You Can Rebuild You

What does it take to rebuild your life?

I have been asking myself that question periodically over the last several months. As I have sorted through the collapse of my plans and borne witness to the suffering of others, my mind has wandered in and out of this discussion.

A small twist of fate–one person visiting the blog after asking Google–has led me to ponder the subject again. As far as I can see, there are five crucial steps to turning “catastrophe” into “defining moment”:

1. Identify the problem
Simply put, if you are in the dark, you’ll remain there until you flip the light switch.

2. Decide to fix it
Figuring out what’s wrong is useless unless you decide to do the work to change. This takes a willingness–if not outright determination–to shed the past in favor of a brighter future, to release the weight of old decisions and sail onward to a more savory destination.

Be open to a variety of solutions–and seek help carrying them out, when necessary.

3. Pursue a new vision
Few things have happened in this world without a plan, let alone great ones. In order to rise from the ashes of your mental house fire, you’ll have to know where you’re headed. To put this together, ask yourself three questions:

What do I want to do?
What are the first few actions to make it happen?
What day in the future is the target for completion?

When a defined concept of the finished product is absent, your effort is at best inefficient and at worst a waste of energy.

4. Have patience
Rome was neither built nor destroyed in a day. The rise and downfall of anything, whether a single human life or the largest republic in history, is an aggregation of dozens of factors. Your arrival at this low point is the result of months or years of misguided decisions. Your ascent from it depends on your ability to make similar small decisions following a new direction consistently.

5. Acknowledge your feelings
There’s tremendous value in emotion, any marketer will tell you that. I’ve found people tend to go one of two ways when results leave something to be desired: 1) being crushed by the tidal wave of sorrow or disappointment or 2) putting on a happy face to bear the experience from the other extreme.

Give voice to the anger, the hurt, the confusion, the disbelief. Process the events in an open, healthy way. Seek to understand the weight of responsibility placed on each party involved–being judicious enough to accept your share instead of heaving it onto everyone else.

In doing so, release those feelings and use them to construct a brighter future as opposed to letting them anchor you in the past.

Rebuilding your life is a challenge.

Three years of peaks and valleys have demonstrated to me the importance of sifting through the rubble of your personal disasters and salvaging what can be put to good use going forward.

When you recognize and correct the problem, then set out on a fresh path with all your perseverance (and minus the baggage), you have better days ahead.


3 Reasons for a Short Run

Overcoming Disaster

4 Tips for Getting Out of the Hole


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