Your Third Chapter
Your third chapter can be the best time of your life. It can be a magical time of freedom where you do things you have always dreamed of doing. In other words, a time of great potential and fulfillment, where you can find your post-career purpose or calling. Above all, it is the perfect time to think more broadly about your legacy and find ways to make a difference, to leave things better in the world than you found them.
Learn to thrive in your third chapter of life.
People use different descriptors for retirement. I conducted a recent survey of potential names and found that many resonate with the notion of a ‘third chapter.’
This is likely because of the popular 2009 book written by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, titled The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the Twenty-five Years After 50.
In her book, Lightfoot describes new opportunities for creativity and self-fulfillment in the third chapter.
She conducted extended interviews with 40 American men and women who each found a unique new life path in retirement. For example, a former newspaper executive began to write fiction and play jazz piano. An artist organized interfaith creative projects in the wake of 9/11. Urban gardening became the passion of a former law partner. A neurobiologist pivoted from the lab to work directly with HIV/AIDS patients in East Africa.
Lightfoot’s book inspires you to dream about using your gifts and talents to serve the world in new ways.
Thriving in Retirement Program
I have recently launched a Thriving in Retirement Program. This program helps you discover your unique ingredients for thriving. You can be a role model of well-being. In the program, you experience cultivating creativity to amplify life, learning to quiet your mind, and clarifying your calling or purpose.
What is included in the Thriving in Retirement Program?
In the program, you consider the implications of longevity. Supercentenarians are living to 110 and beyond. Have you considered the implications of a very long life where you may have 40 years of productive time post-retirement? You want to use that time to make life exciting and meaningful.
You learn about the phases of retirement and how to avoid the retirement dip. For many, this is a time of depression, loneliness, and confusion.
Clarify your third chapter’s calling or purpose.
You learn why clarifying purpose is so important, take a quiz, and get inspired by people who have launched into exciting new territory in the third chapter of life. The course’s purpose module offers many exercises, tools, and techniques.
Start or deepen a daily mindfulness practice.
You will learn the basics of Mindfulness and Meditation and start a daily practice that will make a profound positive difference in your life. Practicing meditation with many options helps you find a method that resonates with you.
Free your inner artist.
You learn the value of playing more. And the exhilaration that comes with saying yes and taking some risks. You also learn the importance of taking time for creativity, seeing like an artist, and cultivating your curiosity, attention, and noticing skills.
Because I am an artist and a creativity advocate, I have seen first-hand how accessing your creativity is a key way to generate more fulfillment in life.
You will become inspired to make creativity an important part of the rest of your life.
Consider how and where you want to live in this phase of life.
You will do some exercises to help you consider the best lifestyle for you, We talk about using a decision process to evaluate moving to an entirely different city or country. Considering a completely different lifestyle and some out-of-the-box ideas for finding your ideal spot to vacation or live in can give you a wider perspective.
You will think broadly about your living situation and determine what you want your physical surroundings to be like in this phase of life. We spend time learning about decluttering, moving, and thinking about the ideal space and place for you to most fully allow a flourishing lifestyle.
Dive into happiness and joy.
You learn about cultivating optimism, gratitude, the relationship between money and happiness, and the science of happiness. Taking concrete steps to increase your own personal happiness and daily joy, you will experience a host of exercises and practical, proven ways to develop more gratitude and greater well-being in life.
The course is on-demand so you can do it at your own pace. I suggest you plan to devote an hour a week to the online lessons, and I also ask you to carve out 10-20 minutes a day for meditation and/or journaling.
Cultivate resilience in mind, body, and spirit.
As you move through the last third of your life, you must cultivate resilience in a top-of-mind way.
Everyone has had challenges and adversity in life. It’s part of the human experience. When you are resilient, you adapt to inevitable changes with grace and openness. You can cultivate mindsets and behaviors that help you better navigate through the most challenging times.
Bouncing back after exposure to stress is a critical life skill.
In life, stuff happens. It is inevitable. Being fortunate enough to age means that we will experience setbacks.
Cultivating the ability to be as resilient as possible can be learned and practiced.
Consider the art of dying well.
And in the course’s final module, we prepare for a graceful exit. I give you tools that experts say are necessary to get your affairs in order so that you can make plans and leave your intentions and wishes in a very caring way that will make a difficult process as easy as possible on your loved ones. I believe that there is such a thing as having a great death. We are all choice-makers. There are many ways to leave your fingerprints on the plans and celebrations that will mark your transition from this life.
Inner work is required to learn to thrive.
The key to truly living at your best, thriving life requires inner work. You grow larger because you begin to truly know yourself.
It requires some courage and commitment.
Most people put a tremendous amount of effort into the financial component of planning for retirement.
But, regarding the emotional side of retirement, they put about as much effort as planning a vacation. Most people wildly underestimate the impact of this transition in life.
I’m not saying I had it all figured out because I didn’t. I am 8 years in, have stumbled, and am still learning and growing.
Are you ready?
Once you implement what you learn in the Thriving in Retirement program, you will find, know and live your purpose, and continue to learn, evolve, and grow through the rest of your life.
Would you like to be part of the Thriving in Retirement program?
Enroll here. I look forward to seeing you in the program!
Not ready to enroll? View this free training.
See my YouTube video explaining the course.
Already retired? Take my survey to help me add additional modules to the program.
Planning to retire in the next ten years? Please take this survey to help me include what matters to you.
Are you interested in Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation?
If you would like to learn more about using more of your creative potential, check out my course Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation.
Watch my 1 minute short YouTube Video asking about What Creativity Means to You.
Take my Creativity Survey
Watch this video on Six Reasons to Cultivate Creativity
Sign up for my next Free Creativity Webinar
See my YouTube video; Are You Living Up to Your Creative Potential?
View my YouTube video; Play Teaches You to Be More Creative
Watch my YouTube video; Improve Your Innovation Skills
See my YouTube video; Say Yes to New Experiences
Jane Ramsey is an Executive Contributor for Brainz Magazine