As we grow older, it may seem like all beginnings are behind us. All the milestones we usually celebrate about life—growing up, graduating, getting a job, getting married, etc.—are behind us, and we might presume that it is too late to start again, that all our beginnings have passed us by. This is far from the truth, though, since life offers practically infinite possibilities for beginning again.
New Beginnings Are Natural
First, realize this: Nothing in nature is ever static or linear. Everything is moving and changing in a constant dance of polarities as we fluctuate between seasons, birth and death, breathing in and breathing out. And within these things, there are cycles within cycles. It is like the tides of the ocean; there is a high tide both for the year and for each day, and every few moments another wave splashes up and then recedes. Beyond that, the ocean is involved with so many other cycles, contributing to the water cycle on the land and to the life cycles of countless plant and animals. The same is true for any ecosystem on Earth, so how can it not be true for human life, too?
Decide to Start Over
Just like the rest of nature, our lives have many beginnings and endings, and everything is always changing. While it may be that we have moved closer to the ending of our lives than to the beginning, there are undoubtedly still many opportunities to begin again since beginnings come to us with every new day and even with every moment. Whether we choose it or not, change will come. But, we don’t have to accept passively that the way things have always been is the way they have to be now . . . or that life is destined to become worse. As humans, we possess magnificent power of the mind to choose, and with that power comes the power to change. Thus, the first step toward change is deciding to make change happen.
Set a Clear VisionIf we make the choice to change, however, we have to have a clear idea of how we want to change. That’s why it is important to set a very clear vision of where you want to go. It is commonly said that life is a journey, but you wouldn’t want to get in a car and drive off without any idea where you are going, right? If you know with certainty where your next destination is in life, you can then make a very clear plan to get there, and you will be better able to withstand the difficult moments of the journey because you know where you will end up in the end.
Wash Away the Residue of the Old
That sounds simple enough, but why, then, is it so often hard to start again and to change our lives in ways that really matter? New Year’s resolutions are set and then immediately broken, and our most cherished goals and plans fall victim to procrastination. One of the common roots of the problem is that we are packing too much baggage on our journey. This baggage is in the form of negative emotions that we have not released and preconceived beliefs that hold us back from being all that we can be. So, if you really want to change and begin anew, you must continuously and honestly examine and reexamine your innermost heart and mind, and be willing to let go of all that does not serve your highest self. I highly recommend meditation as a daily practice of self examination.
Renewal Comes No Matter What
Another important thing to remember is that change comes no matter what. We are never exactly the same person from year to year, or even from minute to minute. The key, if we wish to arrive at a desirable destination in life, is to be proactive. Nature rewards inertia only with entropy, the downward slope toward chaos, decay, and death. Life and growth, on the other hand, require energy and motion . . . and the determination to always begin again, no matter what.
To learn more how to start again, especially after age 60, check out my new book I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.