Foreword by Bob Buford
Since I wrote Halftime in 1994, something of a movement has emerged in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of men in their mid-forties and beyond – and an increasing number of women – have discovered that the very best and most fulfilling years of their life are ahead of them. I call it the ‘second half’. Unlike our great grandfathers, whose life expectancy was around fifty years, today’s forty-year-old can expect another entire lifetime – thirty to forty years – of healthy, productive living. And whereas the generation previous to my own looked forward to retirement, most of us see nothing particularly attractive about terminal leisure.
At the same time, however, we generally have found that pursuing our work solely for the sake of success or increased wealth offers diminishing returns. As many successful people have discovered, growing your net worth may gain you more money, but it doesn’t give you a life. And the thrill of the chase that sustained us in our twenties and thirties no longer delivers what we thought it promised. It’s not that hard work and contributing to your profession are wrong. It’s just that at some point in the first half of your life you begin asking questions:
How much is enough?
Is this what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?
In all that I am gaining, what am I missing?
The inner desire to move from making a living to making a difference is universal in the developed world. It is what opened John Sikkema’s heart to a still, small voice that told him he could not go on living as he was, and because he had the courage to listen and make some ‘mid-course corrections’ in his life, he’s well into a productive, adventurous second half.
As am I. In fact, I am now in the third decade of my second half and still have no plans to retire. Instead, I’m still working on things that provide immeasurable significance for me because they relate directly to my life mission. When I took over my family’s cable television business, my goal was to make money, and we did. Lots of it. And although I look back fondly at my first-half years, I can honestly say I am having more fun and experiencing more fulfilment in my second half.
And so can you. In Enriched, John artfully weaves a
tapestry of personal story, practical guidance and inspiring encouragement. He will help you discover what you are most passionate about and how to match that passion with the knowledge, skills and talent you have been given. If you find that appealing – if you want your life to count for something beyond the value of your portfolio or the title on your business card – you have come to the right place.
As a good friend and recovering venture capitalist once said to me, “People have it backwards. Most people worry about what they will sacrifice in the second half. The sacrifice is in the first half – the travel, the stress, the triviality of so much of it. The second half is where the real joy is.”
In John’s case, he found his life was enriched by investing in others so that they could become more successful. That’s where he found “real joy.” With his help, you are about to discover your own source of joy.
Author of Halftime, an American Best-seller
This foreword is included in the Free Sample Chapter.