Every End Is a Beginning

Jack and Suzy Welch appropriately end off their great book The Real-Life MBA with a chapter on endings, explaining how each one is a beginning: an opportunity to reinvent oneself. 

Whether you're let go, resign, or retire, it's an opportunity to learn and find something better. They discuss learning from professional "whacks" earlier in the book and call these personal "whacks."

Being let go is the hardest of the three since it's involuntary. They encourage owning whichever part of the layoff was your fault so that you can learn and move on from the mistake. The other two (resigning and retiring) although voluntary, can still be painful (or bittersweet) and are opportunities to keep learning and do something else. If you haven't already found your Area of Destiny (see previous post), now's the perfect time.

Since I'm now transitioning, I needed this reminder. I had a painful ending a few months' back and although I am working on several side projects, I am still figuring out what's next and am actively reinventing myself. Given that transitions are stressful and make it hard to hold on to hope, reminders are crucial. This chapter reminded me that I will be able to make better decisions going forward, having learned more about myself.

I truly believe that as long as you learn from each of life's "whacks," you are better off for having lived through them. Perhaps they and the reinvention they offer were necessary for you to recognize that opportunity about to head your way.

Have you had occasion to reinvent yourself?

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