The Pillars of the Second Half of Life

People wait for an inspiring gust of wind to transport them to health, fitness, and wellness, but all they need do is take the marginally more uncomfortable route repeatedly and consistently.

Motivation for change is usually inspired by disgust. Most of us are wired with a pride mechanism that is triggered during a sub par physical challenge. To help support our motivation for change is using sleep practice, healthful nutritional practice, movement practice, and introspection—the pillars of the Second Half Playbook. These pillars are supported with practices that are easy to do, but are also easy no to do. As a result, The Law of Compounding can make everyone a wellness millionaire.

“These are things that are easy to do, but are easy not to do.”

Jeff Olsen,The Slight Edge

After showing how the right lifestyle modifications can slow the aging process regardless of ourcurrent statusandhow an understanding of your physical strengths and your weakness is important to your success, I’d like to present some potential assessment options.

Knowledge can be a powerful motivator. I have discovered that the final straw breaking the camel’s back is usually because the person has become disgusted with themselves for some reason.

Staring at horrible lab numbers usually doesn’t do it. I’ve watched cardiac rehabilitation patients revolt over extra exercise time only to stampede to the door after class to reach the open air and an opportunity to smoke again.

Yes, falling short of expectation during physical tasks is usually humbling. There is something about being exposed during a physical assessment that is life changing. Stopping a 4:00 row test seeking oxygen or falling shy of expectations during a deadlift typically triggers our personal pride mechanisms, catapulting us to action.

The formula is simple. Complexity is not better. The more behaviors and practices that we try and shoehorn into the crowded calendar of the masters athlete, the more subpar the output.

The pillars, presented here in the order of importance, will focus on hacks, practices, and technology that support the Second Half hierarchy.


Sleep is a the most critical of pillars. Less than 7-8 hours on a regular basis will, in short order, set the stage for everything from microsleeps during the day to blood sugar instability and cancer. Golly kids, you just can’t hide it with extra coffee, either.


At one point this would have been considered about 50% of the health and fitness equation. That is no longer the case. I’ve watched athletes with trashy eating habits change overnight. Social media has exploited this with the transformation selfie.

Physical Movement/Training

Our lives have become tech driven and comfort has become a priority. As a result, we have become softer, almost unrecognizable, and lack work capacity. As a youth, I looked forward to the battery of tests required in order to win the President’s Physical Fitness Award—real pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and running evaluations. Today, that award has been reduced to downloading a bogus certificate of participation.

Introspection and Social Elements

I spent 10-15 years using training pursuits as a way to hide from mental and emotional states. However, staying in the moment to get things right is as basic as it gets. If getting one hour right happens, then the next hour can become the focus—days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years.

Why Compounding Works in Your Second Half

When people of lesser means learn someone they know is a millionaire, they brush it off with statements like “they must have won the lottery.” Less than 1% of the millionaires in the United States acquired their fortune as a result of winning the lottery. They acquired their money through planning, living below their means, consistently investing, and saving.

Regular and consistent investing takes advantage of the law of compounding. The law of compounding says that investing your money carefully and allowing it to grow at compound interest will eventually make you rich. Compound interest is considered one of the great miracles of all of human history and economics.

Your wellness multiplies following the same laws. Making easy, positive choices instead of using poor judgement and selecting less healthy decisions compounds your wellness.

Here are a few examples of simple things you can compound:

  • Working out at 5:00 pm instead of going to happy hour
  • Ordering a side salad instead of french fries
  • Going to bed instead of watching the late news

These all seem like relatively painless, simple things to do, right? But that is also why they are easy not to do. This is why so many people fail to become wellness millionaires.

People wait for a magic pill or some inspiring gust of wind to transport them to health, fitness, and wellness when all that they really need to do is take the marginally more uncomfortable route repeatedly and consistently.

Sleep on it. You could probably use some rest, anyway.