Good news: Start over, you do get a second chance

So you’ve failed miserably. You got it wrong again, huh? You’re stuck in a rut. There is no hope, there is no future. You’ve messed it up and resigned yourself to the world’s scrap heap, just playing out the string with no chance to change the outcome.

Seriously? Here’s the good news. It’s not over. You do get a second chance. You can start over. You do have a way forward. There is hope. There is a future.

It matters not if you’re 16 or 60, everyone gets a second chance. It’s called today. You can start over. Yesterday is gone, but today brings a brand new slate. Clean canvas, fresh colors and a crisp new brush!

It’s good to know that your life is still in the first — or maybe second — draft. The final draft is not even yet due, which means you have the second chance to do what you haven’t done.

Sure, you may not have a second chance at that particular moment because that is a snapshot of yesterday. Yet, the second chance you now have is to create a moment in time that becomes a masterpiece. You don’t have to pick up all the pieces, just pick up the one piece and start there.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi may have said it best: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” That implies a second chance. And a third and fourth. You will have failures, setbacks and mistakes, but you get to continue writing the script that is your life. If you get back up and keep going.

Second chances are a gift. Unwrap the gift and enjoy the ride!

Need a scriptural reference to stand on? Lamentations says: “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses, indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

The Israelites were in their 40-year desert, but they understood that “new every morning” phrase. God provided manna every day for them. It was fresh. It was new. It was a start over.

Job even suggests you’ll get multiple chances, especially to avoid the potholes and detours. “God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life. God does all these things to a person—twice, even three times—to turn them back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them.” ~Job 33:28-30 (NIV).

Guest what? Just look around you. You get fresh manna every day in the way of opportunities, second chances and hope.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Now, here are the keys to taking complete advantage of your second chance.

  1. You must make the decision to move forward. See the opportunity, not the challenge. Crawl, walk or run, but move forward. Carpe diem! You can’t steal second base if you’re standing on first base. If you don’t make the decision, nothing else matters. And no decision is a decision!
  2. Don’t be paralyzed by the past. John Maxwell says: “Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn!” Learn from your past, don’t become a prisoner in a cell. The door is open, be bold and walk out.
  3. What did you learn the first time around? Thomas Edison and Henry Ford failed miserably countless times, but they learned from their mistakes and failures. Ultimately, we have the light bulb and today’s eight-cylinder engines as a result. What did you learn?
  4. Don’t repeat the mistake. Whether it was your mistake or someone else’s mistake, don’t do it again. You may not have the entire road map forward, but you should at least know which roads not to go down again.
  5. Find someone or someones with whom to enjoy the ride. This is important. These friends will keep you honest, keep you on point and keep you going. Remember, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so make it count!

The first step is half the battle. My dad always reminded me: “It’s easier to steer the car if it’s moving down the road. If it’s sitting still, you can’t turn the wheel.”

Don’t let past failures and mistakes define you. Get started. Pick up one piece of the old puzzle and use it as the center piece of your new masterpiece.

Start by doing what’s necessary: then do what’s possible: and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.   ~St. Francis of Assisi

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