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since 1995


By Michael Angier

What's it Mean to Be Your Best?

Someone asked me awhile ago what I was really good at. Half kidding, I responded, "Starting over!"

The reason I was only HALF kidding is because I am very familiar with starting over. I've started over in business. I've started over in marriage. I've started over financially and in my career.

And unless you live a spectacularly blissful life, at some point—usually many points—in your life, you'll need to start over, too.

We all do—in big things and in small.

A project gets delayed or terminated. We get laid off, downsized, right-sized or repurposed. We go off our diet or our exercise program. Hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, cancer, the flu—all sorts of catastrophes and inconveniences can thwart or stop our forward progress—sometimes sending us all the way back to the starting line.

But you can't let it stop you. To be successful you must become and remain resilient.

Hardly anything goes the way we hope or plan that it will. I'm not being negative here; I'm being realistic. Setbacks, roadblocks and disappointments are just part of the natural ebb and flow of life.

I remember speaking with a young investor a few years ago who was perplexed that the stock market went down. As long as he'd been investing, he had only seen it go up. When the bull turned into a bear, it soured him on the whole thing, and he got out of the market. I bet he wished he'd stayed in now.

Getting upset, frustrated or quitting in the face of difficulty doesn't work and is usually indicative of immaturity, a poor attitude or both.

Every day is a new day. And it's a good thing because it's another opportunity to start over again every day. It matters little what's happened. But it matters a LOT what we do now.

Where most people get in trouble is they lament having to start over. They use up valuable energy being angry and thinking and talking about how unfair it all is. It's a waste of energy and only detracts from their ability to get on with things.

Picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and starting fresh is the hallmark of a successful person.

What about you? Where have you gotten off track? Where do you need to start in again, recommit and plod ahead? It doesn't mean we do it in the same way. It means we learn from what we've done, adjust and move on.

My research of successful people has taught me that they are not people who had it easy. In fact, they had it harder than most. But they were resilient. They grew stronger and wiser. They stayed the course, and they won out because of their persistence.

And so can you.

Jim Rohn says, "Don't ask for things to be easier; ask for you to get better."

And starting over isn't always a bad thing. It often can lead to things we would not have found had we continued on in the same mode.

It's not always fun and it's rarely an easy thing to do. But it IS necessary in order to achieve what's truly important to us.




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Last Updated 05/17/2005