Monday, September 17, 2007

Grasping a second chance in life

Heavy on the mind and the heart is the feeling of failure, inadequacy, or disappointment. No matter the circumstances we all experience the same symptoms. Your mind questions the outcome and reenacts your short comings. Then the questions of "Why me" and the statements of "If only I'd..." frequently visit your thoughts with wishes and prayers quickly following. But the second chance is possible and the opportunities for it are everywhere. The key to grasping the second chance is to learn from your past, create new habits and practices, and finally, help others get a second chance in life.

Whenever a failure happens in someone's life the blow can be crushing. We tend to lean towards blame after realizing that our dreams, hopes, trust, or expectations have turned into sand in the palm of our hands. Blaming others or blaming ourselves. With all of this emotional and mental conflict, how can someone begin to turn things around?

First, you must start with an understanding of how you got to the place you are. There are two types of failures. The ones that you could've prevented and the ones you could do nothing about. The first type is seen all of the time in sports. The time Isaiah Thomas threw the bad pass that go stolen by Larry Bird. Or what about the "wide right" kick by Florida State when playing The University of Miami. These types of mistakes are common in our everyday lives also. The job or position you should have taken that would have made a difference in your life. Or maybe it was that relationship that ended leaving scars unhealed and questions unanswered. Not finishing school, a missed business investment, time wasted all things that we had control over but somehow did not make the right decision.

Then there are the failures and disappointment that you could not control. It is those times when you put in every ounce of effort that you can muster up and take every precaution to ensure nothing goes wrong. But despite all your hard work and dedication; your business still goes under. You still can't get pass your addiction. Your spouse still decides to leave and start a new life, without you.

Learn to take responsibility for the things that have happened. Be honest with yourself about your bad decisions and actions that have placed you where you are and decide to make a change in order to have a better future. Forgive others for their wrong doing in your life and learn to accept the things you cannot control. Someone once told me that God cannot place a new life in your hands if you are still holding on to the old one. The sooner you can let go, the sooner you can move on.

Next, develop a new you. Take full advantage of the second chance you have been given. If you need to change the way you dress in order to feel better and project a different image than do it. Maybe the way you talk and who you associate with needs to change in order for you to stay focused on your new life. If that's the case, then make those changes. Your atmosphere will be a big part of how successful your new life is. And the habits that you create will outline your new life and enable the healing of the past. Be dedicated to your new life and hold on tightly to the endless possibilities you now have in order to prevent yourself from slipping back into the realm of your past.

The evidence of success will be the ability to help others in their second chance. Somewhere along the way someone is going to need your help, your encouragement, your wisdom and experience. You may be the example that they look at and say "Wow if she can do it so can I" or "I want to do what he did." Giving back keeps you climbing the mountain and it reminds you of how far you have come.
The second chance is not promised to anybody. Utilizing a second opportunity can be example of great accomplishment and can also be a blessing for someone else.

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