I've continually reinvented myself long before I had to. I grew up in poverty and I always felt that monster chasing me.
But if there is one thing that I have seen repeatedly, it's people get comfortable and complacent with their situations and falsely believe the monster will never catch them.
Many people stop pushing themselves after comfort comes. Stop learning and growing.
I once worked with someone I now consider a good friend who had been at a company for nearly a decade in the same role. When I got there, he taught me and mentored my technical skills. Then within a year, I landed a role that paid 25% more than he made. I know because I told him and he was shocked. He had never even tried to get more. But that was the jolt, the wake-up call he needed. Within a year, he sharpened his skills, learned several others, and landed a role that netted him over a 50% raise.
If we are forced to reinvent ourselves after we are out of a job, out of money, or see the end coming, that hail mary will always be worse than if we had done it sooner.
Other folks on that team stayed put, happy, and in comfort. The next time the company had layoffs, they all struggled to land something. Beaten, stressed, and demoralized is not the best way to reinvent yourself. Not for people, not for companies, not for anyone.
Reinvention is not just about building skills that pay more either; it's about diversifying out of single points of failure.
Contrary to what others will tell you, we don't need to kill ourselves to do this. Today, with the means of production becoming completely open, it has never been easier to diversify out of one thing and become far more valuable thanks to the internet. Of course, the more valuable we are to the world, the happier we will be too.
Reinvention brings about a different kind of happiness, comfort, and confidence.