This week’s episode in with founder of The Third Act, Dr Edward Kelly.
The term, third act refers to the third act in our lives. The first act is childhood and our teenage years. The transition to the second act happens in our twenties. When we get into our fifties and sixties, we move into the third act.
But what happens then? Nowadays when people retire, they have a whole new gift of time – twenty or thirty years – that the generation before them never had. Average Life expectancy in the developed world is now close to 80. Half of all babies born since 2000 are expected to celebrate their 100th birthdays. And this doesn’t just apply to babies; if you are 60 now you have a 50% chance of living to 90 or more
Naturally there are practical questions like, will I be healthy? How will I support myself financially? Where will I live? But there’s a whole other set of questions that are lot deeper and a lot more difficult to answer… What will do now? Who will I be now? What’s my purpose?
Edward through his work helps people answer these questions for themselves.
The thing that struck me was that these deep questions are always there – they’re there when we’re 18 and trying to decide what to do after school. They’re there when we’re 25 and we’re trying to start a career. I turn 30 this year and I still struggle to answer to these questions.
You go through childhood looking up to adults and thinking that they have all the answers. But the older you get, the more you realise that they’ve just been making it up as they’ve went along! The same as you.
But whatever challenges we have, we can always ask our elders for advice – they have seen more of life so they can give us an informed opinion. But when they reach the third act, they cannot turn to the generation ahead of them for advice about this new phenomenon. Their elders never had this experience. But they can turn to each other. And that’s what Edward helps facilitate.
Edward says the purpose of The Third Act organisation is to educate people and support them through this transition from the second to third act. They run seminars, conferences, retreats, workshops, and one-to-one coaching. All as ways of helping people make the most out of this new gift of time.
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