What The Heck Just Happened To Your Life?
You have to learn how to reinvent yourself. In a matter of weeks, your world went upside down.
You work from home, instead at your office. You connect through Zoom or phone, not face-to-face. Your job security is threatened or worse, you’ve been laid off. Your career has come to a screeching halt.
If you are older, you know that your future job prospects will be grim. Finances are tight.
Living in close quarters with your partner and maybe your children has had its moments.
The old way seems changed forever. And that means you have to change. You have to learn how to reinvent yourself to succeed in the new world.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Why Learn How to Reinvent Yourself?
What could happen if you don’t learn how to reinvent yourself? Your financial situation could deteriorate. Your close relationships could be stressed to the breaking point. Your self-confidence and self-esteem could plummet, landing you into a depression. That’s challenging.
Here’s the good news. You can spend the rest of your life learning how to reinvent yourself…and that is super cool. You can come out of this crisis stronger, smarter, more independent, and happier than ever before. All you have to do is learn how to reinvent yourself…over and over again. And how long does it take to learn how to reinvent yourself? The rest of your life.
You see…this crisis is just beginning. And, it is only the first of many to follow. Becoming adaptable to change will be the hallmark of thriving survivors.
How To Reinvent Yourself At 50 or 60?
In 2008, the Great Recession wiped out my professional practice. I was 58 years old. It wiped out a lot of other lawyers, accountants, and professionals too. If there is no economic activity, there are no deals to be or broken, no accidents, and no clients for lawyers. Eventually, their backlog of cases dries up, and they stop earning money.
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That’s what happened to me. Because lawsuits were not being filed, the demand for my services collapsed.
I had to learn how to reinvent myself. I learned that reinventing myself never stops. I learned a new business–Internet marketing. I created my first online course, an advanced legal negotiation training, and I promoted it online. I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, but that’s how I learned to reinvent myself.
Why Learning How To Reinvent Yourself Is Different Now Than When You Were Than at 30
Assuming you are older, say in your 50s or 60s, you have some advantages that younger people do not have.
– You have Wisdom
– You have Experience
– You have Knowledge
– You have Perspective
These advantages are powerful as you learn how to invent yourself.
You do face some potential disadvantages that you may have to overcome. You have habits that worked well in the previous world, and might be counterproductive in the new world.
Age brings a certain amount of inflexibility in thought and action. As you learn how to reinvent yourself, you will have to limber up your beliefs, attitudes, and thought patterns. The old ways just won’t work for you.
You may not have as much energy as you used to. Learning to reinvent yourself means learning how to manage your energy levels so that you don’t wipe yourself out. You may have to develop new ways of thinking about how to get stuff done.
Finally, you may have to dig deep to find the motivation to learn how to reinvent yourself. One of the great truths is that the Universe is not fair.
You worked hard for success and financial security. Poof, all gone in a few weeks of the pandemic. That’s not fair.
And, it’s not fair that you have to learn how to reinvent yourself again…and again. That mindset is natural. And it will get in your way.
If you are feeling resentful or unmotivated, you are dealing with an unconscious entitlement of being treated fairly. You have no right to be treated fairly by the Universe or life.
What Are the Steps Of Learning How To Reinvent Yourself
Make a Commitment to Change
The first step in learning how to reinvent yourself is making a commitment to change. Right now, take out a pen and a piece of paper and write, “I am committed to reinventing myself whatever it takes.” Put it on your refrigerator, your desk, and any other place so that you can read it many times during the day. You are re-programming your brain with the commitment. You are learning how to reinvent yourself by telling your unconscious there is no retreat. Change is the new way of life.
Explore Your Possibilities
Just as the pandemic and economic collapse closed off old paths, they have opened new ones. What are the new possibilities? Look around you. One obvious path is that business and professional communication will forever be changed.
What are the online possibilities for you?
What are the new possibilities in your relationships? In how you communicate and interact with your family, your friends, and your business associates?
Learning how to reinvent yourself means expanding your vision to imagine new opportunities in your career and your relationships.
Discover Your Passions
If you did not have to work to earn a living, what would you do? Write it down. For example, you might think about sailing.
Then ask, “If I couldn’t do [sailing], what would I do?” Repeat this five times, replacing your previous idea with a new one.
What did you learn?
Is there something that you are truly passionate about?
If so, you have found a golden key. If you can learn how to reinvent yourself so that you can pursue your passion, you will have more energy, excitement, and passion than you can imagine. Take your time with this one as it has the power to unleash huge opportunities for you.
Define the New You
This is another exercise in learning how to reinvent yourself. Write out the new definition of who you are. Not who you want to be, but who you are today. Then ask, “If I cannot be this person, then who am I?” Repeat this 5 times over the course of a week or so.
Amazingly, you will be defining who the new you is and how you see yourself in the new world. You are well on your way to learning how to reinvent yourself.
Set Your Goals
With the first couple of steps complete, start setting some goals. Goals are never set in concrete and can always be changed. Think of it this way. If you are on a sailboat and don’t pick a direction to go (called a heading), the wind will blow you any which way. If you pick a heading, you can set your sails so that you can steer your boat in that direction. This is the case even if you have to sail into the wind. Your course will be indirect on any heading, but you will still be moving towards your goal. If circumstances change, you simply change your goal.
I personally set daily and weekly goals and let the big goals take care of themselves.
Get Up Early, Go To Bed Early
Ben Franklin taught us this one. I started to practice it, and by God, he was right. It works. No more late night television. Productivity in the morning will soar. And your health will improve too. Really. Give it a try.
Take an Online Course To Learn A New Skill
Here is an awesomely easy way to learn how to reinvent yourself: Enroll in online courses to learn a new skill. There is so much out there you will be blown away. Big sites include Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning. There are thousands of courses that can teach you anything you want to learn.
Don’t limit yourself to skills that will make you money. Take some fun classes. Learn how to play a zither. Or how to draw with a pencil. This is another huge step in learning how to reinvent yourself.
Since you are no longer commuting, you have the extra time. Use it to learn.
Manage Your Finances
Be frugal. Get out debt. To the extent possible, be in a cash position. The saying goes that millionaires are made in up markets and billionaires are made in down markets. There will be incredible opportunities in three or four years. Be in a position to take advantage of them.
Fail Fast and Often
Don’t be afraid of failure. In fact, make it your goal as you learn how to reinvent yourself to fail at least once a week. The more you fail, the more you learn. And, you will learn that failure does not mean the end of the world. Who cares if you failed? No one. And you shouldn’t either.
Small Steps Every Day
One rule I follow is to make certain I do at least one thing every day that moves me closer to my goals. I taught this to my wife a decade ago. She applied it, and today has built a mid-6 figure online business. Amazing. Don’t look up at the mountain peak. Just look at trail a few yards in front of you.
Make Yourself Uncomfortable
The biggest reason people fail at learning how to reinvent themselves is because they don’t like discomfort.
Get over it.
Making yourself uncomfortable as you are learning how to reinvent yourself means you are stretching and growing. Of course you will be uncomfortable. Embrace it.
Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind
The easiest way to deal with the discomfort of learning is to cultivate a beginner’s mind. This means that you let go of your over-inflated sense of competency. Be a beginner. Proudly admit that you are a beginner to yourself and to anyone that asks. You will develop a deep humility that will stand you in good stead as you learn how to reinvent yourself.
Create Meaning in Your Life
Viktor Frankl, the late Austrian neurologist, Holocaust survivor, and author, wrote in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, that the meaning life comes from service to others. As you learn how to reinvent yourself, follow his insight. Find a way to serve others. You can do this as a volunteer or make money at it. The key is to help others and not focus on your payback. This is an advanced step in learning how to reinvent yourself.
You may spend some time thinking about how to serve others in a meaningful way. Always be looking for the opportunities to serve. They will present themselves in strange and wonderful ways.
Celebrate Your Milestones, No Matter How Small
As you learn how to reinvent yourself, you should acknowledge every success, no matter how small. You may just smile to yourself in satisfaction. Or, you might share your success with someone. Keep the celebration appropriate to the success, but celebrate no matter what. This reinforces your unconscious mind to keep you moving in a positive direction.
Enjoy the Journey
Make this process fun! You will sometimes be bored by tedious tasks. Take frequent breaks and do other things. Most importantly, look at your new life as fun and exciting. Do everything you can to smile, laugh, and express your gratitude for the changes.
Making The Most Out How To Reinvent Your Life
You started learning how to reinvent yourself from a place of pain, shock, and stunned incredulity. Your world changed overnight ,leaving you behind in the ruins of a good life. You had to play catch-up or suffer the consequences of stagnation.
As you work through all of the steps in learning how to reinvent yourself, you will see a new light. A new you will emerge and continue to grow. Disruption will no longer be a challenge. It will be your friend rather than a threat. You will thrive.
Enjoy the new you.