” Many people can’t achieve the success of their dreams because they won’t leave their past behind. They won’t tear down the monuments they’ve built to their old hurts and problems.” ~Vic Johnson
We all have things in our past that we are ashamed of. Certain things we did, which at the time based on our limited knowledge or experience felt just like what we ought to do. We had sevearl reasons for doing those things either justifiable or otherwise. It could have been the need to feel good, peer pressure, the desire to belong, not to be left out, trying to prove a point and so on…
Just as to every action there is a reaction, there is also a consequence for every right or wrong action. If we failed to study for exams, but rather partied and spent our time doing the wrong things, the result is almost certain – failure. If we fail to take care of our health, indulge in reckless living and habits, there will always consequences. I lost a precious opportunity a few years ago, because of some bad decisions I had taken 15-20 years ago. At that time, I didn’t think about the long term consequence of my actions.
For example, I was offered a lucrative job opportunity some years back where I basically met all the criteria, except for the fact that my French was poor. I had one of the best French teachers while in school, but I never took the classes serious. When I had the opportunity to work for a French multinational energy company years later, another opportunity was presented, this time I was a bit more interested and focused, yet I didn’t have the discipline to complete the classes and take some vital advices I was given then.
So, when this opportunity came, I realized that I had missed a golden opportunity not just from an economic standpoint, but also the chance to be fluently bilingual.What bad choices did you make in the past and what were the repercussions? I’d love to hear your story. Have you made a mistake in the past? Did you give up as a result of that? Don’t let the past hold you down. You are not your mistakes or your past.
It was Walter Anderson who said ” Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself ”
I have learned to respond to my bad choices by making better decisions, taking those moments not as mistakes but learning points and I’m getting better day by day as a result of that. I have not yet arrived, but I am sure making progress. Since cannot change the past, what do you do? I’d say never stop learning and growing. Don’t be limited by past mistakes, learn from it and resolve to become a better person. Therefore, take responsibility for your past. It’s one of the greatest forms of human maturity.
Are there things like an irreparable or an unredeemable past? Is it possible for past actions to have a lasting, irreversible impact on the present and future? Are there things in one’s past that could forever limit one’s chances to do well or to have a better future? Is it true there are no second chances in life? What do you think? Share your thoughts. I’d like to learn from you.
In learning to deal with setbacks and failures, one of the books which I came across and found helpful for anyone in the same situation was written by Francine Shapiro. It is titled “Getting Past Your Past. Below is a short excerpt I took from the book.
Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by memories and experiences we may not remember or don’t fully understand. Getting Past Your Past offers practical procedures that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to achieve real change.
Shapiro, the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), explains how our personalities develop and why we become trapped into feeling, believing and acting in ways that don’t serve us. Through detailed examples and exercises readers will learn to understand themselves, and why the people in their lives act the way they do. Most importantly, readers will also learn techniques to improve their relationships, break through emotional barriers, overcome limitations and excel in ways taught to Olympic athletes, successful executives and performers.
You can get a copy of the on Amazon via the link below depending on where you live. For those in the US, click this link Getting Past Your Past , while those in the UK can click here and for those in Canada. If you are in Nigeria or anywhere in Africa you can get a copy via this link, just type the title and hit the search button.