Duke: Do Over’s

I’m sure you’ve seen it. One of those retrospective shows where they tell the story of some celebrity. They’ve gone through some ups and downs, had some good times and bad. Now, after the book is nearly closed on their career or life, they tell the audience something like, “You know, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.” They smile benignly and the show fades to black.

I always have the same thought when I hear that phrase: “What an idiot!”

You mean to tell the world that if you had a chance to do everything over again, you wouldn’t try to smooth out the rough spots, spare some feelings, escape some unnecessary heartache or just spend more time with the people who really matter to you?


Well, then, it’s good you can’t have a do-over. You’d just screw it up.

Of course, none of the rest of us get do-overs, either, and that’s the problem. I can think of a million things I’d like to do over and a million ways I could make things better for myself and the people I care about … and I count myself lucky. I enjoy my life, my family, my career. I have it pretty good … but you know what they say about hindsight. It’s 20/20.

What about you? Are you one of those “wouldn’t change a thing” guys or do you see room for improvement? If you wouldn’t change a thing, you should stop reading now. But if you see room for improvement, I have something to share.

It’s not too late.

You and I are still living … breathing … kicking … laughing … fighting … and trying to make our lives better. Will we get there?

Some of us yes and some of us no.

We have no way of knowing, but if we have time and energy we can try to get “there.”

Have you ever thought that you should have made a big change in your life a few years earlier? At the time, though, you thought it was too late to do whatever it was.

Looking back, I bet it wasn’t too late. With the benefit of hindsight you probably see now that you could have made the change and possibly benefited from it in a big way. But you didn’t do it because you wrongly believed it was “too late.”

Well, it wasn’t too late then … and it’s not too late now unless such a decision would destroy you or the people you care about most.

It’s never “too late.” At least, that’s what I think.

I share this with you not because I’m at a point in my life where I need to make a big decision, but because we’re all at points in our lives where even small decisions can make a big difference.

But that’s true only if we have the guts to make the decisions we know are right … the decisions we’ll look back on in 10 or 20 or 50 years and say, “I’m glad I did that. That was the right thing to do.”

Ultimately, we regret the chances we don’t take and the paths we don’t follow a lot more than our failures or struggles. There is rarely any indignity in failure, but there’s a lifetime of regret in failing to seize an opportunity.

What decision have you been delaying? What “right move” have you failed to make even though you know — absolutely know — it’s the right decision?

Maybe the right move is something as minor as adding some floor space to your store, to get that web page up and running, to buy or to sell. Maybe the thing to do is to get some help or let go of some help or just to ask for help.

Whatever it is, today is that day. Today is the day you should do it … should do something.

How many days in our lives are completely unmemorable, blending one into another with so little significance that they vanish before our eyes?

Don’t let today be one of those days. You have the power to make it special, to make it memorable, to make it a day that made a positive difference in your life, in your work, in the lives of your loved ones.

Today is the day.


A rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s be that tide.