Posted by Todd Smith
In today’s lesson you will learn if you want to enjoy greater success, both personally and professionally, you must put the past behind you and focus on your future. You will also learn the process I have used to move beyond my countless failures to create an amazing life. Are you ready to put the past behind you and design your future?
Are You Being Haunted From the Past?
I once had a friend tell me that everyone in her family was experiencing emotional, physical, or financial stress. My heart went out to her family. Then I thought, but who hasn’t felt stress in at least one of these three categories?
So many people are dealing with other disappointments, failures, and even deep-rooted issues dating back to their childhoods. The problem is when we become excessively preoccupied with these experiences.
Learn From the Past
Here is what I know from failing my way to the top. If you continue to dwell upon your past failures, loses, and disappointments, you cannot advance your life personally or professionally. The negative emotions generated when you think of things that bring you down prevent you from enjoying and advancing your life forward.
Jim Rohn, one of my favorite teachers, said, “We must not beat ourselves to death with past mistakes, faults, failures, and losses. The greatest opportunity today brings with it is the opportunity to begin the process of change.”
Take Action in the Present
How much time do you spend thinking about things from your past that have a negative effect on your emotions?
Why not make today the beginning of a new life? Why not make it a new chapter in your biography? It’s your choice.
Let me share with you the process I use to deal with anything that has a negative emotional drain on me. Perhaps it can help you.
1. I always try to keep a positive attitude and look at my challenges as opportunities where I can grow as a person. The periods of time when I have grown the most as a person have come after my failures. I’m convinced that you can work through any challenge that comes your way if you look at it as an opportunity to become a better person.
2. I accept responsibility for my decisions as I analyze what went wrong. This process may take from five minutes, if it is a small failure—to a couple hours, if it’s a sizable one. The longest time I’ve invested in dissecting a failure was two days. It was a giant fiasco.
3. Once I’ve learned all I can learn from a specific issue, I burn it and move on. I absolutely refuse to allow myself to think of negative, self-defeating thoughts because I know that negative thinking can destroy every part of my life, including my health.
4. If people involved have hurt me, I forgive them and do all I can to restore my relationship. Not only do I believe it is the right thing to do, but I’ve learned it’s a small world and when you treat people the way you would want to be treated, it always pays off.
Create Your Future
Going through this process is easier said than done. In fact, I don’t think there is any time when my self-control is tested more than when I am trying not to think of a distressing thing that has happened. Every time I catch myself thinking about one of my failures or faults, I have a firm conversation with myself and I say, “I’ve learned all I can learn. I can’t change what has happened. I refuse to think about it any longer!” Then using my self-control I change what I am thinking about.
On my big failures, I may have this tough conversation with myself 20 times before I am able to finally stop thinking about it. But with every challenge I have faced thus far in my life, I have been able to use this process to move on and not allow it to negatively affect my life.
If you find yourself experiencing negative emotions from anything in the past, try this process and see if it works for you.
As I conclude this lesson, I want to challenge you to draw a line in the sand separating your past from your future, and to begin focusing 100% of your emotional energy on creating your future. You can do it!
If you are ready to begin living the life you have dreamed of—both personally and professionally—sign up for my daily lessons. I promise to give you my best each day.
If you have found a good way to deal with negative issues from your past, I invite you to share your story in the comments section below this post.
You can enjoy an amazing life, if you put the past behind you and focus on the future.
Emotions, Encouragement, Failure, Relationships, Self-Talk
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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