Reinvent Life

Bill Abbate

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Time has a way of changing us whether we want it to or not. The likelihood of a significant, uncontrollable shift in your life is very real. A major event such as losing your job, divorce, illness, or death of a loved one can create a situation where you must correct or change your life. How can you cope with such things?

Our ever-changing lives

We can go through long periods of stability in life when suddenly, everything is turned upside down. Live long enough, and it will happen to you.

While I have experienced several such significant events, one of the biggest was when Charlotte, my wife, died of cancer after 32 years of marriage. I had no choice but to change who I was.

Charlotte's death affected how I saw myself, who I was, and who I was becoming. I was no longer a happily married man. I became a widower in what seemed like an instant. Suddenly I could not check the "married" box, which was so strange I did not want to accept it. But what choice did I have? I could not go back in time and undo what happened.

What can you do if or when such an event happens in your life? If you are to continue living, the only thing you can do is keep moving forward. When something changes who you are, you may have little choice but to reinvent yourself.

Why reinvent yourself?

While a life-changing event can force you to change, many other things can move us to reinvent our lives. What can you do if you become tired and unhappy with the monotony of something in your life? It may come from your job, where and how you live, who you have become, a bad relationship, and countless other things.

Perhaps you are at a point where you need an infusion of new excitement and adventure to overcome sheer boredom. Maybe you want to see new sights or travel to exotic lands. Perhaps you would like a new job that challenges you. It could be you are tired of being alone and want a significant other in your life.

So many things can spark the desire for change. Imagine inviting change to the point of reinventing yourself into a happier, successful, more responsible, better person. Is it possible? Absolutely! You can accomplish extraordinary things in your life if you want them bad enough.

"If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Henry Ford (1863-1947)

You can reinvent yourself!

Let's look at what some successful and wise people say about reinventing yourself.

"If you are not where you want to be, do not quit, instead reinvent yourself and change your habits." Eric Thomas (1970-present)

Don't give up on life. There is always tomorrow and the opportunity to start again. Every human has the capacity within them to change if they desire it enough. You can start by uncovering and breaking any complacency and bad habits that hold you back. The best way to break an old habit is to create a new one. While forming this new habit, why not create one that can carry you forward into the next phase of your life?

"People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out." Warren Bennis (1925-2014)

When you become frustrated enough that you develop the resolve to do something, be like the ant. Find a way to go over, around, under, or through whatever lies in your way and create something new! Why not use this frustration to change the one thing that will help you like no other. Choose to work on yourself harder than you do on anything else! Start creating who you want to be. Decide to become far more than you are today. Every human being is unique, including you. Use your uniqueness to create novel ideas that help you stand out from the crowd.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." Lao Tzu (c. 571 BC)

One of the first choices to make in reinventing yourself is to let go of the past and how you have allowed it to define you. Let go of that old self!

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

No longer worry about finding yourself. Free yourself to work on who you want to become, to create the new you.

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Elliot (1819-1880)

The more you uncover what you genuinely want from life, the less you will accept compromises. When you stop compromising on who you can become, you position yourself to begin planting the seeds of success, seeds that will grow to become the new you.

"Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over." Guy Finley (1949-present)

Only one thing in life can stop you from changing or reinventing yourself - YOU!

As you grow older, time appears to pass more quickly. Time really does seem to fly by.

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." Michael Altshuler (1960-present)

You are not a passenger in your life, just along for the ride. You are in charge, and you decide what you do and where you go. You are in the pilot's seat. Why not go places you have never been before? Do not be afraid to venture into uncharted territory. It is there where you may discover your future!

"The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps." Bob Black (1951-present)

An example of going into uncharted territory is within six months of Charlotte dying, I closed my business, sold my home, left Florida, and moved to Pittsburgh. With so many unknowns, it was a risk. Fortunately, after two years, I met Jane, my wife.

While the move radically changed my life, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I am now retired back in my home state of Virginia, truly blessed with an amazing wife and home, and I couldn't be happier. Reinventing myself and my life has served me well!

Do I have any regrets? Not at all! We have a better life than I could ever have imagined!

And finally, consider how reinventing yourself can improve those all-important relationships, which came true for me. Imagine the possibilities for good in the world that can come from reinventing yourself.

"Your power to choose your direction of your life allows you to reinvent yourself, to change your future, and to powerfully influence the rest of creation." Stephen Covey (1932-2012)

Final thoughts

You can choose to remain where you are if you want more of the same. Or you can begin to work on the new you immediately. Regardless of the season of life you are in, all it takes is for you to decide. You can alter the course of the rest of your life as soon as you begin acting on it.

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise. The way to activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create." Robert Fritz (1943-present)

I leave you with this challenge:

"Every day, you reinvent yourself. You're always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward." James Altucher (1968-present)

Choose to move forward daily. Go toward your dreams and aspirations, not away from them. In moving forward, you step further along the path of continual reinvention. Begin with one step and continue to accumulate more steps each day for the remainder of your life. You will not regret it!

Carpe diem!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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