Can We Change Direction and Start from Scratch?

November 10, 2015

We tend to believe that all is lost in the moments when our lives come to a crossroads where is is difficult for us to know where to go, what to do, or how to repair the chaos that surrounds us. In these moments, we stop believing in a destination or solution and we may succumb to hopelessness.

It is in these moments that the little voice inside our head tells us that “you have to start from scratch.” But is it really possible to start from scratch? Can we pull our lives from a labyrinth that seems impossible to escape?

Logically it is almost impossible to start from scratch because, how could we stop being ourselves? Even if we managed to completely change our way of life, we could never change the history that marks our existence in the world.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
-Stephen King-

From a rational standpoint it is almost impossible to “start from scratch,” but it is possible to push ourselves in a new direction, toward a new destination, take our ship to port in an entirely new place we had not previously encountered or considered.

Living implies finding solutions and making decisions. The price of being able to breathe every day is having to recognize when life is forcing us to. But now, the million dollar question: How do we know when this is?

Very simply put, when our balance is negative — that is to say, when we do not perceive our own positive stability and instead see the negative — then difficult situations surround us and affect all aspects of our lives.

Is it possible to achieve what we call “happiness” with a change in direction? Well, the answer is clear: yes – although, change requires a lot of effort and sacrifice, at least at first.

Choosing implies fighting against adversity, against even that which has hurt us and has formed a part of us, against the frustration of remembering things that comforted us or gave us a sense of stability.

But when the tides change and the emotional tsunami arrives that involves making choices and decisions, it is possible to regain the concept of what “happiness” is to you personally and, of course, to achieve it.


Starting from scratch also requires you to make decisions with the information you have, decisions that involve risk and discomfort. Making decisions which enact major changes in our lives requires that value those decisions; quite possibly, they will generate significant consequences on our environment, consequences we will also have to face.

Starting from scratch does not involve forgetting, but learning. By learning about our past as well as our present and being willing to generate a new future, creating new opportunities with every lesson learned to choose, we increase our body of knowledge and we generate life opportunities.

Who has not experienced a romantic change, a career change, a big move, or a change in values? Such events usually accompany an “I have to start from scratch.”

We have to also understand that starting from scratch does not always mean breaking away from the past, but could instead simply be a change in perspective and tools to confront what we could not confront before.

You have probably often heard stories of people who have survived a serious illness or a freak accident and, as a result, have had something awaken in them, giving them the necessary strength to pull through and change the direction of their life.

These people began to live in a more intelligent manner thanks to a traumatic event, which unfortunately are often the type that really knock some sense into us. And, what is it that they change? First of all, they start chasing their dreams, they spend more time with their loved ones, or they travel to places they would have never gone otherwise.

These people started from scratch or maybe, just maybe, they took a new perspective and learned to value the incredible journey that is our existence, to savor every second on Earth, and to breathe deeply as to truly appreciate every moment of their lives as a gift.

Because every day of our life is a new beginning, a new opportunity to be who we want to be, and to feel the air, the sun, and the stars. But, above all, it is a new opportunity to see the path our hearts want us to take.

Images courtesy of Balazs Kovacs Images and Studio 37