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Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life Hardcover – March 11, 2014
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"In Second Wind, Bill Thomas goes deep inside our culture. Like the best kind of doctor, he evaluates the toll our hurried, quantified, and driven lives have taken on us before he suggests a new way forward. He'll challenge the way you think about your future. And you'll want to make the journey with him." (Jane Pauley, author of Your Life Calling)
"Slowing down as we age, in the way that Dr. William Thomas means it, is not only a pleasure, but also a necessity. The brain research is clear: if we don't de-stress and rethink our lives in our fifties and beyond, we can not only lose our longevity but also increase our rates of depression, anxiety, and mental illness down the line. And so I will personally heed Dr. Thomas's advice in Second Wind, and I highly recommend this very practical and accessible book to everyone over fifty." (Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Aging)
“Second Wind is a tour de force. A beautifully crafted narrative on the forces that have shaped the baby boom generation. And a roadmap for how this massive group can now use their accumulated wisdom and elderhood as a potent force for cultural renewal, connection, and deep healing. ” (Christiane Northrup, M.D., OB/GYN physician and author of the New York Times bestsellers Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause)
"As the great migration beyond midlife gathers momentum and scale, millions are looking for deeper meaning, more significant roles, and connections that span the generations—asking the question, “How do I live a life that still matters?." Bill Thomas has emerged as the visionary leader and preeminent storyteller of this movement to make a monument out of what once were considered the leftover years. And now, with Second Wind, he has given us an inspiring and pragmatic guide for the path to purpose in the second half of life. It is destined to become a classic.” (Marc Freedman, Founder/CEO, Encore.org and author The Big Shift)
"Digging ever deeper into the etiology of what he learned treating the frailest people in nursing homes, Dr. William Thomas came to realize that the very culture in which we age needs to be healed. Second Wind is his RX for healing not just the cultural disease that exacerbates every illness that afflicts old age, but also the 'Koyaanisquati,' the life out of balance diagnosed by Hopi elders that threatens the future of humanity. As he demonstrates in Second Wind, it's all connected." (Barry Barkan, Director, Live Oak Institute)
"Sound concepts...grounded and useful." (Publishers Weekly)
“Stunning and insightful…Second Wind is not only a blueprint for individual fulfillment, it’s a generational mandate…Thomas has given us an inspiring and pragmatic guide for the path to purpose in the second half of life.” (Encore.org)
"An intellectual feast about the possibilities of life after adulthood....thought-provoking and motivating." (Boomers.typepad.com)
"A mixture of social history, culture, philosophy, and commentary....The book expanded my understanding of my generation—why we think the way we do and why we do the things that we do...visionary." (BiFocal)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The seedtime for Boomer aging began in the generation's formative years. Early in the book, Thomas divides the 76-million-member generation into three subcultures that became manifest during a coming-of-age transition from adolescence to adulthood.
"Hippies" represented the smallest segment of the generation--less than 0.02 percent according to the author--but had the most impact on the counterculture celebrated during the 1960s and 1970s through art, literature, theater, music, and popular culture. This was an unexpected subculture oriented toward postponing full maturation typical of older generations, a discordant stage between childhood and adulthood.
"Activists" embraced the possibilities of invention and entrepreneurialism while "suspended between fervent idealism and a genuine grown-up taste for opportunity and success." To personify this segment, one might think of Howard Schultz, the founder and reigning CEO of Starbucks, who realized colossal business success by popularizing gourmet coffee shops while holding onto idealistic values for productive social and economic changes.
"Squares" dominated a subculture that embraced conservative ideologies and free-market capitalism, in one sense a reaction to the Hippie cultural hegemony.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I’m considering retiring and this book looked like a reasonable book to read to help me through this transition. The title alone, Second Wind, Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life, had me half sold.
The description even said things like “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…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...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.” OK, all that sounds like this book might be useful.
In reality, the book is just another self-help book told in a New Age, stream of consciousness way that makes it hard to tease out practical advice. Just look at the section subheads: Spiritual Eldering, Gerotranscendence, Koyaanisqatsi, and Sage-ing. He seems to have come of age during the counterculture society in the sixties and seventies, which explains numerous references to Richard Nixon—never effectively making the connection between him and why our lives are so out of balance. An example of his advice: “The postwar generation can diffuse (generational misunderstandings) angst if they are willing to learn about , accept, and finally embrace the nature of elderhood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointed. Lots of BS and just when I was expecting something concrete, the book ended.Published 4 months ago by Neal Yermish
This book just doesn't seem to move very fast. I know it got great reviews, and I got some good information from it, but seemed like it could have been much shorter... Read morePublished 5 months ago by KarenH
A very interesting read. I like the writing and the subject should be of interest to everyone past 50 years old.
Dr. Thomas writes with great clarity and conviction. Read more
Book arrived in fine condition. The book itself was excellent reading.Published 5 months ago by John C. Pulver
One of the better books on Boomers and how we are changing the world as we know it. The lectures during the Age of Interruption Tour by Thomas are even better. I recommend both.Published 6 months ago by Rev. Dr. William Randolph
Dr Thomas does a great job reviewing how realistic, enthusiastic elders can lead satisfying lives.Published 6 months ago by John from Maine
Second Wind by Bill Thomas is a free Goodreads FirstReads advance reader copy of a hardcover book that I began reading in mid-July and finished on my vacation in Arizona. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kristine Fisher
I have read several of Dr. Thomas' books and am very interested in the Eden Project on elderly housing.Published 9 months ago by Memphis Minnie