“H.O.W.” is the acronym for honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. They are the three key ingredients which will help us grasp a second chance in life, regardless of how we messed up the first time. If we are in the pits, and we want to climb back up, these three ingredients will be imperative. All three are of equal importance, and there is no particular order as to their application. We will definitely need all three, but just in different quantity at different times.
Willingness, to me, is a mix of humility, hope and trust. When we find ourselves in the pits, down and out, reality becomes too much for our badly bruised ego to bear. Some of us give up, give in, and some may never get back up again. Others may cry out for help. As difficult as it is to seek help, when we do, we are actually admitting that we truly did not know it all as we thought we did, and that was why we made all those mistakes and failed so miserably. When we seek help, we are also saying that we believe, and have hope, that there is help available, and that it is possible to turn our lives around. A second chance in life will only be ours to grasp if we are willing to be willing.
That is not the end of our willingness. In fact, it is only the beginning. We have to be willing to do whatever it takes to change our thinking, which caused us to behave in the ways we did, and take the actions we took. Very often, new thinking and behaviors are contrary to what we know. It can be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to do things differently, especially not just for today, but for tomorrow and many tomorrows to come. Again and again, we have to do things the new way. Fortunately, each time when we are willing, we will take a baby step forward towards a new life. If not, most likely, we will end up taking two steps backwards. But, so long as we maintain our willingness, we will make progress. A little at a time, we will handle this second chance a little firmer, a little better. Eventually, we will get out of the pits and be able to see sunlight again.
If our hands are closed, we will not be able to catch any money even if there is money dropping from the skies. If our minds are closed, we will not be receptive to any words of wisdom coming our way. Those words of wisdom help us change our perspectives in viewing things in life. When we see things differently, we respond differently. Different response will usually give us different results, which add up to creating a different life. When we change, our lives change. People with closed minds do not change.
Honesty with others is important, but self-honesty is even more important. It is hard to achieve by ourselves; we need people to challenge us when we justify and rationalize our words and our actions. In order to grasp a second chance in life, it is imperative for us to know the truth about us who we are, where we have been, and what we have done to get to the pits. Trying to cover up is like misleading people as to our exact location while trying to get directions from them for our journey. Without honesty, we will be lost again.
Although ingredients such as patience, persistence, and some others are also necessary to grasp this second chance of life, without willingness, open-mindedness and honesty, we cannot hold onto our second chance for long. It will eventually slip through our hands, and we will fall into the pits again. This time, it may be forever.
This article contributed by Daphne Lam - a writer at Helium.com