Change Becomes You
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Change Becomes You

Rebuilding your Life, Your Relationships, and Your Purpose

What happens when a chapter of your life ends?

What happens when a chapter of your life ends?

“Sometimes we must break completely in order to rebuild fully. Trust your ability to transform”

Depending on the context or circumstances, starting a new chapter can be a thrilling experience that provides a fulfilling and rewarding next phase of life. But it can also suck. Not all chapters end happily or as expected. Sometimes they end because of a stupid mistake, an unfortunate accident, or a mistimed gamble. It does not matter if it is your fault or not, in order to rebuild your life and/or your relationships it takes a tremendous amount of work.

How would you rewrite your life’s story? Which parts would you rather not read?

I have learned a lot in the last year about rebuilding. I am STILL learning and still rebuilding every single day. A few things I have discovered is that rebuilding yourself is harder than building yourself the first time. I have been on the top of the world and I have been at rock bottom. I have blamed others for my failures and taken credit for successes when I shouldn’t have. I lived a charmed life and felt like I was untouchable until I wasn’t. I have lost a lot, but I did not lose it all. As I reflect back on what it took for me to rebuild my own life, I realize I missed a lot of wonderful opportunities and I will never get those chances back, but I the process has made me a better person, a better husband, a better dad, and a better friend.

If you suddenly find a chapter in your life ending and are not sure how to start another one, remember to take a step forward, you may need to let go of the past and step away whatever it is that made that part of your life come to an end. Starting over is tough. Rebuilding your life, your relationships, your reputation, or your purpose is one of the most challenging things a man can do. But it can be done. I am proof.

Why rebuild? You need a CAUSE!

If you don’t have a cause or a reason to rebuild, why would you? If someone loses a home to a storm, they have a reason to rebuild. So why do you want/need to change or rebuild? People often say “know your why”, and whatever you “why” is, well, that is your cause. We all need a cause. Without a cause we have no reason to go on. People who are passionate about their cause are inspired. They don’t give up. They believe in what they are doing and it is that belief that gives them a purpose and keeps them motivated. Maybe it is stopping an addiction or financial or fear of losing your family. It does not matter if your cause is love, friendship, or solving world peace, without a cause, there is nothing to rebuild. Luckily, I had a cause.

Be honest with yourself and others. You need to CONFESS!

If you are in a situation to rebuild a portion of your life you probably need to confess the need to yourself first and probably someone else as well. Just as an alcoholic cannot begin to seek help until they admit they need it, a person looking to change their life must admit that what they have done before will not work in the future. It could be that you have to confess your mistakes to your spouse, your family, or your coworkers. Confessing a weakness can also clarify your cause.

Be Bold! You need to have COURAGE!

It takes a lot of courage to for a person to start over, rebuild, or change. Some of us just do not have the stomach for it. We are content and safe in the world we know and so we sacrifice opportunities to be truly great or have a larger impact on the world because we are scared to make a stand or take up a cause. Sometimes we know things are not right, but it is easier to let someone else solve the problem or get involved. Enough. You must find a way to contribute. You must find your purpose and then you must have the courage to work passionately for it.

Who expects you to be somebody? You need to have support! Nobody really does it alone.

Few great achievements happen in isolation and rebuilding your life is not one of them. Identify those who you can depend on and who will support you even in tough times and when you do find them, hold on to that person like a treasure. Let them be your cheerleader but let them be your accountability partner too! If you are coming back from addiction, divorce, job loss, or another traumatic experience, share your cause and confession with someone and have the faith to believe they will help you. You may not always like what they have to say, but because they expect more of you, you will expect more from yourself. Besides, your ending will be that much sweeter if you have someone to share it with.

Don’t Quit. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Persistence. Determination. Commitment. It comes in many names, but successful rebuilding projects need the fortitude to see it to its end. It is not easy to reinvent yourself or your way of doing things. This is not a simple as a New Year’s Resolution or buying a gym membership. Instead, you will need to make an intentional decision that you can do this. Commitment is important because there will be obstacles that will block your path and challenge your resolve. There will be setbacks and reminders of things gone wrong. You may be one day, one friend, one decision away from changing your story forever. Stay the course! Success is often holding on just a few moments longer.

Rebuilding yourself, finding your purpose, rediscovering joy. These are all difficult things but if you have a cause, you confess your need to change, you have courage, you find support, and you do not quit, it can happen. I know. It happened to me.



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Dr. Robert Thornell

Dr. Robert Thornell


As a husband, father of five in a blended family, and an educator for 25+ years, I have seen, heard, and experienced a great life. I just love sharing ideas!