Why We Never Really Start Over

I was listening to the Zig Ziglar Podcast during a morning walk recently and was reminded that Mr. Ziglar never really hit his stride until 45 years old.

He published his first book, See You at the Top, at age 49.

It’s funny how often I hear, or have said myself, that it’s too late to accomplish this thing or that thing. I remember when I was 30 years old and going through a major self-imposed career change, a mentor suggested I go to law school.

I thought I was way too old at 30 to start school again.  Who knows if law school was right for me or not, but I was most definitely not too old.

It felt like it was too late for some kind of a do over.

When you think you have to start over, overwhelm quickly sets in.

The problem is that we use the phrase ‘starting over’. That sounds like we are ditching everything, moving on, and starting from scratch.

But we never really start over. We build on everything that has gone before.

Whether you are starting over for good reasons or because of your bad decisions, you don’t start from a blank slate.

Let me explain…

You have gained a lifetime (whether your lifetime is 20, 30, 40, 50, or more years) of experience, trials and errors, wisdom, hard knocks, and successes. You fold every one of those elements into whatever new venture you feel lead into.

My Mom’s Story

When my mom started a career in the ministry in her mid-40s, was it ‘starting over’ after being a stay at home mom and office manager? Nope. She was building on all the experiences, wisdom, and revelation of her calling that had gone on before.  She decided not to be intimidated by moving into a position as a youth pastor dominated by dudes in their 20s.

From there, she moved into inner city ministry and then to founding a nonprofit ministry, Aaron and Andrew Ministries just over 10 years ago.

Yes. She started a nonprofit. While it seemed like starting over, it was just the next natural step.

Now, for a relational ‘do over’ you might need to clean a slate from a guilt, shame, and ‘make it right’ perspective, but even then, you’re building on any wisdom gained from less than wise decisions.

When Zig ‘started over’ at 45 as a full time sales and motivational speaker, he was building on a sales career and a newly minted spiritual conversion.

He took clues from his past to pivot for his future.

When you come to a crossroads where you feel like you might need to start over or begin a new thing or take a risk and do something that’s always been on your heart, take courage.

This isn’t a brand new thing for you, is it? It’s been building for a while.

Take a chance. It’s merely the next step in everything that has come before.

If Colonel Sanders didn’t build on his playing around with herbs and spices and start franchising chicken restaurants when he was 62, where would this world be now? No KFC? Could you imagine?

Don’t leave the world without your KFC.

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