Confession: I love origin stories and starting new projects/seasons.
It is the beginning of August and I will be shortly starting my third semester of Graduate school. It’s a new full year, which means new themes, new students, new classes, new experiences. I am getting married in just a couple months, and that will present so many new beginnings I will barely be able to keep count. But new beginnings are fun! So with this post, I want to address two different angles on New Beginnings: relishing the joy of the start, and sticking with the new beginnings til the end.
Whether it’s your first day on the job, first day of school, first relationship, first achievement in whatever sport/activity you play, “firsts” are important to remember and treasure! Hopefully you have some amazing first experiences – first best friend, first relationship, first kiss, first child, etc. However, you and I both know that there are some very negative first experiences. First broken bone, first death you can remember, first break-up, first time you were afraid for your life, etc. Even though you have bad experiences, I want to encourage you to remember those first experiences – all of them! The good ones and the bad ones combined make the unique person who you are right now.
The best things about new beginnings is that you have a clean slate to start working with. Your past is still there, but the new beginning opens up some new doors that maybe the past had closed for a while. I hope you enjoy your fresh starts! I hope you look forward to whatever it is the new beginning has to offer. But most importantly, I encourage you to give all that you have as you start that new beginning. And the reason this is the most important part is because that will help you finish it.
This is the second reason I wanted to write about new beginnings: too many people start something and then never finish it. This may be because they procrastinate and then that hinders them to the point they cannot keep with it (See previous blog on Procrastination). Or maybe they do not start by giving all their effort and then they just give up early. Whatever the case, as you begin new phases of life, be intentional about giving 100% effort and maintaining that for as long as possible. And if your effort and enthusiasm drops, be intentional about looking for ways to increase it.
Why is New Beginnings a topic worth writing on? Well let me explain. I was part of an incoming class at my small undergrad university that was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) ever to enroll. Within one semester, we achieved a new statistic: The class to have the most dropouts. I graduated in four years, and at my ceremony I am sure the numbers would have been baffling to look at who had enrolled with my university with me for that first year and who actually gradated with me. People love starting things, but when it gets tough, quitting is so often the answer. Even more important is the commitment to marriage. I will be getting married soon, and my intention is that my New Beginning of Marriage will be the only new beginning of that kind. There will be no end to it, and no other marriages in my life. That is my goal and I will invest everything I have to see that through. It is so vitally important that people commit to their new beginnings…with one exception.
If you realize that you have made some horrible mistake, and you work every possible angle to improve upon that new beginning and nothing remotely works…then maybe you need a new beginning. There is no shame is being wrong – everyone is wrong sometimes (or maybe I should say “a lot of times”). I want to encourage you to invest your entire being into your new beginnings – job, relationship, education, friendships, projects, etc. But if you come to the unmistakable conclusion that this new beginning is over, then I encourage you to own up to your mistake and move on. Don’t blame that new beginning on other people, don’t regret how things could have gone, just own up on what happened and move on to your next new beginning.
I don’t know what is new in your life right now. I shared my new things – school year and future wife being the two far most important new beginnings. But whatever the case, I hope you have great success. May you encounter some incredible dragon eggs in your future, and may the dragons in your life be magnificent and life changing.