Thursday, June 15, 2006

Take a few days to think about it

"My new philosophy is: 'the day after tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life.' That way you always have a couple of days on hand."
- Bill Bailey, British actor

It's a joke, but.... Maybe not so much.

The "first day of the rest of your life" doesn't mean just turning over a new leaf, quitting a bad habit or beginning a new good one. It means a major change in lifestyle, in thinking, in doing, in how you inhale an environment you see entirely differently from the way you did previously.

Very few people want to make such a change. The ones who do tend to be those who are too frightened to make such a leap (of faith). They are afraid to leave the horror they are familiar with to find themselves in something they think may be worse.

Sometimes we must make those changes. A marriage breaks up. The kids move out of the house. You lose your job or the major source of income for the family. One of the kids moves back into the house, and brings their own kids. You retire. You get a severe illness or injury.

Or you realize that life is not really about what you have been living. Call it a midlife crisis, a life-altering paradigm shift or just throwing off the shackles you have lived with for years.

Almost everyone has a major life-altering experience like that at least once. It's not something that you do without giving it a great deal of thought. Or without planning carefully. At least you should plan carefully. Many people don't, which is why we have so many people living lonely and desperate lives.

When making a major life shift, the last thing you want to do is to run away from something. That often means that you don't plan enough to prepare for the consequences of a new life. And those consequences are often severe, such as having to make a whole new set of friends.

That takes some time to prepare. That's those "couple of days on hand." Though it's often more like months, sometimes even years.

If you are going to run, run toward something, not away from something. Run toward something positive rather than away from something negative.

Major life changes require starting over, often from scratch. It's tough, very tough. But a few years later it often seems to be the best thing that could ever have happened to you.

So, take a few days to think about it.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make major life changes less frightening.
Learn more at

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