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The Secret of Starting Over: Edward Hartwig (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Edward Hartwig’s talk titled “The Secret of Starting Over” at TEDxAmRingSalon conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


A Sudden Decision

Last week, I decided to leave my job. It happened rather unexpectedly, to be honest, and late at night. And at the time, my wife wasn’t home, and so when she did get home, she came to the door and she said, “How was your day?” And I said, “I left my job.”

And she said, “Really?” And I have to explain the situation, because there’s two things you need to know. One, my wife is extremely gullible. And over the years, I may have taken advantage of that for my own personal amusement here and there.

And two, I was smiling the entire time I said it. So I don’t think that she believed a word of what I was saying. So for about three minutes, it went like this. “Really?” “Yes.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Really?” “Yes.” Until it finally sunk in that I wasn’t kidding.

A New Perspective

The next day, I was having lunch with a friend. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. We were kind of catching up, and so I told him the story. But I added, “You know, this morning when I woke up, I thought I would have regrets.” I made the decision almost instantaneously. But I didn’t. I felt great. I’ve never felt this good in my life.

Now, to be honest, this isn’t the first time that this has happened. Over the last 20 years, the time which I’ve been working, I’ve started over a few times. I’ve been a plumber and a carpenter. I’ve been a bike mechanic and a salesperson. I’ve been a researcher and an editor. I’ve been an investigator. I’ve been a trial attorney. I’ve done crisis management. I have planned logistics for events like this, although not as well.

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