The Art of Reinvention

Written by on February 13, 2015 in Adaptability with 13 Comments

The Art of ReinventionDo you remember the dreams you had for the future when you were a kid? Maybe you saw yourself as a pilot or a cowboy, an artist or circus performer. The one thing all children everywhere in the world have in common is they dream.

Some say that as adults we lose that childlike ability to dream, but I don’t think that’s it at all … I think we still dream, it’s just that somewhere along the line we stop believing in our ability to make our dreams a reality

Too many people have no idea what they’re capable of because all they’ve been told is what they can’t do and don’t know what they want because they’ve lost the ability to see all that is available to them. ~Zig Ziglar

In my last post, we explored the benefits of using self-reflection as a way to create a better future. For those who are happy with their present circumstances, this may simply mean a bit of tweaking here and there, while others may find themselves reluctant to explore their desires for fear of discovering a need they can’t fulfill.

The problem is that if there is an underlying need for change, it won’t simply go away by ignoring it. One way or the other the need will make itself known.  We may be driven to create change as a result of an inescapable feeling that there just has to be more to life, or find ourselves suddenly blindsided by an unexpected obstacle or detour … and sometimes, hard as we may try to ignore it, the need for change sneaks up on us like a favorite coat that we have slowly outgrown over time. Except, in this case, it’s our life that we’ve outgrown.

We Always Have a Choice

Regardless of the nature or method of delivery, the one thing all change has in common is that we have a choice whether to be a passenger and ride along in whichever direction the winds of fate take us, or to be the driver and embrace the opportunity to reinvent ourselves for the better.

While reinvention inevitably involves periods of discomfort as we face new experiences, it is not something to fear because this process is not about giving up our former self, but rather simply adding a new dimension. With each change, we gain knowledge, confidence, and insight, and over the course of a lifetime, there is a level of growth and richness of wisdom that can only come through this type of experience.

A Story of Reinvention

A young man named Tom graduated college in 1965 with a degree in English and soon after took a job selling insurance, and by all accounts did very well. He remained in the industry for 15 years before he began to feel an internal need for change, to do something more fulfilling. Tom had always wanted to write a novel so he began writing in his spare time, but it didn’t take long before he began working on his novel every spare minute he could find. His wife told him he should stop wasting his time and get back to selling insurance.

In 1984, after nearly 20 years in the insurance industry, Tom Clancy published his first book, The Hunt for Red October. He hoped he might be able to sell 5,000 copies, but by the end of the decade, it had sold more than 2 million.

It’s tempting to look at someone who sold over 100 million books during his lifetime and chalk his success up to the fact he was just born to be a writer. But what if he’d ignored that itch to do something more fulfilling and stayed with his insurance job rather than making the choice to take action?

You learn to write the same way you learn any new skill. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work. ~Tom Clancy

Anyone can choose to pursue their dreams. There’s nothing magical or special that happens to the people who choose to reinvent themselves. It’s not any easier for them than it is for you. It’s just that at some point, they choose to commit to doing the work. They choose to risk and take action. And most importantly, they choose to be true to themselves.

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.



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  1. Irish Carter

    Hi Marty,

    You are so talented. I love that you have this new eBook. I love reflecting and then growing and transforming into what drives us. I have been spending so much time on reinventing this year. I can literally see the positive changes developing little by little. Love it. I was in much need of finding a healthy balance in my life so this year I placed my focus on quality of life and engaging. I feel so blessed seeing the positive changes developing around me.

    I love the feel good you leave me with when I visit here Marty. Thanks for inspiring us.


  2. Dave

    It is amazing how as a child anything seems possible, and somewhere along the way we are encouraged or guided into being “sensible” and “grounded”. Although there is certainly advantages to remaining sensible and grounded, there are just as many disadvantages.

    Tom Clancy’s story is very motivating and inspiring. I really appreciate you sharing it Marty 🙂 There is a delicate balance between throwing all caution to the wind and remaining so steadfast in a “safe” future. I have been too far on one end of the see-saw for too long and need to inch myself towards the other end, slowly but surely 😉

    We certainly do always have a choice, and it’s time to make a conscious choice to reclaim some of those childhood attitudes towards dreams and possibilities 🙂

    Motivating and inspiring as always Marty, thanks again!
    Dave recently posted…Unspoken voiceMy Profile

  3. Marty, people who choose reinvention have a strong dream and passion to drive them. Others who may be forced to reinvent sometimes only have an external driver – perhaps they are the ones you call resilient. Either way, as you said the ones who succeed are committed to do the work, choose to risk and take action. Well said. 🙂
    Diane Howell Topkis recently posted…Follow Your Midlife DreamMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and Diane – always appreciate your thoughtful insights – and you’ve certainly given me some juicy stuff to work with this time. 🙂 To begin, while I certainly agree with you that some people are driven by a particular passion in life. If you take the time to study stories of reinvention as I have (there are several included in my new book for subscribers, The Art of Reinventing YOU) you’ll find the vast majority are not driven by a specific passion but rather by an internal need to find a better way of life – something more fulfilling. Tom Clancy’s story is a perfect example of a typical reinvention; his initial “drive” was to find something more meaningful to do with his life – not specifically to be an author. He found his way to writing because he’d always wanted to write a book, but that was not his initial drive. No matter how much we love to romanticize the notion of a passionate calling, more often than not, revisiting old dreams is how people find their way in a reinvention and rarely is it a simple journey from point A to B.

      Finally, I know this is a bit long, but I must acknowledge your reference to resilience as a description of those who reinvent their lives as a result of external circumstances. Resilience is not a catalyst for change regardless of the circumstances; it’s a capacity to weather the inherent challenges. Even people who are driven by a great passion in life benefit from being resilience because even the most inspired journey will require courage, determination and the ability to overcome obstacles. Whew! Thanks so much for your awesome contribution to the conversation!

  4. Mark

    Wow M!

    First of all, I can’t help but notice “how” many others comments have the word wow in them as well! LOL! I had no idea that was mega best selling author Tom Clancy’s story!

    That is so inspiring! I just remember watching the movie “The Hunt For Red October” on HBO, starring Sean Connery! I also love how you point out how, with regards to change, we can either be a passenger and go along for the ride – or be a driver and the opportunity to reinvent ourselves! That is such a great train of thought!
    Mark recently posted…Seven Proven Ways To Increase Profits For Under $50 Dollars!My Profile

    • Hey Mark, yep that is a pretty cool story about Clancy, huh? I love that book and movie, even more so now that I know the back story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mark, always appreciated especially since I know you (like me) are the driver in your life. 🙂

  5. Dexter Roona

    Great post, also love the images you have used on this article
    regards Dexter
    Dexter Roona recently posted…Tsu Guide Tutorial And Review – Make Money OnlineMy Profile

  6. Hi Marquita,
    I love this article ,it is really beautiful ,if some people can reinvent themselves,I call it building a dream .This is what I like very much and I think it is something wonderful ,if somebody finds what he truly loves to do and is starting to do it .It is sad to see many listen to the ‘you can’t do this ‘and do not even try of what they are capable of.
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…Be Kind To YourselfMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Erika, and I couldn’t agree more with you about how unfortunate it is when people buy into the limitations (they perceive) in life. All any of us can do is try to encourage others, but ultimately it’s up to each of us to find the courage to take the journey to create our best life. 🙂

  7. Chery Schmidt

    Hello Marty, Yet another powerful piece from you my friend!

    Change , Wow you sure know how to tell a story, this little sentence right here really got me->> “The need for change sneaks up on us like a favorite coat that we have slowly outgrown over time. Except in this case, it’s our life that we’ve outgrown.”

    Yes Change Begins With Me.. Thanks for yet another Awesome article.. Have A Great Valentines Weekend..
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Are You Fed Up Not Making Money With Your Online Business?My Profile

  8. Miriam Slozberg

    Wow what a timely post. I have been reflecting on my life and haven’t been too happy with things. You are so right, I can use this to build a better future. I will give myself the benefit of the doubt by realizing I did not know what I wanted but I do more or less now. I just need to be patient to get it (and wait for the kids to leave the nest too!)
    Miriam Slozberg recently posted…An Overview of Social Influence with Peter DeSouzaMy Profile

    • So glad you found value and inspiration in the post Miriam. Life, it’s always a process and it’s up to each of us to make the most of our journey. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation. 🙂

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