Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life


How do you know that you are outgrowing adulthood?

When you begin to feel that the life you have been living is out of balance; when the need to perform, to hurry, and to acquire is no longer compelling. It’s like the moment when your favorite tennis shoes start to give you blisters. The way you’ve been living your adult life doesn’t fulfill you anymore.

Dr. Bill Thomas, one of the most innovative thinkers in medicine, explains that a new life phase is beginning to emerge within our society. When the Baby Boom generation came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, they jump-started a cultural revolution that shaped today’s society. Now, many feel they are living a life of frenzied disharmony. This out-of-balance feeling is a signal that you are ready for your second coming of age, your life beyond adult­hood. Second Wind illuminates how to recognize and navigate the most challenging and fulfilling developmental stage of life.

Life can and should be reimagined. New ways of living and working are waiting to be discovered on the far side of adulthood. Dr. Thomas treats the Baby Boom generation as he would one of his patients, sympathetically exploring its history before recommending a path toward a life rich with developmental opportunities. Predicting that Boomers will choose the path of the Denialist, the Realist, or the Enthusiast, he discusses the behav­iors and attitudes that will provide new and more nourishing fuel for the rest of life’s journey: hope and a renewed sense of all that is possible.

$ 9.77


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0 thoughts on “Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life

  1. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A must read for anyone 50+, March 16, 2014
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    This review is from: Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life (Hardcover)
    This book speaks to all Baby Boomers and represents brilliant insights into the perception and reality of transitioning from adulthood to elderhood. It spoke to me in a very positive and enthusiastic voice.

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  2. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An important new book on aging well, March 18, 2014
    By 
    J. Helburn (Austin TX) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life (Hardcover)
    2014 Second Wind: navigating the passage to a slower, deeper, and more connected life. Bill Thomas, MD. Simon & Schuster. 2014.
    Bill Thomas is a visionary in the field of aging well. He is able to discern patterns and come to conclusions that most of us would not think of. Granted, many also would not agree with his conclusions. Second Wind focuses on the Boomer generation, those who were born between 1946 and 1964 and are now aging, and for the most part resisting leaving the stage of adulthood and entering the stage of elderhood. They don’t want to grow old. He proceeds by considering First and Second Crucibles, defining crucible as “a test or severe trial brought about by the confluences of cultural, economic and political forces within a society.” As the post-war babies moved towards adulthood, they gravitated towards what Thomas defines as Squares, Activists or Hippies. The majorities became his definition of Squares who were resistant to change, were reliable, and worked hard, focusing on their individuality and their immediate families. Thomas feels that Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Effective People,strongly influenced the postwar culture .The Activists and the Hippies were able to bring about some social change and often were the entrepreneurs and those who seeded technology. However, they ultimately faded into the background or were absorbed by the Squares. The Squares or the Establishment have dominated the Second Crucible, post-war adulthood.
    Thomas’ use of the lives of four fictional Boomers as well as historical events which occurred during certain years following their births carries us from his theory to reality in time. Once a timeline is established, his focus moves to the difficulty most Boomers have in growing from adulthood on to the next legitimate stage of life, Elderhood. At this time, Thomas writes, Boomers are moving into one of three subcultures: Denialists, Realists and Enthusiasts. [Thomas has used his self-created words such as Denialist in previous writing]
    Denialists, as one can surmise, are those who are holding off the reality of aging at any cost and with any method. Realists are those who acknowledge that they are growing older, dislike the concept of aging and fight against the inevitable. Enthusiasts, on the other hand, a small minority of Boomers, “openly acknowledge the difficulties that lie ahead but are also eager to explore the new opportunities for growth that the passage of time brings into their lives.” Much of the second half of Second Wind endorses an Enthusiast point of view. Most Boomers accept that they are getting older. They just don’t want to age. Industries have been built upon this wishful thinking.
    Just as children become teens; just as teens become young adults; just as young adults become older adults, older adults need to become elders in order to give a hands-up to the next generation. Even more important, is how conscious elders or Sages can reach out to children, two and three generations behind them. Thomas suggests, “stop pining for what is already gone… start searching for the person you were meant to become.”
    Those already accepting their elderhood slow down, have time to connect, time to consider the big questions, time tocare for others. “Age endows elders with unique perspectives on time, money, faith, childhood, and relationships that cannot be gained by any other means.”
    Thomas has written another clear, well researched book which needs to be widely read and discussed. Here is a great book for discussion groups and conversations.

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  3. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Visionary Book for a Countercultural Embrace of Aging, March 19, 2014
    This review is from: Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life (Hardcover)
    Dr. Thomas’s book is a socio-historic “life review” of the Boomer lifespan, just when we need it most. Second Wind puts whatever happened to our hippie ideals into grand perspective, by explaining how cultural icons we largely took at face value actually eroded our vision for a better world. Instead, our generation was largely subsumed by the “cult of adulthood”, an ethos that privileges productivity, efficiency and conservative values.

    Dr. Thomas wisely points out that there is a faithful remnant who continue to prescribe to our ideals and who perceive older age as an opportunity to restore balance and explore both the shadow and light of life beyond “adulthood.” Writes Thomas: “Because of our culture’s slavish devotion to youth,the Enthusiasts (for aging) are essentially disconnected from mainstream thinking about age and aging. They remain underground and are, for now, happy to devote themselves to developing their own rituals, their own language, and their own gatherings.”

    Look for us, and you’ll find many of us who rather than becoming afraid of age, are becoming fierce with age!

    One caveat: I’m not a fan of the title “Second Wind”, which, to my eye, implies a pause before continuing on the same track to finish the race, simply with renewed vigor. A close reading of Dr. Thomas’s book will show that he is very willing to challenge the status quo, to transform one’s experience and to learn not only to live in but to relish the pause.

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