Are you ready for 30 things in 30 days? If so, then let’s dive in.
I figure that if we’re going to get this party started, then let’s go for something BIG right out of the gate.
The first challenge I’m going to throw out is maybe the most important one of the bunch. It may not be the easiest to apply, but if you put it into practice, it will have the most lasting and significant impact in your life. So here it is…
LIVE in the present.
It’s sort of trick challenge, in that, the present is actually the only time you’re really alive anyway.
Still, many people, and you may be one of them, find new and creative ways to dwell on the past or imagine a different future, all the while missing out on the actual life that is happening in the here and now.
I heard someone say that you will be achieving at the highest level in life when you have made peace with your past and feel excited about your future, but are embracing your life in the present. I really think that sums it up.
Here’s the scoop; you can’t go back. At least not physically. Whatever has happened in the past is now filed away as history. It’s to your advantage to embrace what has happened to you, and to acknowledge that your past is what has made you the person you are today. Even if you’re not in the place you really want to be or even think you should be. Your past has been a great teacher and a great warm up for the NOW.
Your past doesn’t define who you will ultimately become, unless you let it. You don’t have to make the same mistakes you’ve made in the past, unless you ignore the lessons. And you don’t have to run from your past, because it isn’t chasing you. I guess I should say that if your past includes not paying your taxes for several consecutive years or breaking the law in some other way, well, then yes, it may in fact be chasing you…so you better get that cleared up. However, assuming you’re not on the lam, the past is not a place you can ever go back to, so stop trying.
Make peace with your past instead. What does that mean?
Making peace with your past means letting go of regret. It means forgiving yourself for the poor decisions or other missteps you’ve made. These “mistakes”, which are probably better referred to as lessons, have led to the situations you are now experiencing. While these circumstances may be less than stellar, learn to see your past as a great teacher and guide and not as a waste of time, talent, or life. Make peace with your past.
Your past is a great indicator of the way not to do things moving forward if you’re looking for a different outcome. Even if you’ve failed many times, take the persepctive that Thomas Edison had when he said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb”. Then he went on to invent it.
Your past is a wonderful indicator of how you might change your habits in order to begin creating the amazing future you know you were meant to experience.
So what of this amazing future? What’s the rub there?
The rub there is that you can’t live in the future any more than you can live in the past. Once again, many people try. In fact, there are a lot of people who spend so much time day dreaming about the future they wish they had, they literally miss out on the life that is happening to them every day. This doesn’t usually end well. What these folks find is that because they never took advantage of the time they were truly alive, the future they wanted was never being cultivated. So the future they dream of never really becomes a reality. It only happens in their drooling fantatsies.
You should be excited and confident about your future, but in order to make it a reality, you need to initiate the progress in the present. Everything you will ever become, and everything you will ever accomplish will be the result of what you are doing, saying, thinking, and feeling right now. And that means every “right now” that you have. Each moment that you’re alive and drawing breath is a new opportunity. You’ve probably heard it said that the past is gone and the future is not promised…today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present. People, that’s the stone cold truth!
You’re alive now. And now is the only time you’re alive. Now is the time to get started on that project, embark on that new regiment, or begin to change that habit. Now is the time to make that phone call, read that book, or have that conversation. Now is the time that anything and everything gets done and is experienced.
To immediatley improve your quality of life, you simply need to make sure you’re here while it’s happening. It’s happening now. Make it count!