Embracing Your Second Act: Navigating Change for a Happier Life

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Podcast

In this uplifting episode of “Between Over and Next,” hosts Holli and Robert welcome Andy Levine to discuss the transformative power of life’s second acts. The conversation delves into the art of pivoting one’s life path to align with personal happiness and fulfillment, a compelling topic that resonates with many individuals seeking change in today’s fast-paced world.

In their engaging discussion, Andy shares profound insights from his podcast “Second Act Stories,” revealing common threads from interviews with people who have boldly modified their career paths and lives for greater satisfaction. Through stories of trauma triggering drastic change, the importance of planning versus leaping into new ventures, and the ultimate pursuit of purpose over profit, this episode is rich with themes of resilience and self-discovery. You will learn more about his TEDx Talk titled “The Art of a Second Act,” and be inspired by extraordinary life stories, encouraging individuals to seek and realize their full potential. Andy’s narrative of adopting his wife’s cousin’s ten-year-old daughter exemplifies embracing change at any stage of life, motivating listeners to consider their own “next.” Andy offers a wealth of experience and knowledge in pursuing a happier life at every age and stage.



In This Episode:

00:00 Introduction to the podcast and the guest, Andy Levine
02:00 Andy shares his personal story and his various pursuits in his second act
08:34 Andy discusses the statistic of the “quiet quitters” and the lack of purpose in work life
10:43 Andy shares the five key lessons that emerged from his podcast interviews
11:18 Lesson 1: Trauma often triggers the desire for change
12:39 Andy shares Dr. Peter Rork’s traumatic experience and the subsequent change in life direction with animal rescue
14:44 Andy talks about people going back to something they loved in their childhood
15:53 Andy shares the story of Joe Bach, who became a gym teacher for kids who struggle with sports
16:51 Andy discusses the difference between planners and leapers in pursuing a second act
17:15 Robert asks if there is an age demographic for leapers
18:08 Andy shares the story of Leah Gorham, who quit nursing to become a truck driver
19:18 Andy talks about Chris Donovan, who pursued his dream of designing women’s shoes
22:04 Andy emphasizes that money is no substitute for purpose in a second act
23:53 Having a financial net makes it easier to make a pivot.
24:04 Lesson 1: If you’re unhappy, make a change
24:53 Lesson 2: Change is not easy, expect barriers
25:51 Lesson 3: Money is no substitute for purpose
26:28 Leaping or planning depends on risk tolerance and belief in oneself
27:27 Lesson 4: Trying new things can lead to discovery
28:11 Lesson 5: Prioritize happiness and well-being with purpose
31:01 Conclusion: Happiness is a continuous journey

Key Takeaways:

1. Traumatic events often serve as catalysts for individuals to reassess their lives and embark on new journeys.
2. Childhood interests and passions can be significant indicators for one’s second act and provide a fulfilling direction for career changes.
3. The transition to a second act is characterized by individuals either meticulously planning their next steps or making the bold decision to leap into change without a clear plan.
4. One should anticipate and embrace challenges when pursuing a change, as no second-act transition is a straightforward path.
5. Pursuing a purpose-driven life typically results in greater happiness, even if it means earning less income than before.

Andy Levine Quotes:

“If you’re unhappy and you know it, make a change.”
“The walls of fear are paper-thin—they’re easy to break through, but they keep people locked in.”
“Money without purpose is a tough way to live, and money doesn’t buy happiness.”
“Leap and the net will appear.”
“Money is no substitute for purpose.”

About Andy Levine

Andy Levine is the creator and cohost of the “Second Act Stories” podcast. A fascination with storytelling and second acts triggered the launch of this podcast in 2018. He is always on the lookout for a good story. Andy and his podcast cohost Scott Merritt have traveled to more than 30 states to conduct face-to-face interviews with guests. To date, they have interviewed nearly 150 courageous individuals pursuing a better life in a second act. Five key lessons have emerged from this experience and are shared in his TEDx Talk, “The Art of the Second Act” (released in January 2024).

About Second Act Stories Podcast

Second Act Stories Podcast is a podcast sharing stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in a second act. The stories are in their own words and the words of friends and family that helped them find a new path.

Mentioned In Episode 9

Second Act Stories Website
Meet the Podcast Hosts Andy & Steve
Andy’s TEDx Talk: The Art of the Second Act | Andrew Levine | TEDxGrandJunction

Second Act Stories Episodes Mentioned

Dr. Peter Rorke: Animal Rescue Is Dr. Peter Rork’s Second Act
Joe Bock: Getting Benchwarmers in the Game: Retired Engineer Keeps a Promise
Leah Gorman: Why Leah Gorham Scrubbed Out of Nursing to Drive a Truck
Chris Donovan: Telephone Repairman Follows His Dream: Designing Women’s Shoes (European Shoe Designer: Aki Choklat)
Steve Paz: A Cop Leaves The Force for Corporate America
Amy Yontef-McGrath: A Midlife Shake-up: Stay-At-Home Mom Pursues A Year Of Public Service (Follow Me To 50 Website)

Second Act Masterclass: 6 Key Takeaways From 100 Episodes

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