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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Learning How to Start Over

In the last six months many individuals have experienced a life “start-over.” The world changed so quickly that few were prepared for the ramifications. Starting over is difficult, especially when we held expectations that our lives would go differently or be in a different place at this stage of our lives.

So, we face reality and learn the best way to start over. Here are a few tips to assist you along your new journey.

First, prepare yourself to be a beginner.

In nearly every hero movie, there is a time when the hero has to step away from the fight and take time to train and learn the skills, abilities, and build the courage to come back as a hero or master. Like Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back, Luke leaves the resistance to be trained by Yoda. He had to take a moment out to prepare himself, and face certain aspects of who he was, and what his life was about. Whether you are beginning school, having to move, beginning a career, changing jobs, dealing with a relationship change, or experiencing any momentous change, you have to recognize and accept that you need time to learn new skills and abilities. You need time to adapt to your new life, chosen or not.

One of my daughters recently got a job at a local soda shop. She had to learn over 70 drinks and flavors, and what mixes went with what sodas. She was stressed and worked hard to memorize them all in a few days before her first day of work. “Impossible!” I told her. “Slow down, it will take time and practice to become a master soda maker”. My advice to her was to spend time each day memorizing ten sodas, and in one week, she would be able to make them all by memory. Learning takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day! Learning also requires the willpower to avoid distraction.

Learning is nearly impossible when we are bombarded with constant texts, phone calls, social media apps, and the news. You are always surrounded by people and things that would pull you away from learning the skills you need to excel in your new environment. Be aware of who or what may be distracting you from learning and progressing.

Second, you are responsible for teaching yourself.

There is more information available to you for free than ever before in the history of the world. Take 10-15 minutes every day to better yourself through learning. YouTube is the #1 place to learn. MIT and numerous other universities now offer many of their courses for free. Nobody is going to do it for you; all the information you need to be great is there for the taking. Teach yourself.

Third, be valuable.

My daughter's car battery recently died. We went to our favorite auto-parts store and talked to Randy, our favorite auto guy, about a new battery. The experience was fantastic. He checked the battery, the alternator, and helped us choose a new battery. When we were walking out to the car to install the battery, he refused to let us do it ourselves.

He said, “I have been doing this for 20 years, and I want it done right, so you don’t have to worry. I’m great at this!” “Who says that?” I thought to myself. After watching him install the battery in under three minutes, I realized he had all the right in the world to say he was great, he proved it. It made me think about what I am great at, and am I sharing it with the world?

Also, be valuable by not expecting anyone to do it for you. Excellence and value are earned.

Third, take a risk.

Have the guts to do something original, something risky, even if you have a corporate job. Stand out from the crowd by being great at something. Amidst all that we are dealing with, I am encouraging you to choose one area to excel in.

What does this all add up to? It is the secret sauce to starting over and building something new, something different, something more, “you”. As a helpful hint, it won’t be the first time you start over, so learn the process! More change will be back to visit soon enough.




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