Life’s “Second Act”

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Looking for novel wellness inspiration? Well, my dear readers, you need not look further than Netflix. In particular, set your eyes and ears towards It’s Always Sunny, Season 7, Episode 1, Frank’s Pretty Woman.

In this episode, Dee realizes she is about to enter the “second act” of her life, and sets her mind to helping Roxy (Frank’s love interest) make changes for her second act as well. It’s basically a crazy roller coaster ride that sets all the cars sailing off the rails, into the air, and right on down to the inevitable crash and burn… though in the most hilarious and unpredictable ways.

In swim class I was the “good example of a bad example.” My teacher would have me hop in the water to do my thing, pointing out to all the others, in great detail, all of the things wrong with my moves. My “first act” contained a handful of  “good examples of bad examples” that put me in a good place to (A) be relatable and (B) help others learn from my mistakes. My second act is dedicated to wellness, chiefly helping others claim wellness and be well. Statistically speaking, I am for sure in my second act, and I would like to think that I am at the start of it, so it is exciting to map this all out for myself. Whatever act you’re in, I hope you find this episode inspiring — even Dee was striving to be a bit better (perhaps better and betterer), and was seeking to make some changes. I learned from Faust (or perhaps Wishbone the dog’s portrayal of Faust) that striving in itself is a noble act. The starting point of grabbing the wellness bull by the horns (I always thought it was “balls”) does not matter, so long as we continually strive for that next better. Be well, and shut down the stressed parts of your brain with some tickles from Philly. Check out Frank’s Pretty WomanI’m fairly certain that there is no better way to get stoked for your “second act” than to watch this.

J’s Quick Tips for Second Act Planning

  1. Connect with purpose. Amazing things happen when you connect with a sense of purpose. In the book, The Blue Zones, it says that having a purpose adds 7 years to your life. That’s like, adding a mini-encore to your show.
  2. Pace yourself and plan. In her course on reframing, behavioral expert and social scientist Annette Prehn gave an example of how she helped map out different scenarios (sequences) for one of her clients who had many goals. It was basically showing how she could achieve everything she wanted in different orders. I thought this was pretty cool, and it helped me look at my goals short and long term. (Sometimes we want to do so much!) But much like Dennis, who tried to take such “good care” of himself that it was too much, we need to be careful not to take on too much. I now have short and long term plans for Emanant Wellness (includes RistRoller, Better and Betterer, kidCourses, and TreatTraining) and decided to cut out LoudGiraffe digital client work entirely. I am also forming my personal goals. To read about SMART goal planning as well as the areas of your life to plan for, check out this awesome article from MindTools.
  3. Hang with your tribe. Though maybe not my favorite metaphor, a tribe is dedicated to helping each other light their inner pilot lights, and having one of this little lights of mine (I mean yours… and yes, you should let it shine) gives you numerous health benefits. Hmmm, you don’t have a tribe you say? You’re surrounded by cracked out prostitutes and fake golf champions, you say? Fear not, you can read some tips on how to find your tribe here. You may also want to get an accountability partner, and that’s cool too… just maybe not that Roxy lady… Just sayin’.
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Positivity Ratio. The goal is to get (or keep) your positive:negative ratio at or above 3:1. This will get your brain into an expansive state — where all the magic can happen. As authentic positive emotions win out (per the ratio), you become more creative, think clearer, have better ideas, and even cultivate a better connection with purpose. The negative emotions narrow our focus, so we don’t see all the possibilities. We’re not creative. We’re not open. Since some negative emotions are rooted immediate survival, they are really intense — more intense then the positive emotions. There is a risk of getting “negativity’s blinders” stuck on you. To start your 2nd Act off on the right foot, check out the book Positivity, by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson. You can read a bit more in this post, item #7.