By Dan Hall
Ready or Not, Here They Come!
Martha Stewart spent five months in prison after a conviction for obstruction of justice related to securities fraud. Just a few years after her release, she had rebuilt her empire.
Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl after being told that his neck injury and surgery would end his Hall of Fame professional football career.
Maya Angelou was raped when she was eight years old. Yet, she emerged as one of the greatest writers and artists of a generation.
We all face new beginnings. Sometimes those changes are from choices we make; sometimes those changes are from circumstances to which we must adapt; sometimes those changes may be the result of a mistake we made, or sometimes those changes occur when someone else makes a mistake that affects us.
In our 30 years of marriage, my wife and I have lived in nine different homes. For some, that’s no big deal. For many others, that seems excessive. The fact is, each of those homes represents something that happened in our lives. Sometimes the catalyst was good; sometimes the catalyst was something we would not have chosen but still had to live with.
Regardless of the “why” of the new beginning, here are some tips to ensure SABOTAGING a new beginning:
Obsess over the past.
Make sure you rethink every decision multiple times. Keep recreating the T-Chart of how you got to this decision. Rehearse and repeat any mistake you have made. Rehearse and repeat every mistake anyone has ever made against you. Long for everything which went right—and lament everything that went wrong—as often and as passionately as possible.
Run every new relationship through the grid of past relationships.
Don’t allow any new relationships that don’t look like your best past relationships. Simultaneously, make sure every new relationship has to prove that they’re not going to fail you like your worst past relationship.
Despise everything that makes you grow, learn, and expand.
Besides, why in the world would I want to do any of those things since I’ve already attained perfection and maturity?
Trust me—I have lived these mistakes too many times in my life. And while I don’t usually take the negative approach of teaching, I have learned that sometimes holding up a mirror can be as effective as pointing out a window.
In the Old Testament, Joseph didn’t make one career choice. Lied about by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, taken to another nation, unjustly thrown in prison, forgotten by those he helped—and yet he landed right where God said he would.
His mantra? “What [others] intended for evil, God intended for good.”
Regardless of why we are where we are, God gives the grace to live fully and graciously if we will choose to embrace the moment, embrace the relationships and embrace whatever opportunities lie in front of us.
Dan Hall is an executive and strategic coach to leaders and executive teams. He also works with organizations on Teambuilding, Conflict Resolution, and Communication Skills. He and his wife Hazel have six children and four grandchildren. You can reach him at Dan@OnCourseSolutions.com.