Recently, I reconnected with someone who I had met under quite extraordinary circumstances. Seven months ago, we spent three days serving our public duty as potential jurors which involved sitting side-by-side in a large jury room for hours on end, standing in long lineups for what seemed like an eternity and offering our names and numbers to be handwritten repeatedly by eager record keepers. We became fast friends and close confidants in a matter of hours and when we parted on the end of the third day, we promised to stay in touch and get together soon. The months passed and I was eager to distance myself from this negative experience, get back to my wonderful life and move forward with more positive endeavours. Imagine my surprise, a week ago, when I was given a second chance to reconnect with this wise and amazing woman who had made a truly awful experience bearable.
It made me think that, with some exceptions, every person and situation deserves a second chance. Sometimes, second chances are complete surprises but more often than not they result from hard work, determination and commitment. Second chances either happen to you or you make them happen. The most important thing is to be prepared for the possibility that you may get a second chance and be positive about what you would do if you are offered that second chance. Here are some examples of situations where you may get a second chance out of the blue: a prospect that seemed interested in your product or service but that you had long given up on contacts you with enthusiasm after weeks or months of silence; the individual hiring for the dream job that you thought was filled contacts you to say that the job is yours or your attractive and an unforgettable seatmate on a bus, train or airplane contacts you to say that they have moved to your neighbourhood.
Here are some examples of second chances that you have to make happen: you give a presentation that is poorly received and you go back and ask for a chance to do it over again; you say something negative, hurtful or inappropriate, you offer an apology then you ask for forgiveness and another chance to express your thoughts and feelings; you create something and it doesn’t turn out as you expected so you ask for a second chance to get it right. While we all want to get it right the first time, the reality is that things can go wrong unexpectedly. The confident and successful person understands the power and humility of asking for a second chance. It is rare that the wise and committed person who is being asked will not grant you a second chance.
So who do you know who deserves a second chance? Make it a priority to contact them today and make them an offer that they can’t refuse. If you are looking for a second chance, avoid fear and its trusty cousin, procrastination. Take the risk and ask for that second chance. Remember nothing ventured, nothing gained. The person you are asking for a second chance will be impressed by your courage and initiative and will likely grant your request. How many hopes are unfulfilled, ideas undeveloped and opportunities never pursued because second chances are dismissed rather than accepted? So celebrate and appreciate your good fortune when you get a second chance and do your very best to make the most of it.