Second and Third Acts

It’s Monday again, the start of another wonderful week. Or, is it? For some, and I’ve been there too, Monday is the day when you kind of hope to linger in bed. When you wish your alarm wouldn’t go of just like you had told yourself the night before.

And yet, when we’ve played this race of getting up, going to work and playing a role for a long time, sometimes it becomes old hat. Sometimes we love it. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, we’re forced into a second act before we’re ready. Ideally, we chose to create our Second Act on our own terms.

In a play, the Second Act is the part that comes in the middle of the drama. It’s the time when the protagonist faces a crucial choice to release the tension and to confront the internal and external demons plaguing her.

In our own Second Acts (or sometimes Fourth) we’re confronted with some crucial choices about how best to go ahead.

  1. We can stay where we are.

We like to maintain the status quo. The status quo for Characters in a play who stay where they are don’t change. Remaining static may be a short term victory but longer term results in stagnation, missed opportunities and a loss of growth.

What area in your professional life are you trying to keep the status quo?

2. We can step up and react.

In networking on and off line, I meet people each week who are stuck in this position. They’ve been unexpectedly cut from the cast of their First Act, face an unexpected crisis forcing them into a change before they’re ready or, worse yet, before they have enough reserves in place to guide their family through a tough season.

Reacting from pain to run towards pleasure is a good motivator and helps you quickly focus on what’s important, but can lead us to desperate thinking and a scarcity mindset. Sometimes, it’s good to have a bridge performance that is a skill or a role we can perform while we construct our own Second Act on our terms.

What are you reacting from today?

3. We can co-create the Second Act we were meant to live.

Each of us is here on planet earth for a purpose. Each of us has a role to play. And, each of our skills, experiences, and knowledge prepare us for our calling. An effective Second Act is one that is built out strategically over time, rehearsed carefully with a curated cast.

It’s easy to react and jump it, even better to plan strategically before we step up to perform. If you are planning your own Second Act, I’d love to chat to see how you can grow to the next level.

Crystal Gregory

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