Friday, October 25, 2013

The process of Re-invention

My friend Dave has this great facebook page called "Blaze Your Own Path" encouraging people in their entrepreneurial pursuits.  He recently shared something about re-inventing yourself.  It was written by some guy named James Altucher on his facebook page.  The worlds longest facebook status.  Too long for me to quote here but I was totally inspired by it.

John and I are re-inventing ourselves right now.  Who we were in the past and who we will be in the future are completely different people.  But re-invention is hard.  There were a couple things that struck me and I will share one today and one another day.
"Reinvention never stops.  Every day you reinvent yourself.  You are always in motion.  But you decide every day:  forward or backward."
Honestly, right now as we downsize our home and John is in school and I am trying to get a career off the ground, I am not really sure if we are going forward or backward.  But I do know we are not standing still.
"You start from scratch.  Every label you claim you have from before is just vanity.  You were a doctor?  You were Ivy league?  You had millions?  You had a family?  Nobody cares.  You lost everything.  You're a zero.  Don't try to say you're anything else."
OK I realize that sounds sort of harsh but actually in the midst of reinventing it was very helpful.  One of the hardest things about where we are at in our life right now is that exact reality.  We are nothing.  I keep wanting to stand on our past successes but they are irrelevant to where we are right now.  And what I am seeing is that until I am willing to start from scratch and learn all over again I am stuck.

I know you want to remind me how all my past experiences enrich my life and give me wisdom and skills that make me more.  We constantly tell ourselves how much better a PA John will be because of his age and life experience than a fresh out of school 20 something.

But when you are climbing a new mountain you have to start at the bottom with everyone else.  There is no jumping from one peak to the next.  You climb down the one you are on and begin climbing the next one. Or sometimes you fall down the one you are on and since you are down there at the bottom anyway... might as well try a different mountain.   We might have more mountain climbing experience but we still have to start at the bottom.  Until you accept that it is hard to get started and reach the top.

Letting go of who I was and where we were has been, and will continue to be, a challenging process for me. I loved our old life, loved who I was in that life.

The thing is, should that define me?  Am I defined by where I live, what I do, who my friends are, how I look or how much money I have?

As I move into a new career, new location, new life I can't hold up my past life and expect it to open doors to my new life.  Just because I helped John run a business or used to manage a rental property doesn't mean I will automatically have success in commercial real estate going forward.  I start at zero.  Start over re-inventing myself.

But who I am is not just about what I do, where I live, who I married, how my children turn out, how much money I have.  At the core none of those things matter.  As I change and re-invent myself during this season of life there is one thing that will never change:  Who I am in Christ.

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor 5:16-17

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