Note: This is a guest post by Jeff Grundy of 30 Wasted Years
There are some people who are completely happy with themselves, their lives, and their prospects for the future. While they can be considered to be more fortunate than most, most who do not fall into that category are not as bad off as they tend to believe. Instead, they are simply lacking something, or making mistakes, which are standing in the way of their lives being as fulfilling as they would prefer. Some even go as far as to not realize the immense potential they possess.
What is the main difference between those lucky individuals whose lives seem to be wonderfully on-track and those who, often despite every step of trying on their part, appear to have all of the odds stacked against them? While in some cases it is a matter of some people having better luck than others, those whose lives are content in the moment and proceeding in the direction of their choice, do not live in the past.
Whether you are thinking about your personality or your life in general, success means focusing on the here-and-now. While it is important to acknowledge the choices and experiences which resulted in you being where you are today, it is equally important to not allow yourself to become so caught up in thoughts of the past that the present day passes you by.
Self-motivation is the key to ensuring that you do not continue repeating the same mistakes. You may have had one or more errors in judgment which led you to take the wrong path, or to make mistakes that were not in your best interest. You can acknowledge this without rehashing them over and over again in your mind, and simply be determined to make different, better decisions today.
Then is over; this is now. The less time and effort you put into looking at the past, the more you will have for living and experiencing this day. You will also find that letting go of the past will give you a deeper sense of strength. Instead of allowing past mistakes and worries to drain your energies, you will have a renewed energy to live your life to the fullest and enjoy it more.
Being content with yourself and optimistic about your future is not difficult. Whatever is in the past is over; learn from it and move on. When you are self-motivated enough to do this, you will see that moving ahead is the best definition of living life.
With that said, what can you do now? Sure it is easy for me to tell you to forget the past, yet it is a whole different practice to actually do it. Life is a complex set of events much of which of course is real, yet a large amount is just your view of what really happened.
Let me explain with an example. I know not everyone is a football fan but I am guessing most have watched at least part of a game on TV. Most plays and almost all the important plays are played over and over on the TV screen right after the play happened.
How many times have you watched a play and were certain and I mean certain of the outcome, say the player caught a pass, then watching the instant replay you realize you were totally wrong, the player dropped the pass. What you were certain you saw, never happened.
The first step in trying to minimize the effects of your past in order to concentrate on your future is to find out how much of the past that you are certain happened were just mistakes on your part.
A quick example might be as a teenager you tried to build a piece of furniture out of scrape wood in your father’s workshop. The piece of furniture looked good when you finished but fell apart before you could show your father and you assumed your were a lousy carpenter and the rest of your life you have avoided building anything. Yet the reality was the scrap wood you used was faulty and not your building ability.
Yet the rest of your life you have believed mistakenly you are a poor builder of things.
Jeff Grundy awoke one day wondering if he had wasted the last 30 years jumping from one self-help guru to another. The result is a podcasting mastermind, which encourages your comments. Learn about your Self Motivation at 30 Wasted Years .com.
Photo by sophiea
I totally agree with this: Focus on present! Live the moment, don’t think about the past or the future. It is not easy in some moments, but neither impossible. Live every day of your life like it would be the last one!
Excellent article. A great reminder to everyone – we all are guilty of reliving the past and wishing we did it differently. Thinking about it doesn’t change anything. Move forward and live for today!
Focusing on the present moment is critical to embracing life and living it to the fullest. Have you read The Power of Now? It’s a very interesting book (though some might say it’s a little extreme) and it really highlights how important the Now is. Thanks for the great post!
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