spiritual growth

The Thing I Learned From Never Looking Back

Often in life we seem to constantly dwell on our mistakes, on ‘what could have been’ or ‘what should have been’ and we lose sight of what we have right now. For some reason we seem to think that our best days are behind us and that we can never truly make up for our past. Let me tell you a little secret of mine…

Our present is an opportunity to reshape our past.

Our present is an opportunity to reshape our past. If we can prove to ourselves that the mistakes we have made or the things or people we have lost have empowered us to grow into a more positive person – then our past all of a sudden becomes something that was needed for us to grow. Let me illustrate with an example:

A man had lost his job because he couldn’t control his anger. He had trouble with self control when put in stressful situations. His outbursts had consequently led to the displeasure of his employer. He spent months following the incident thinking about what he could have done differently and still have the job that he loved, but he had thrown it all away. He wanted nothing more than to have his job back – but that was not in his control. He was a talented businessman but that didn’t change anything. What could he do?

The man first needed to accept that he had made an error and his mistake was completed. He had to realise that the job he had lost was gone for good, according to the things he could control. He needed to stop looking back at the things he didn’t have (his job) and focus on what he still had right now (talent as a businessman). It was important that the man understood that a lack of self control was the cause of the issue. He needed to fix this in order to prove that the situation he had gone through (losing his job) had empowered him to improve his self control. Something that could serve him later down the track.

Sometimes the past hurts and that is completely normal during difficult situations or new experiences.

Sometimes the past hurts and that is completely normal during difficult situations or new experiences. It can be painful to grow away from old habits or things that we are familiar with. We must risk the loss of something that still has possibility (getting his job back) in order to potentially gain something far greater (a better job and a better a sense of self control). The man needed to risk never getting the job back for the potential that a better job existed somewhere out in the world for him.

By never looking back during our process of growth we learn skills that we didn’t know we had – the ability to grow no matter what is happening around us, as well as to realise tools such as discipline that can help us to remain forward focused on our goals during stressful situations.

We must truly accept the past as unchangeable and accept it for what it is. We must realise that only by making better actions in the present we can diminish the worries of the past – but also give the past new meaning as a force that drove us to become better.

~ The Mind Connectory, 2018

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