This is a tough one for me and probably for most people but it is helpful to remind ourselves often that our pasts do not have to equal our futures. Something in the human condition, maybe it is our overactive minds whirring away all the time, that makes us live in the past probably a bit too much. We all have regrets. Things we wish we had done differently or not done at all. Things we wish we hadn’t said or maybe we wished we had spoken up about something and we kept quiet. In some ways, I suppose regrets are fine. They mean that we have some kind of moral compass at least and they remind us that something wasn’t such a good idea and maybe not to repeat it in the same way. We learn and we adapt and we hopefully do better next time when we encounter a similar situation.
I think regrets are bad though, when they force us to spend too much time in the past. To dwell on should haves and could have beens when time can be much better spent making the most of the present. After all, the present will be the past soon enough and how would we like to look back on that?
The real problem here, is that too many people allow their past to define them, “I am this way because of”…I can’t do it because….happened to me” etc. What these thought patterns are doing are making the person a slave to their past, forcing them to relive unpleasant memories over and over. Affecting what they think, do and say in the present. Madness right?
One of the saddest parts of this is how the burdens of the past can affect all the people we relate to. Other people don’t necessarily know our past pains or shortcomings and we can’t expect them to fully understand what these obstacles were and how they make us feel now. So as well as a burden to ourselves, our past can rear its ugly head and through our own behaviour, can negatively influence others too and our relationships with them.
So what is the solution? I think it’s quite a difficult one and certainly something I struggle with myself. Your past feels intrinsically part of you most of the time – it is how you got here. It is a path that has shaped you into the person you are now.
All I can really say is personally, I have become increasingly aware of how crazy it is to dwell on something you have no control over, the past, memories, digging things up in the mind to relive more pain and suffer over again. Useful to remember something unpleasant if you are about to make the same mistake again but pointless and unproductive most of the time.
What I try to remember now is that baggage from the past should not cause restrictions and limitations in thinking and actions today. It is a constant battle to keep the past where it belongs but awareness about what is happening, when an old negative dialogue creeps into the mind, allows you to quash it quickly and move on.
Starting today, the potential to create something better for the future is pretty much unlimited. We should not let the past (or rather the baggage in our minds about the past) determine what our future looks like.
When I came across Stuart and Jay and The SFM, I realised I had found something that has enormous potential to change people’s lives for the better, including mine. I could build a business of my own using nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection.
Meet Stuart and Jay here and find out how the SFM is allowing ordinary people change their futures by building a business of their own, online, from anywhere they choose in the world.