Cover image for Second acts : creating the life you really want, building the career you desire
Title:
Second acts : creating the life you really want, building the career you desire
Author:
Pollan, Stephen M.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperResource, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xii, 260 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060514877
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In his new book, Second Acts, Stephen Pollan shares with readers the idea that people are unnecessarily fearful of dramatic change, that they mistakenly believe that they are locked into the life or career course they are on.

In this book he shows them how to take a daring leap and create what he calls a 'second act' - a dramatic life change that can lead to happiness and fulfilment.

Drawing on his own consulting practice, his own life experiences, and working under the premise that 'everything is possible', Pollan shows readers how to live a life without boundaries. Now, in an age of uncertainty, he says, is the time for a second act - a time when anything and everything is possible. Whether it's changing careers, starting your own business, or dropping everything in order to pursue a life dream, Pollan shows how each and every one of us can overcome the biggest obstacles to happiness - those in our own mind - and create our personal second acts, resulting in a more gratifying and fulfilling life.


Author Notes

Stephen M. Pollan has been offering pragmatic career, financial, business, and legal advice to individuals and businesses. He has brought his techniques to viewers of CNBC and to readers of Working Woman in his monthly column "Find the Right Words."

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

After spending decades on Wall Street, Pollan, at age 48, became ill and was forced to re-create his professional life. Now he's working as an author (of more than a dozen financial and self-help books) and life coach, helping others to follow their dreams and stage their lives' "second act." In this volume, Pollan and Levine offer tales of individuals of all ages who realized that something was missing from their professional or personal lives and decided to make major changes. Referring back to those real stories, the authors provide a guide to understanding dreams, translating dreams to life goals and overcoming the obstacles to making those goals into realities. Pollan believes that for some, it's enough to rediscover the joys inherent in a current career; for others, it means more drastic decisions. Peppered with inspirational accounts of "famous second acts" (including J.K. Rowling, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Foreman and former junk bond king Michael Milken), this book offers useful exercises and helpful advice about changes that range from tweaks to overhauls. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Second Acts Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire Chapter One You Can Lead the Life of Your Dreams "There are no second acts in American lives." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald Fitzgerald was wrong. You can have a Second Act. You can lead the life you've always wished no matter your age or stage in life. The dream you think has become impossible with advancing age, new obligations, or increased responsibility can be made real. The hope you've been deferring until a time when the stars are in perfect alignment can be fulfilled today. The goal you think out of reach because you've traveled an alternate path is still within your grasp. You can give up your job as a stockbroker and pursue your youthful dream of becoming a professional photographer. You can jump off the fast track and have a child, even though you're not married and have no intention of marrying. You can pack up your family and move from the suburbs to the country, giving up your harried lifestyle for a more idyllic one. You can leave a deadening retirement behind and go back to college to study art history. You can give up having a business career and instead stay home to care for your children. You can launch a business now, despite not having paid the dues the pundits demand. You have an opportunity, not just to reinvent yourself, but to become your true self; to give expression to your suppressed hopes and dreams; to take the seed you've kept dormant in the dark within you, expose it to warmth and light, and let it burst forth into life. Almost all of us have buried personal hopes and dreams. In order to please our parents, our friends, our spouses, our teachers, and our employers, we've molded our lives into what we think the outside world wants us to be. To win and keep our parents' love, we've acted in certain ways and followed certain paths. We've become lawyers because they wanted us to be professionals. We married and had children because they wanted us to give them grandchildren. We lived a certain lifestyle, or lived in a certain place, because we knew it would gain their approval. To become accepted, first by our friends, and then society at large, we have adopted certain attitudes and behaviors. Children work hard to fit into their peer group, adopting informal uniforms and language and habits that mark them as part of the pack. We never really left that desire to fit in behind as we grew older. We measured ourselves against our friends and peers. A teenager in the suburbs needs a car. A single twenty-something male in the city needs a thin girlfriend. A married thirty-something woman needs a baby. A senior needs successful grandchildren. We've allowed the outside world to draw up schedules and checklists for us against which we judge our own worth. Haven't gotten married by thirty-five? Hopeless. Not earning $100,000 by forty? Loser. Haven't retired early and moved to the sunbelt? Failure. Comparing ourselves to these external standards often brings misery and self hatred: Either we despise ourselves for not measuring up, or we despise ourselves for not being true to our own selves. Good news. There's never been a better time to revolt against external standards and to be true to yourself. We're living in a transitionary time. Society, culture, and the economy are all shifting from the values of the past to new values, not yet fully formed. In this interregnum the old rules have lost most of their power, and new, potentially oppressive external standards haven't yet taken hold. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said of our time: "This is a moment to seize. The kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are all in flux. Soon they will settle again. Before they do so, let us reorder this world around us." An opportunity like this doesn't come along in every lifetime. It comes, at most, once a century. We're lucky enough to be alive at this moment when anything is possible, at the moment perfect for Second Acts. We're also lucky enough to be living in the United States of America. At the risk of sounding jingoistic, America is the land of Second Acts. Throughout our history people have come to these shores for just that purpose. Whether they were fleeing persecution, famine, war, genocide, oppression, or poverty, people from every corner of the world have come to America to reinvent themselves. The streets may not be paved with gold, but this is the land of milk and honey and opportunity. In America, you are not limited by your race, religion, color, gender, size, strength, appearance, language, or sexual orientation. Your only limits are self imposed. You can have a Second Act. It doesn't matter if you're widowed, seventy years old and living on a fixed income. It doesn't matter if you've two kids in college and thousands of dollars in credit card debt. It doesn't matter if you're a workaholic professional, or a unemployed manager, or a burned out stockbroker, or a harried stay-at-home mom. I have helped all these people launch Second Acts. I can help you too. Looking to live out a creative dream? We've been socialized to believe creative endeavors must come from the young and struggling. Youthful artistic success gains far more attention than mature work. The dark and dingy loft is thought to be the only place from which inspiration can spring. Yet for every Rimbaud bursting onto and off the scene like a comet, there's a Wallace Stevens. For every Basquiat, there's a Grandma Moses. And, for every Kerouac typing wildly in a railroad flat, there's a Pynchon living comfortably in suburbia. The notion that the youth culture is the only artistic culture is nonsense. Inspiration can be drawn from every stage in life and from every economic circumstance. Second Acts Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire . Copyright © by Stephen Pollan. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Second Acts: Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire by Stephen M. Pollan, Mark Levine All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.