do now? Is this old, I don’t feel old? How do I proceed without the structures and supports that I have had throughout my lifetime? Is this it?
The Third Act:
Our Third Act is a time for reflection and transformation, longevity has given us the gift of time, today there is a second chance, a chance our grandparents didn’t have. There is time and space to look at new opportunities, maybe a new career – this is about you! This is the time to review who you really are and the tenets you live by. It is a time for new beginnings, and adventures, however without proper preparation it can be a time without focus, a time of regret and of lost opportunity. Preparation should include a holistic audit of not only our financial health, but also our physical, emotional and spiritual health. In your retirement, if you want to sail across the ocean, are you physically and emotionally ready? Even if your goal is to play 10,000 games of golf, would you be physically able to do so?
Finally the end of the Third Act is a time for paring down, increased frailty and loss of sense, health or mind – the curtain comes down and we face the inevitable end of life, without regret.
‘Each of us will have a third age, not all of us will have a Third Act’. Edward Kelly
Are you in transition? Have you retired? What do you have in mind for this next stage in your life? Do you need some additional insights, or support to prepare you for this new stage? How is society treating you? Is there an assumption that maybe you’re just checking out, or are do you have the physical and emotional supports you need?
Let me know, how you are preparing for your Third Act?