Reinvention may sound like an intimidating term, but it’s really just another word for adapting. As we grow and learn, we have to reinvent our lifestyles, practices, and strategies in order to maximize our potential in our current season.
That’s why I always tell leaders to reinvent themselves based on their age and stage. I’m not the same person as I was a year ago—neither are you. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate where you are, and what needs to shift in your disciplines, routines, and habits as a result of your current reality.
Now, reinvention only happens if you’re willing to say a certain kind of a “yes” and a certain kind of a “no.” This is what I’ve discovered—until about the mid-forties, you get ahead by saying “yes”: “Yes, I will do that. Yes, I will be there. Yes, I can speak there. Yes, I’ll travel there. Yes, I can do this. Yes, yes, yes, yes.” Until about mid-forties, we get ahead by saying yes. But then, after that, you get ahead by saying “no.” But the conundrum of the situation is that our “yes” muscles—because we have used it for forty-some years—are highly developed; but our “no” muscles have atrophied—They haven’t been used that much, so it’s more difficult to use them now.
The challenge that many leaders have is that they continue on the same journey they’ve been on, simply because that’s what they’ve known. But you’re in a different place today than you were a year ago. You’re a different person now. So how can you reinvent yourself?
Reinvention comes not by what you do; reinvention comes by how you think about what you do. How are you thinking about what you’re doing? What’s important to you now? What’s taking you to your goal? What is actually going to do something for you for where you are going?
Answering those questions is the beginning of reinvention.