Former colleagues, especially those on the cusp of retirement, smile politely and move on to safer topics. Younger friends and relatives frown and ask for clarification. Other creatives prefer to talk about leaving a footprint, sailing beyond the sea of troubles, or discovering new oceans. But to me, the concept of a second act makes more sense. In a play, that’s where the story really takes off and the characters work hard to resolve their conflicts.
A second act is not a “start over from scratch” situation where we erase all the mistakes and lessons of our past. People who continually attempt to relive that first act usually make the same mistakes, encounter frustration and actually make things worse. Unfortunately, we have too many examples of public falls from grace that are continually replicated.
Instead, we should keep in mind William Shakespeare’s advice—What’s past is prologue—and work hard to transform our first act lessons into second act blessings.
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