So many people spend their lives looking back. They live in the glory (or frustrations) of days gone by. I have never met a successful person who has not let go of the past. In fact, the people I know who struggle to accomplish anything of meaning in their lives fail to let go of yesterday. They are battling an enemy that has no real power in their lives. Given freedom from this enemy, they can and will change who they are and where they are going. They simply need to “let go.”
Do you need to let go? Are you battling an enemy that only exists in your mind? Let’s examine these 3 principles to determine if you need to “let go” and “move on.”
1. Do you collect and store mementos from your glory days? If you have a letter jacket, awards, jerseys, ribbons and medals that are more than three years old, you are drowning in yesterday. Here is what to do: 1) Take them out. 2) Examine each one. 3) Enjoy a positive memory from that experience and then 4) discard that old junk. These mementos are keeping you in the past and not allowing you to think to the future.
The exception to this standard of positive progression is any single item that is very rare and represents accomplishment at the top of the competition. An Olympic medal, a state championship ring, a Grammy Award, or a degree earned should be kept, but only as a reminder of your ability to achieve.
2. Do you display tons of photos of your marvelous friends? Is your home or apartment cluttered with images of people who you rarely see? Success in life is about new experiences and new relationships. Taking a little bit of time to examine pictures and consider friendships is very important, but not for the reasons most people think.
Look at those pictures and ask yourself these questions: 1) Are these people critical to you and your life today? 2) Were they thrown at you by virtue of age, class, territory or chance? 3) Are these the people that can make your future great?
If they don’t have significant meaning to you today, it is time to move on. Old friends inadvertently will try to keep you in the same social position you were in the past. People like you who read blogs and listen to podcasts have grown and have increased your influence in society. People like you cannot afford to be pulled back into who you once were and the social position you held “back in the day.” You cannot continue to be limited by your past. Cut weak or damaging relationships as if they are a bad habit...move on.
3. Do you have anger or hurts that continue to plague you? Consider your anger and hurts and choose to forgive. Every one of us has been hurt by friends, parents, teachers, bosses, or clergy. It is time to leave that in the past. What you drag into your future will limit your success. Your future is valuable and is molded by your new found positive attitude.
Three statements to speak that will help you leave the past where it belongs:
1. The past was great but the future is going to be even better.
2. I am the average of the five people I spend time with. I should choose carefully.
3. I forgive those that have hurt me because I am focused only on the future.
If you choose to take control of what is in front of you and forget what’s behind, you can accomplish anything you set your sights on. You must let go of the past to have a truly glorious future.
“Those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy