So far I have shared 38 secrets to success and find myself wondering if there are any secrets left. But, everyday I encounter a new situation that teaches me a new life lesson that I feel compelled to pass along.
Lately, I have been meeting more new people. Meeting new people as opposed to continuing to engage with people that you already know involves you sharing some things from your past to help them get to know you. People who have known you for a while already have some knowledge of your past and have made judgements about who you are and what you will become based on what they know. I began to think about how much we allow our past to define our future.
Success secret #39… acknowledge the past, live in the present and plan for the future.
How many times have you allowed what has happened in your past to dictate your actions moving forward? Something tragic or unfortunate happens and you use it as a crutch to stop moving forward. How often do we get so caught up in the past or the future that we can’t appreciate today? How many of us are so busy that we have no time to plan for the future?
Doing all three takes focus and dedication to an end goal but it imperative that we acknowledge our past because if we don’t recognize the mistakes and celebrate the successes then it will be hard to move forward. All of life’s experiences combine to show us what we should AND should not be doing. However, we have to also be aware of our current circumstances. We have to have the ability to stop and smell the roses today because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. While doing those two things, we also need direction so that we are moving forward.
How do you do all of that? Three easy steps:
- Acknowledge your past by keeping a journal so that you can go back and reflect on some of life’s experiences. When you are in the middle of a storm it is often hard to see clearly ahead but once you have been delivered, you can go back and often identify what got you in the situation. It will also help you to remember some of your best moments more vividly. I don’t have a great memory so committing those experiences to paper brings a smile to my face when I can go back and read what I was thinking and how I was feeling.
- Live in the present by taking at few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on what happened during that day. Think back over the conversations that you had, some of the places that you went and allow your mind to replay the movie of your day. While in the hustle and bustle of a busy day, there are many things that we overlook but when you wind down and reflect, you are able to catch some little details that could help set you up for success the following day. (After your time of reflection, you should consider writing your journal entry.)
- Plan for the future and dare to dream. You have heard me say this many times before but the only limitations we have in life are the ones that we place on ourselves. Think about what you want out of your life, without regard for why you can’t but with the zest of how you will. This freedom of thought and vision is so powerful that you will become an unstoppable force in your own life.
My goal is for everyone I know to live their best life. I don’t have all of the answers but I have made peace with my past, live each day as if there is no tomorrow and believe that whatever happens next will be better than I ever imagined. This line of thinking hasn’t failed me yet so it could work for you too. Success doesn’t just happen, you have to create it…