John O'Leary

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Second Chances

Erin and Ben Napier, second Chance

Photo Credit: Brooke Davis

Home Town's Erin and Ben Napier Remind Us We Can All Be Made Good Again

"If you are still breathing, you have a second chance." -Oprah Winfrey

While speaking earlier this month to the employees of Clayton Homes in Tennessee, we celebrated some of their big numbers from the previous year, such as revenue growth, houses built and lives impacted. But I also wanted to find out what inspired them, as individuals, to do their exceptional work.

After sharing an example of someone who made a profound impact on me through her extraordinary work, I asked why they choose to do their best work? Why do they get up early, do the right things, bend over backwards to assist coworkers and clients? In other words, I wanted to know why they choose to thrive.

After asking, there was a moment of silence before a woman raised her hand high.

She stood up, faced her colleagues, took a deep breath and shared: "I choose to thrive " She paused momentarily and looked around the packed room, gathering her thoughts before adding, "because I've been given a second chance at life. I am not sure I'll a get a third chance. So, I choose to savor what I have today, and I will not waste it."

It moved her colleagues to such a degree that they showered her with a thunderous applause not only for her vulnerability, but for living boldly her second chance.

Erin and Ben Napier on Choosing to Make Something Good Today

Second chances.

People often ask me why I chose to spend a decade of my life as a real estate developer. The primary reason was to bring new life into a decaying structure. There's something remarkable about taking a building that is in disrepair and breathing life back into it.

I thought of second chances while visiting with Erin and Ben Napier on my most recent Live Inspired Podcast. They are the stars of the hugely popular Home Town that airs on HGTV. (We enjoyed a fascinating conversation about growing up, falling in love, cultivating real success and staying grounded that you can check out here.)

Below is a short excerpt from the introduction of their new book, Make Something Good Today. In it, Erin is writing about old buildings and small towns, but it's impossible not to see the connection back to the second chances offered in all of our lives.

There's a reason we love transforming a house from an old, decrepit, sometimes crumbling mess into a warm, inviting, revitalized home. It's a moving experience getting to watch a second life start to take shape. It's a history and a future uniting in one delicious moment…

Our love of the process has nothing to do with new sofas, fresh paint or artisan tile. Those are only the tools. The details. It's really about the moment of the reveal: the tears we feel in our throats when the new homeowners stare wide-eyed at the home they never thought was possible. The one they had only imagined come to life. The whole thing is personal. And that's the point.

That sense of wonder, that ability to hope for the impossible, is inside all of us. It's how we were created to be: always changing, always evolving. These qualities are built into us. The home becomes the hopeful symbol, the arrow pointing forward. It can support a person, solidify a relationship, or bring a small town that's lost its legs back to life.

Our lives are not so different from these homes. It all starts with foundations, the things that drive us and make our heart beat a little faster. The things we believe in and cherish. Our families, our dearest friends, our faith - those are our bedrock

We are all old houses, altered by time and circumstances. Our lives are shaped by the good and the bad, and we take it all in and make it part of us

We've been built up on the cornerstone of family and determination and faith and deep, abiding love, and because of that, we are capable and worthy of restoration. Nothing is lost. We can all be made good again.

How Can We Embrace Second Chance Living?

My friends, as most of us know remodeling a house is never as easy as we think. It's possible that HGTV skips over a few of the more difficult aspects of the rehab. It always takes longer, reveals greater problems, and costs more money than imagined.

And yet the opportunity to transform the decrepit space is almost always worth the mighty investment.

What is true of houses is true of individuals. Consider using this season of celebrating the holidays as a time to slow down long enough to reexamine your own foundation.

Upon careful reflection you'll likely discover a few cracks, a little rust, some decay. But you'll also come to see that second chances don't just exist for houses on HGTV, but are waiting for you today.

So, grab your tool belt and paint brush. Embracing second chance living requires a little vision, some discipline and a lot of work, but it also reveals what we always knew deep down: That we can all be made good again. [Tweet this.] | [Share on Facebook.]

If you are still breathing, you have a second chance.

Choose to savor that gift today. Don't waste it.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

The post Second Chances appeared first on John O'Leary.

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