In 2010, Collingwood and St. Kilda faced off in a Grand Final Replay after a thrilling draw.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse put it best in his post match press conference when he said, “I guess that you’re still alive means you haven’t lost. But that you’ve got to play again means you haven’t won.”

Both teams had a second chance to win that year’s premiership and it was Malthouse’s Collingwood who eventually came out on top.

Sometimes in life, things don’t go our way, but thankfully we often get a second chance.  It may be that you’ve lost a job or had a relationship that didn’t work out.  You may have had a health scare or even a serious run in with the law.

In these circumstances how do we make the most of a second chance?

Learn from the first time.  One of the great tests for the coaches and players tomorrow will be to make sure that they don’t repeat the same mistakes, but learn from the first game.  There will be a few things that each team can improve on and the team that learns the most during the week will go a long way towards winning the game.

Unfortunately, we so often repeat the mistakes of the past.  This is the reason why the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than first marriages.  It’s why our prisons are full of repeat offenders.  As the saying goes, “Those who fail to learn from the past, are condemned to repeat it.”

Don’t focus on the past.  One of the dangers that we can all fall into in life is to focus on our past and struggle to move on past it.

Bitterness, unforgiveness, perceived injustice and blaming others can hold you back from grabbing your next chance with both hands.  I’ve noticed many people who start a new job, but continue to talk negatively about their previous employer, making it difficult for them to do a great job in their new role.

If you really want to take advantage of your second chance, don’t live with a chip on your shoulder regarding the past, but move on into your exciting future.

Be optimistic about the future.  When things go wrong in life, we can sometimes be hesitant to try again, living with a sense of shame, regret or even assuming that we are destined to not have a chance of success.

To take advantage of a second chance, you need to be optimistic about the future, realising that life doesn’t always go our way, that we all make mistakes and that we can’t change the past, but can impact the future.

As a Christian, I am encouraged by a faith in God that gives me reason for optimism.  I know that He never gives up on me and always gives me another chance after making a mistake.  For that I’m grateful.

Whatever your situation, there is hope.  Whatever your situation, it can get better.  Whatever your situation, there’s something that you can do.

When you get your second chance, make sure that you learn from the last time, don’t focus on the past and remain optimistic about the future.

And make the most of it!

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