Today is April 29 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you have courage to start over?" Many people who figured out how to navigate the chaos did so on their second, third, or even fourth strategy. There is no limit to the number of times you can try something to figure out how to translate your dream into reality. Begin again and have the courage to start over and join the chorus of others who serve as examples.
John Glenn started over. Glenn is best known for becoming the first American astronaut to orbit Earth in 1962. But 12 years later, at 53 years old, he became a US senator in Ohio, a role he held for 24 years. Julia Child started over. Child worked in advertising, media, and secret intelligence before writing her first cookbook when she was 50, launching her career as a celebrity chef in 1961. Vera Wang started over. Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40. Today she is one of the world's premier women's designers.
As Eric Roth wrote for the screenplay of the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”
Actor Terry Crews knows all too well the value of starting over to navigate the chaos of life. He did, however, have to learn the lesson the hard way.
Crews struggled after retiring from the National Football League (NFL) in 1997. His initial dream was to have a long successful career playing professional football. That did not happen. He had to realize that playing in the NFL was not what he expected.
The transition from athlete to civilian caused him to fall into a depression.
To cope, Crews turned to food. He would rent a movie from Blockbuster and stay up until early in the morning eating burgers, fries and entire bags of cookies. He gained 30 pounds and had to accept the harsh reality he was broke, overweight, and needed a new career. As Crews said “I was hungry. Your stomach is growling, and you realize these kids got to eat. And you’re like, man, I’m going to act. I’m going to cry on screen.” Eventually he gained control of his weight and started working out on a regular basis. Crews also moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and it would take several years of little or no work for him to break through into the industry.
As Crews recalled in an interview “I feel like I’m a guy who’s floating downstream, and I am going to go where I need to go. It’s one of those things where I just say yes. You have to be open to everything. I never thought I was going to be an actor. I didn’t have it figured out. But you have to go. You have to be willing, and all of a sudden, you’re in somewhere you’ve never been.”
As 13th century Persian poet Rumi noted “Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the new one to come?”
Crews’ life turned upside down, but he remained opened to the possibilities and started over on his path of navigating the chaos.
How often do you start over?