We read a lot of “feel good” articles about change and reinvention… but what does it really mean to “reinvent” yourself?
Can it be done?
How do you do it?
Is there a set of directions?
A lot of us dream about change… we dream about a new life… a fresh start without any of the baggage we have now…
A lot of us dream about robbing a bank… instant riches… a new spouse… a new job … we ALL do it.
But we know, deep down, that it ain’t goanna happen, right?
Let me tell you what I saw in Costa Rica.
I saw people that ran… and were hiding… and they had adapted and made new lives for themselves. There is an entire network of people there who take care of each other and have formed an entire community.
Maybe not the best example… but we read stories about battered and abused women who find the strength to change their lives.
We read about military veterans who return home minus limbs and start over…
And of course, we read the stories about Steve Jobs and Apple… about Horatio Algier, about Grandma Moses starting to paint in her 70s…
There is inspiration everywhere.
But reinvention is not easy.
We wish it was as easy as the stories… D.L. Cooper hijacking a plane, jumping out with millions of dollars… never to be seen again.
Change is not easy… and no matter how “easy and simple” the stories sometimes make it… it takes work, persistence and it takes something that no one talks about much… the ability to accept failure.
We absolutely have to know… in advance… that we are going to fail…and we have to accept that our failure is a building block and helps us eliminate one wrong turn and move forward.
After I retired to Costa Rica… despite the fact that we fell in love with the country… I grew bored. And I started a company in a field where I had zero experience and was in no way, shape, or form, qualified for.
But I remembered the people that were hiding here… and who had “reinvented” themselves. And I remembered how much easier I had it… than they did. They had ZERO margin for error.
So I went out, put one foot in front of the other… and “reinvented” myself.
I made a lot of mistakes… but somehow…now, being retired and knowing that all I could really do was “the best I could do” I began my new journey.
And somehow it worked out better than if I could have choreographed it myself… or someone else had written a Hollywood script.
Why this time?
In my opinion… it worked because I did my best… accepted the small failures… moved forward and simply did the best I could do at the time… and somehow… it worked.
It took me a decade before I could see exactly the steps I took.
And then, I really was able to realize what a real miracle it was… part of it was acceptance and realizing that all I could really do was the best that I was capable of. I didn’t “beat myself up” for not going a different path or doing something different that “might have worked better”.
Years ago, I would have not understood this… and what happened.
It is almost like trying to catch the wind… the concept of “letting go” and realizing that “you can only do the best you can do” and no more made zero sense to me 25 or 30 years ago.
Now? My best was good enough.
Hell yes, it can happen.
But it takes more than one or two steps… and you have to know… in advance that mistakes and pain will happen… and you accept them, adjust, and move on.
Anyone can change.
Catch the wind.
I did… and a lot of others did…
So can you.