When I opened my blog about a week ago, I asked the question “Can we reinvent ourselves?” For me, it was a rhetorical question. In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a bird who dies in a fire of its own making, and then rises up from the ashes to live again. I know a little something about being a phoenix.
If you’re reading this right now, you know something about it too. We all have setbacks, whether we’re given to high drama, or whether we keep things to ourselves. History is full of stories of famous unsuccessful attempts. The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, all failed. You know that saying, credited to George Custer, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s how many times you get back up” ? I’m here to testify; It’s TRUE!
I’ve failed, I’ve been embarrassed by my failures, I’ve doubted that I could rise up again. But I’ve done it. A failed first marriage, two failed businesses, estrangement from loved ones…you know, the usual stuff. It has taken tenacity. Some days I had the sense I was just compelled to push on. I do feel like a phoenix, and that’s a special kind of energy in itself. That’s what matters. It’s not what others think about your successes and failures.
When you fumble the ball, get it back as soon as you can and run for a touchdown. Now, your chance to get the ball back may not come on the next play. It may be the next game, or the next season, or you might even have to wait until you get traded and someone else gives you another chance to have the ball. But, you’ve got to be ready when it comes. (I’m not into sports. I don’t know why I used that analogy, but I like it).
So, just go ahead and rise up from the ashes! Be a phoenix! It’s never over, as long as you get up in the morning.