Are You Walking Into The Future Backwards?
The baby boom generation who invented teenagers, sex and youth culture – are now entering Act3.
The stage of life we used to call retirement.
Except retirement is dead.
We’re living so much longer – 20 or more years longer than our grandparents – with better health and higher expectations. Old age just isn’t old age anymore.
No one is going quietly.
This New Old Age means lycra-clad 70/80 year-olds are leaving ordinary cyclists for dead on the hills.
People are starting businesses and new careers in their 60s.
There are proposals in Japan to raise the retirement age to 75.
‘If I'd known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. ’
— Eubie Blake, musician (age 96)
The reality is, we have a whole extra adult life to look forward to.
Look forward to…? Well that’s the problem – no one has prepared us for it. There’s no plan. It doesn’t even have a name.
“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act”, said Truman Capote
In our book Act3 – How To Have A Better Life After 50 we tackle the fear, uncertainty, and our lack of preparedness for this extra stage of life – and provide a structured, step-by-step plan that encompasses all the areas of your life.
The aim: Get To The End Of Life With No Regrets.
You get to re-write your third act.
‘Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.’ says Harvard Professor Robert Waldinger.
It all starts with you. The real you. The bit that may be struggling as you hit your 50s and beyond. The bit that can let mid-life signals such as depression, alcohol, drugs and bad relationships mask what your inner, deep, real self is crying for – a sense of purpose and meaning. A life run according to the values that matter most to you.
So how do you get that? It’s about facing towards the future and making some plans. Why not re-write your story while there’s still time to act? In Act3.
Act3 can be your best act yet – if you’ve made a plan.
Plans imply action. Action implies change. Change will happen to us anyway, so this book is about taking control before the inevitable.
For example: the Latin phrase ‘Solvitur ambulando’ which means ‘it will be solved by walking’. Ironically, many of the problems of growing older are made better by increased mobility – and Health is one of the Life Areas we cover in the book, along with Home, Money, Work, Relationships, dealing with the World we live in, and Purpose.
This isn’t a diet book, a pensions book, a green book, a dating book — it’s a book where you’ll find tools to re-connect yourself to yourself – to make significant change for the better in a stage of life that humans have never before experienced. And we will make it a good read.
“I am two-time Golden Globe winner, Jim Carrey. You know, when I go to sleep at night, I’m not just a guy going to sleep. I’m two-time Golden Globe winner, Jim Carrey, going to get some well-needed shuteye. And when I dream, I don’t just dream any old dream. No, sir. I dream about being three-time Golden Globe winning actor, Jim Carrey. Because then I would be enough. It would finally be true. And I could stop this terrible search, for what I know ultimately won’t fulfil me.”
— Jim Carrey’s speech at the 2016 Golden Globe awards.
How This Book Works
Mental Pipes Unblocked
As authors, we take a ‘coaching’ approach to Act3. As coaches we know the best answers to our client’s questions are found inside them. We believe the same will be true for you. Coaching principles and mind sets are well known in the world of sport, but they bring excellence and satisfaction in other areas of life too. We’ll show you how.
‘Starting in 1971 on the tennis court I found myself asking a question I’d never been asked or told to ask, “I wonder what’s going on inside the head of a person while the ball is approaching them?” And that opened the door to The Inner Game. The answer was obvious. Much too much. Championship athletes said when they were at their best their mind was quiet, focussed, not full of shoulds and shouldn’ts.’ — Tim Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis
We All Have An Outer Game And An Inner Game.
Tim Gallwey – one of the fathers of modern coaching - was one of the first to address the internal narrative of shoulds and shouldn’ts, to help sports people, or business people perform not only to reach their potential, but to far exceed it. His work has been emulated worldwide and way beyond sport and business.
Dealing With Shoulds and Shouldn’ts
As coaches in business and life we listen, reflect back, ask questions, support and challenge the client to dig below the surface, to get clear on what they really want their life to be about. Then we work with them to create practical steps to achieve those goals.
We’ll do the same in the book: Act3 – How To Live A Better Life After 50: You’ll ‘say hello’ to the unhelpful voices in your head, acknowledging their power. You’ll recognise your limiting beliefs about yourself, you’ll find ways to break out from these restrictions.
You Cannot Be What You Cannot See
If the voice in your head drowns out your ability to hear or imagine anything better, or stops you creating change – you have a problem.
"My dad always said I wasn't musical. I wasted fifty years believing him, until a friend took me along to sing in a community choir and finally I gave myself permission to believe that my dad was wrong."
To be something different, you first have to see something different in your mind’s eye. You need to see a destination, a goal, a better outcome. You need to think differently. As a clever guy once said:
‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ — Albert Einstein
You Create Your Own Reality
It’s easy to create a reality, and then convince yourself it’s the only possible reality.
External Prosperity vs Inner Prosperity
Most people pay most attention to the external stuff. But whatever your external circumstances, a change to your internal prosperity will improve your ability to see and deal with the external things like Money, Health, Work and Relationships.
Act3 - How To Live A Better Life After 50 is practical.
We’ll start with a practical guide to gathering your SELF. Making sure you have all you need for the journey.
Why Can’t I Gather My Self Myself?
Actually you can. And you will. Our task is to provide tools and encouragements to help you to re-find your self. This leads to a new ability to Act & Think Differently for yourself.
Act differently. Think differently. Feel differently.
‘A day is over and so much of it was wasted on things that meant too little to you, duties and meetings from which your heart was absent. Months and years pass and you fumble on, still incapable of finding a foothold on the path of time you walk.
A large proportion of your activity distracts you from remembering that you are a guest of the universe, to whom one life has been given. You mistake the insistent pressure of daily demands for reality and your more delicate and intuitive nature wilts. When you wake from your obsessions, you feel cheated.
Your longing is being numbed and your longing becomes merely external. Your way of life has so little to do with what you feel and love in the world. But, because of the many demands on you and responsibilities that you have, you feel helpless to gather your self; you are dragged in so many directions away from true belonging.’
— John O’Donohue, ‘Eternal Echoes’
A Person Is Like The Titanic
The Captain on the bridge believes he is in sole charge of the ship. Yet he doesn’t have direct control, as a car driver does. Any order he gives needs to be executed by others. Orders are issued: to the helmsman to steer; to the engine room for speed, forward, back, stop or start; to lookouts for eyes; to radio operators for ears; to deck hands to arrive or leave port. What could possibly go wrong?
Use Act3 - How To Live A Better Life After 50 To Control How You ACT In Act3
It will help you increase self-awareness and self-control.
It will help you discover what is really driving your direction, behaviour and choices, what you say and do in life. And give you back the means of control.
Then you’ll get more of what you really want in Act 3.
If you feel cheated by life – having done all the stuff you’re supposed to – you are certainly not alone. We’ll address that.
We Will Go Below Deck
The more you pay attention to your feelings, habits, beliefs, values, hopes, fears, emotions – what’s below decks in the Titanic metaphor – accept and understand them, the quicker you’ll master them and find your direction.
We’ll work this principle through all practical areas of your life, so you’ll get positive and satisfying change in the areas of Act 3 that matter most to you.
Remote Sort-of-Control Will Become Direct Control
As you begin to Act & Think Differently, as Albert Einstein said above, you’ll find new outcomes. These will lead to further, even more positive outcomes. Better than you could hope for. Imagine that.
Write, Draw, Scribble, Doodle, Make Notes In This Book
This is your manual. Use it as a journal. Break the rules. Write in it. Draw in it. Act & Think Differently. The feelings will follow.
Pay Attention To Metaphors You Draw In The Book
Metaphors will be powerful for you. Pay attention to them. It’s the stuff from below decks telling you something important. Abandon ones that don’t resonate. Seize the ones that have power for you, as this client did:
“Deciding to put my mother in a care home felt like stumbling about in a scary dark wood. By talking about my difficult feelings of loss and anxiety the feelings became more manageable. I began to see pathways, and they led to a clearing in the wood. I felt then that it was going to be alright. She would be safe.”
There’s No Rush.
We’ve put quotes, illustrations, and stories to ponder to help you connect with your real self. Stop. Breathe. Listen to yourself. Go at your own pace.
Take a walk.
Living by the sea as we do, we see trees growing sideways. They submit over a lifetime to an invisible force. What invisible forces are acting on you? What would you change?
Make a list here. Don’t think – write…
Attitude is one of the four roots of a successful Act3.
One of the brilliant things about writing this book is getting to sit with people who, like our dog Ollie, have a positive attitude to life.
We love Roger's story: he'd just been given a cancer diagnosis – with a 1 in 10 chance of survival.
The consultant went out of the room, and said – 'I’ll leave you to have a bit of…
Thanks to you, we’re well over half way fundraising the making of our book Act3 – How To Life A better Life After 50.
Some have asked when will it be out, and we’re saying ... well that depends on when it's funded, so when it's good and ready.
An Early Chat About Growing Older
To breakfast the other day in London with 85-year-old leadership guru Charles Handy and his wife Liz. A joy…
You are a delight. Your forethought, your planning has taken us to 27% funded. Thank you.
And since planning is at the heart of what we believe makes a successful Act3, here's a story from our own recent experience.
In planning for our own 50/60+ future Judy and I decided to sell up and build a house suitable for our third act.
There's a single tree on our plot. A 150-year…
We hoped being fresh empty nesters, life would have calmed down a bit. Instead, we’re madly road-testing the book you’ve sponsored. This autumn, we’ve a number of speaking engagements, webinars and workshops on the Act3 theme. We are taking bookings for 2018 if you want a chat about that get in touch.
Here’s what we’re finding:
Life doesn’t stop at 50: How to enjoy a fulfilling third act, our…
Friends & Supporters, Wow! We launched our campaign to fund Act3 – How To Live A Better Life After 50 barely a week ago and we're already 10% funded — thanks to you.
Judy & I have been extraordinarily gratified by the number of people - even those we're rudely emailled after years of silence - who've said, "... this is really needed, and it’s not just us, it's our parents too ..."
These people are helping to fund Act3: How To Have A Better Life After 50.