Wake Up and Shake Up- It’s About You!
Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day
as another special gift from your Creator, another golden
opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish
Life is full of second chances.
I’ve recently discovered some truly amazing stories simply by
asking people if they’ve ever received a second chance at life.
There was the woman I met just last week who found herself
with a gun to her head, the victim of a road rage incident, or the
young man who narrowly missed being caught in a deadly
avalanche by mere minutes. Their experiences have transformed
how they see their lives.
What about you? Have you ever received a second chance at life?
Maybe you haven’t survived any life- threatening situations
(lucky dog!), but almost everyone has experienced a second
chance in one way or another. Unfortunately, it often takes
experiencing some sort of loss to fully appreciate the value of
Perhaps you were devastated when you got laid off from a job
you loved, only to discover later that it was the best thing that
could have happened to you because it opened the door to an
even better opportunity. Maybe, as a result of your own “issues,”
you walked away from a great relationship but truly found
yourself in your loneliness, and were lucky enough to get a
second chance at love with your soul mate.
Have you had a health crisis that led you to cherish your health
and the precious time you have on this earth? Have you lost a
loved one, but with the passage of time have been able to
celebrate the joy that person brought you and find it within
yourself to help others overcome their grief?
Whether you realize it or not, each and every one of you has
been given a brand new second chance at life. The mere fact that
you are reading this ezine today is proof that, yet again, you
were blessed to be able to wake up and face the challenges of a
new day. Think about it – each new day truly is a precious gift, a
brand new second chance.
Likewise, this new year is a fresh start, a brand new second
chance to have the relationships, career and life you desire. You
are in the driver’s seat to reach your dreams and attain
fulfillment through the attitude you possess, the choices you
make and the actions you take.
How many second chances we will be granted in the days and
years to come is not in our hands, but we do have total control
over how we chose to use them. Too many people take their
second chances for granted– don’t be one of those people. I
cherish each day as another day to live and work with passion. I
carry that responsibility with honor, knowing that each day I’ve
been granted is a day 160 other people who died on a mountain
in Colombia didn’t get.
This new year, make it your resolution to embrace your second
chances for all that they’re worth!
A Call To Action
My motto is simple: Every day that you wake up, you’ve been
given a second chance at life. What are you going to do with your
second chance today?
No, that doesn’t mean live each day as if it were your last.
(Images of half of you not showing up for work tomorrow and
booking flights to Vegas come to mind!)
But it does mean live each day is if it were your best!
Too often, we find ourselves living in Survival Mode, doing
whatever it takes to get by and keep our heads above water. But
when we focus all our energy on merely surviving, we don’t have
any left for thriving.
You know the feeling you get when you receive a bonus at work?
As soon as you find out the money is coming, it’s like you feel a
hole burning in your pocket. You get excited about all the things
you can do with that money.
Why not view each new day with the same burning enthusiasm?
Why not get excited each morning about all the things you can
do with that day? Use your “bonus days” wisely, with a focused
drive to Learn, Achieve, Forgive and Delight. At the end of the
day, if you can say you LAFD, you’ll know you embraced your
second chance well.
Whether it’s trying out a new software program, reading a
chapter in a personal development book or looking up a word
you’ve been hearing on the news, strive to learn one new idea
We allegedly use only 10 percent of our brain power. Yet the
brain is just like every other muscle in the body – it stays healthy
and strong through exercise. Don’t let your brain suffer from
muscle atrophy! Play a game of Sudoku, try writing with your
non-dominant hand, experiment with a new hobby. Do anything
besides what you’ve programmed yourself to do on a daily basis.
Breaking your neurological routine sparks creativity in the
untapped parts of your brain.
Daily achievements don’t have to be monumental in nature to
give us a sense of accomplishment. Victories, small or large,
increase our energy and sustain our momentum. Focus on the
activities that are most important to you and tackle them with
gusto. Don’t make the mistake of waking up each morning
worrying about all the little things you didn’t finish the day
before. That will just set you back before you even get started.
Instead, move and think forward, make and enjoy progress.
Allowing conflicts with family, friends or co-workers to build up
only poisons your life. Conflicts have a way of eventually finding
a release valve and may come out at a time or in a manner that
you may regret. The person you are today is the product of all
that has happened in your life – good and bad. And yet, what’s in
the past is in the past. You can lament it or celebrate it. It’s your
choice to become bitter or better because of it.
Forgiving past transgressions is a powerful way to free yourself
to enjoy your second chances. On a piece of paper, write out a
past transgression and all the aspects that really made it sting.
Maybe it was being let go at work, having your trust betrayed by
a friend or something hurtful you said to someone you love. As
you write, relive all the disappointment, anger and pain this
situation caused you. The more you remember, the more you
write, even if your hand gets tired!
Once you’ve gotten all your emotions out, take the paper to the
fireplace or outside and burn it. If you feel the need to sip on a
margarita or an ice cold lager while you watch it burn, do it! All
the negativity you’ve kept inside will go up in flames, and the
emotional bonds that kept you tied to the situation will be
destroyed. When we forgive others – and ourselves – for the
past, we do not forget. Instead, we learn from it and ensure that
the ashes of regret won’t litter our lives ever again.
Have you ever known someone who makes other people feel
appreciated, respected or cared about? Have you noticed how he
or she always seems to remember things that are important to
you? These people take delight in delighting those around
Being delighted brightens your day. What a wonderful way to
“pay your second chance forward”– by delighting someone who
needs a boost. Making the time to delight others takes the focus
off your challenges, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
Bringing joy to others gets you out of the Survival Mode rut and
allows you to pass on your gratitude.
Delight at least one person each day, and your gesture will
multiply tenfold. Need suggestions? Offer a genuine compliment,
lend a helping hand without being asked, give comfort to those
who are suffering emotionally or physically. Or, think about what
would delight you, and then turn around and do it for somebody
As I continue to research and write my book, the importance of
second chances continues to be a profound theme. Many of you
out there in the Wake Up Call Community have either received or
given a second chance. Perhaps you’ve experienced a brush with
death, or maybe your second chance was figurative – someone
was willing to give you a chance that changed your life forever.
I’m inviting you to share with me your stories of second chances
– whether you got one or gave one. Through this ezine, my
website and my upcoming book, your Second Chance Stories can
transform the lives of others. (Your story will only be shared
anonymously unless you give me express permission to use your
name.) What a powerful way to make this world a better place –
one story at a time! Please call or email me to share how second
chances have changed your life at 972.333.9629 or
Let Me Be Your Wake Up Call
What people are saying about Mercedes:
Mercedes’ presentation added a very thought provoking and
entertaining element to the closing session of our leadership
development program. Based on feedback from our program
participants, we’ve invited her back to be one of our standing
keynote speakers. -T.M., HR Consultant
Portions of Wake Up Call may be reprinted in your
organization’s newsletter, provided the following credit line is
Copyright Mercedes Ramirez Johnson. For more information and to subscribe
to the free monthly ezine, visit www.MercedesRamirezJohnson.com.