The thought is so simple, but the past is one thing that is extremely difficult to let go of. We hold on to it as tight as we can, whether good or bad. We hold on to it in hopes that we can change it, bring it back or at the least, recreate the past. We think about all the bad days and experiences that we’ve been through. We think about all our mistakes made and conclude that those mistakes, those experiences are somehow holding us back.
Let me tell you that they’re not. As we hear all the time, the past is the past and that’s where it belongs. Behind us as we continue to move forward. There is nothing that you can do that will change anything in the past. It happened. Understand that it does not define you. You are not your past.
“You are not your past.” —Joe Rogan
At any moment and I do mean any moment, you can change and go in any direction that you wish because what you can change is your future.
Just because you have done something in the past the same way over and over and over again does not mean that you must keep doing it that way. You can change it.
“If you don’t like the way things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” —Jim Rohn
You can change the nights out drinking, the endless procrastination, the mediocre work, the negative talk, the estranged relationship and the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. You can change all of it. Just because it hasn’t changed in the past, just because YOU haven’t changed in the past does not mean that it won’t or that you can’t or won’t. You can change it now. You can change YOU now. This moment right here as you read this, you can change it. It’s not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, it’ll probably be really challenging, but I guarantee it will be worth it.
Embrace Your Mistakes
Mistakes are mistakes and it doesn’t matter who you are, you will make them. Although making a mistake feels wrong, it can be a great thing. Mistakes have taught us some of our most valuable lessons. Mistakes made are nothing more than experienced gained. So, when you make a mistake, embrace it. You don’t need to love it but embrace it and learn from it. The mistake is in the past, but you can leverage that mistake, leverage your past to change your future.
My stepdad (love you Jimmy) would always tell me that I always learn the hard way. And I did learn the hard way most of the time because it was difficult for me to just listen to my parents when they told me not to do something since I would only get hurt or get into trouble. Needless to say, I got into a lot of trouble and got hurt more times than I can count.
My stepdad tried to keep me from a lot of the hurt and trouble when he would tell me not to do something simply because he knew the consequences from experience. He wanted me to learn from his experience. His mistakes. So that I wouldn’t go through the hurt and trouble that he went through.
We don’t always have to make mistakes to learn from them. It’s always better to learn from others mistakes if you can. It can save you a lot of pain and trouble. That’s why it’s good to be a student of history.
Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others. Holding on to the past believing you are who you are, or you are where you are because of your past is nothing more than repeating your mistakes.
The Tough Road to Change
“Nothing in the world I worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” —Theodore Roosevelt
I mentioned earlier that it was not going to be easy. Anything worth doing is never easy. Understand that when you make changes in your life, especially drastic changes for your future, people are going to push back. They’re going to question what you’re doing, laugh and joke about what you’re doing, and /or give you every reason in the book not to do what you are doing. The people who are closest to you, friends and family, may be the ones that push back the hardest. More than likely it comes from a place of love and concern. Some people are just negative and close minded. Regardless of who or where it’s coming from, do not let it stop you from doing what is right for you. Do not let it any of it keep you from change.
It will not come without obstacles, pains, sacrifices and setbacks, but the rewards of getting through all of it are amazing. People might say you’re strange. They might say you’re weird. They might say you’re boring. Take a look at history my friend. Many of history’s greatest minds had the same said about them. So, if this is the case then you know you’re on the right track. As Dave Ramsey says:
“Live like no one else now so later you can live like no one else.”
Do not dwell on your past. You are not your past. You can change now in this moment. It will be difficult, and people will try to give you all the reasons not to, but if you stick with it, it will all be worth it. Remember that you are not a tree. You can change at any moment.