It is never too late to start over

It is never too late to start over

Every one of us have made mistakes in life.  The larger the mistake, the more we are down on ourselves and fear that we have ruined our lives.  We should never look at a mistake as permanent damage, instead you should think of every mistake as an opportunity to start over and improve ourselves.

If we learn from our mistakes, I must be the smartest man on the planet!

I strongly believed this quote throughout my life. and it bought me comfort when I was experiencing the consequences form my poor decisions that lead to some of the biggest mistakes in my life.

I have made some large mistakes that at the time I felt “Well I have really done it now”

I got myself expelled from high school for kicking a principal in the leg.  I got myself expelled from college for a ADHD outburst in an English Lit class.  There have been more than several occasions where I have made some dumb, mean spirited, and insensitive comments on social media that cost me some friendships.

Instead of wallowing in regret for the choices I had made that lead to a mistake, I choose to see the opportunity that was before me.

A month after being expelled from high school for kicking a high school principal (and nearly having charges pressed against me for assault), I attended my first day back in school at a different school in a different school district.

In my new classroom, where I would spend the entire day instead of going form classroom to classroom like other freshman, I was surrounded by seven other students – all with behavioral problems like myself.

I could have looked at this as a punishment, instead I choose to look at it as if I was staring over.  I saw a clean slate in front of me, and I took advantage of it.  I stayed out of trouble (expect for dropping a cuss word once within earshot of a teacher) and within two years of my expulsion I became the first student to ever be allowed to return to my high school who had been expelled.

When I was expelled from college for an ADHD outburst in an English Lit course (not to mention an very high spirted meeting with a dean) I was less than 5 courses away from earning a AS in Computers and an AA in broadcasting.  At the time of my expulsion I also lost my job running the computer lab for the Allied health department.

I could have said “well, I lost my job and now my life is over”, but I didn’t.  A few hours after being expelled I took all my energy and began working harder than ever to start and build an eBay business in my one-bedroom apartment.  Three years later I was hired by the community education department of the same college that expelled me to teach an eBay course.  (My course was very successful with students on a wait list to be in my class!)

Over the near decade I have been on Facebook, the joy I have felt when I reconnected with some friends who I had lost touch with over the years. turned to sadness when my words and/or actions on site lead them to unfriend me.

When the friendship ended of course there was sadness and regret.  But I took each loss as a lesson and decided to change my online actions.  I began to understand that most people when they post on their own walls want people to agree with them, and they are not open for disagreement.  I stopped having to prove to everyone my way was right and began to say to myself “they have a right to their opinion”.  Nowadays, I post my opinion on my own wall or on public feeds from news sources.

Every mistake can be more than an ending, it can be the beginning of something better,

Adopt the attitude that a mistake is an opportunity to learn how to do things better.  After yu have found the lesson in the mistake, then immediately stat to do things better.

As Matthew West, A Christian singer, sings “it’s day one of the rest of your life” and now you have a chance to do it right – wiser than you were when you made your last mistake.