learning to begin again

You must be the change you want to see —MAHATMA GANDHI

I once heard someone say that on the day we are born we are given two proverbial envelopes. On the front of one is written incredible pleasure, faith, and prosperity; on the other is written incredible pain, fear, and disease. When opened, each contains the same blank pages called destiny, and we each get to choose the category of pages upon which we will write.

Quoting Andrew Carnegie, author Napoleon Hill expounded on the envelope concept. He said envelope one is labeled “the riches you may enjoy if you take possession of your own mind and direct it to ends of your own choice.” Envelope two is labeled “the penalties you must pay if you neglect to take possession of your own mind and direct it.”

The first envelope, labeled “riches,” includes the blessings:
1. Sound health
2. Peace of mind
3. A labor of love of your own choice
4. Freedom from fear and worry
5. A positive mental attitude
6. Prosperity

The second envelope, labeled “penalties,” holds the prices one must pay for neglecting to take possession of one’s own mind:
1. Ill health
2. Fear and worry
3. Indecision and doubt
4. Frustration and discouragement throughout life
5. Poverty and want
6. A whole flock of evils consisting of: envy, greed, jealousy, anger, hatred, and superstition

Every day you get to choose the envelope. Which will you choose? Winston Churchill said, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” And write it he did! Your destiny is connected to your decisions. If you do not like where your life is going, make a decision to change. The earth is a domain that rises and falls on decisions. When God created man, He created him as a free moral agent—a decision making being.

You do not have to see yourself as a victim of circumstance. Indeed, you should not.

Where you are today is based on the sum total of decisions you made yesterday. Make a choice to change your situation.

The quality of your life begins and ends with your thoughts. You must take ownership of how and what you think— because therein lies the key to living the life you desire and experiencing the success and prosperity God would have for you. “You must take ownership of how and what you think— because therein lies the key to living the life you desire.”

The greatest gifts you can give yourself are the gifts of choice and change. Change is risky business. It may mean that for a while you will have to walk alone. You might have to change your job, change the city in which you live, change the people you hang out with and the places you frequent.

Philosopher Herodotus said, “Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.” Change requires decisiveness. Stop hemming and hawing. Think about the option only long enough to determine whether it is worth the effort. If it is, then do it. There is no better time than now.


Choose to have a new beginning now. You cannot go back to your past to have a do-over; life does not work that way. Now is the only time you have, so you might as well start today, at this very moment, to create a new life and a new ending for yourself. Your history does not have to be your destiny.

The Scriptures say:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before your life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days.