If you are thinking about what your 3rd Act might be and how you want to craft those years ahead, there are a variety of strategies to consider. One of them is looking back to identify those activities and efforts you loved, excelled at and were recognized for in earlier parts of your life. Part of the process will be simply nostalgic. But taking it to another level can provide clues to things you may want to explore for your future.
I discussed this idea this post, Recapture Dreams That Still Excite You. Psychologist and freelance writer Holly Lawrence suggests a similar approach in this article:
For Boomers to Find Their Next Act, It’s Back to Childhood .
She shares her personal story of going back to childhood memorabilia to unearth achievements, passions and things to reflect upon and provides additional resource links. She suggests 3 steps to research your childhood keepsakes to help find your next act:
1. Study your main character: you, as a child. Conduct an objective character study. What is the main character’s demeanor? Hint: candid childhood photos reveal more about your personality than posed smiley photos. Do your notes or diaries describe your career dreams? What do your report cards show? What interests do you have in common with the character today? What did you abandon that you’d like to reclaim?
2. Consider repurposing your childhood dreams and passions…. So analyze the characteristics of your childhood dream profession. For example, firefighters rescue people in trouble and save and protect members of the community. You can repurpose your dream by volunteering at the local fire station, becoming a social worker with displaced families or taking a fire safety course and teaching students what you learned.
3. Revise your life narrative and adjust to fit your goals.
Enjoy the process of trying to get back into your experiences as a child and young person. You may find some great clues and possibilities for transforming your years after 50 into a joyful 3rd act.
To explore more of these possibilities, check out Too Young to be Old – Love, Learn, Word, and Play as You Age