I was thinking of this awhile ago but I didn’t get it up on the blog – sorry about that but, as we all know, there’s no time like the present. The initial thought of a do-over for me came from watching that motivational and inspirational movie ‘City Slickers’. Well, I don’t know if it was inspirational and motivational for you but I did think it was a pretty entertaining movie and what I learned later (we often don’t know what we learn until later) is that the idea that really stuck with me was the ‘do-over’. I’ve not watched it for some time so I don’t remember all the details but I do know that one of the characters (played by Daniel Stern, I think) was depressed because he felt he had made such a mess of his life and because he made such a mess he could never see getting out of the hole he had created. I felt for the character because I’ve been there before. Sadly, I think pretty much all of us have. Well, back to the story… One of the friends stated, “It’s a do-over” and he explained that when you really screw things up you can start over – it’s a do-over. Everybody chimed it and reinforced the idea that when we blow it we can always start over and get going over again. Just a crazy movie idea, right? Well, I think it’s more than that. I mean after all what else can you do? Wallowing in self pity won’t set the world right and staying in an obviously messed up disaster of a life is not a very smart solution. Isn’t that the perfect time to conjure up a new way to think about where you’re at and get started at moving in a new direction?
About a year and a half ago, I was talking to my brother and he was totally bummed out with where he was in his life. He felt he had made some horrible decisions over the previous couple years and now he felt he had destroyed the best things he had going for him. He really was in the same place mentally and emotionally as the City Slickers character. At least it seemed like it to me because as I was trying to think of any ideas that would help him think of his world in a new way, the idea of a do-over came to me and I shared it with him. I don’t know if that’s the thing that helped him through that difficult time (because he did get through that difficult time like most of us all do) but as I explained to him the logic and importance of seeing life’s challenges as do-overs, it reinforced to me how we all need to think that way from time to time, probably a lot more often than we think we should. My brother Dave passed away just over six months ago and he was in a much happier place in his last year even with medical issues because of the do-over he engineered in his life.
I was thinking about this idea a couple of months ago because I just started a new position and was so happy to be starting fresh in a completely different environment. Through the second half of last year, things seemed to be heading south and I decided I really needed to make some big changes in my life. Fortunately, I was able to turn the change in leadership and what I felt was negative energy into a need to question what I really should be doing and better align my passion with what I should be doing every day. Through strong support from my wife and some networking I was able to move into a position that was better suited for me. What I do now is so different than what I’ve been doing it felt like a do-over and it is. However, with further reflection I realized that every day can be a do-over, if we are wise enough to refocus ourselves on a daily basis. Even in my new job, I have the occasional challenge, which is only proof that I have an opportunity to grow. If I recognize that I could have made a better decision then I change who I am – I am now the person who would do that thing differently because now I am wiser. A do-over doesn’t always have to be huge – it only has to be a conscious decision to live the next part of my life as a new person with a new perspective – even if the next part of my life is only tomorrow. Tomorrow is always the start of the rest of my life.