The ZEN of Second Chances

A mistake can be a small thing. Or it can be a devastating thing. One that can change your life in an instant. The thing is, many times we don’t see the mistake coming until it is too late. Then we have made it, and we start paying the price, begin to experience the consequences for having made it. But this post is not about the mistake. We will talk more about that in a future post. This post is about:


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There is nothing like a second chance. A second chance is like dying, and being brought back to life. It is like  you are drowning, having gone down for the third time, your lungs filling with salt water, the air replaced with salty stinging liquid, your consciousness slowly slipping away, replaced by a cold, black void, and then…a hand pulls you up out of the deep, and you sputter, cough, and breathe life-giving air again.


A bit dramatic, I agree, but this is what it felt like to me when I committed the biggest mistake of my life, experienced the consequence of a 4 year prison sentence, and at the end, was pulled out of the abyss to be given a second chance. So, after having made a mistake of the magnitude that could have devastated and ruined my life, I share with you the Zen of Second Chances, embodied in 5 important things to consider about life-saving second chances.

  1.  Second Chances are a Precious Blessing – recognize and treat a second chance like you would a precious and rare opportunity that did not have to happen to you, but did. When my second chance came, I was truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity. I felt blessed. My actions were like that of a blessed man, and in feeling this way, there was no way I could have taken it for granted.
  2. Don’t Squander Second Chances – take every advantage of a Second Chance. Use it in the spirit which it was given. I squandered many “first” opportunities. This is why I was in a position to receive a second chance at all. How could I possibly squander another opportunity to do what I should have done the first time? Some people do just that! I met many of them while in prison.
  3. Run With Your Second Chance – be ready to execute. Do not hesitate. Do not walk. Run. Take the Second Chance by the horn and make the most out of it that you possibly can. My “first” second chance, while I was in a half-way house for 6 months,  was a job that paid $12 per hour. I treated that opportunity like I did the six figure executive jobs of my past. I “ran” as fast and as far as I could with that second chance.
  4. One Second Chance Breeds Another – be prepared for additional opportunities that WILL come your way. These are the Waves of Second Chances that will follow your first Second Chance. I can’t tell you how many people stepped forward after that initial Second Chance and gave me opportunities that were just as big a blessing and just as precious as the first. If I hadn’t been looking, hadn’t been ready, some of them may have passed me by.
  5. Never Forget Your “Original Sin” – dwelling on the past is not healthy. What’s done is done, and it’s time to move on. Ignoring it and not learning from it is equally if not more unhealthy. The fact is, a Second Chance is a “second chance” because of the original mistake(s) that we made. And the circumstances surrounding your mistake, how you got there, what you did, how you did it, and who you did it with, are important to remember as you embark upon your second chance. I have never forgotten the 10 mistakes I made, and used the learnings as I took advantage of my “Second Chances”.
I believe that most of us deserve a Second Chance. How about you? Can you share what your second chance was, and  how you made the most of it?

About Enrique Fiallo

I am a Life Coach, Author, and Blogger. I inspire people to succeed in a complicated world, and write about leadership, self improvement and personal development...
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2 Responses to The ZEN of Second Chances

  1. Olga Berman says:

    Yes Henry, a bit dramatic but not too dramatic for those of us that have lived through this and experienced that mercy and grace for a second chance. Praise God for second chances!

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