Time seems to be the great immobiliser. I must admit I love to reminisce. I love to talk about how things used to be. I love to go to “back in times” parties and I love looking at old pictures.
“Bring back the ole time days” sang Nappy Mayers back in the day. However, we have to be very careful with regard to our time travel. Time can be our biggest enemy. In an effort to reclaim the past we often avoid the challenges and pressures of today whilst worrying about what the future may bring.
We have all met someone who lives perpetually in the past. They guy who can’t let go of his glory days as captain of the football team and all the adoration that was showered upon him. He was picked up by the national football team but was in a car accident right before training started. This effectively ended his career as a football star.
He does everything possible to forget the car accident that ended his career but finds himself instead reliving his high school days. It’s cost him his family and any decent career, since nothing is as good as the glory days. He cannot see all that he is missing in life. He’s alone and an alcoholic. The truly sad thing is that he’s a really nice guy, but he can’t even see that.
What about those of us who live in the future? The woman who is still waiting for her true love and refuses to move on with her life; the guy who moves from one big scheme after the other, dreaming of the day he’s rich telling everyone that his time is coming soon to cash in on all the time he’s invested; the guy who’s still pining for his ex-wife, waiting for the day she returns although it’s only been almost ten years since she left; the woman who puts most of her pay cheque into LOTTO tickets, dreaming of making a killing while letting her bills get to an unmanageable state.
These people and many more are missing out on the present. They lose opportunities for relationships, business and career successes.
And as focused as they are on the past or a future that hasn’t arrived they will never be happy in this life. Success will continue to evade them because you just cannot redo the past in the present, and always wanting something in the future keeps pushing it away from you, keeping you in perpetual “wanting” mode.
Eckhart Tolle was one of the first teachers to explore in detail the importance of living in the now. Now is all we truly have. The past is gone, and the future has yet to arrive. Living in either the past or future causes you to lose the now. Now is the only place that you can make a difference in your life. Not the past or future but right now!
Are you living in the past? Thinking of when business was better and you were making SO much money? When customers use to spend more and cost of living wasn’t so high? Good or bad you must confront and accept that the past has happened.
View it as a milestone — a marker — on your journey of setting and attaining goals. When reflecting on your past, note the things you learned. For the guy reliving his glory days he could look at what school sports taught him: leadership ability, teamwork and how to succeed then use those lessons to help himself in the present.
For the woman waiting on her one true love she might chose to acknowledge that what is for her cannot be “un-for her” to quote Joanne Kilgour, and that her true love will manifest in her life when she is ready for a loving relationship and commitment.
In the meantime, she can make a decision to live her life, developing friendships, and dating without immediately evaluating every man she goes out with as a possible husband.
Your past is full of facts and a lot of meaning that you attach to those facts and it’s the meaning that you create is what haunts you. It’s rarely the real facts.
Until you “let go” of the past and your made up stories about the past, new possibilities won’t occur for you. Note also that the people in your life won’t “show up” any differently to you. You will only see what is congruent with your story about them. So if today is pretty much the same as yesterday, if your business seems pretty much dull and unmoving and if this year is pretty much the same as last year, then I assure you that your past IS probably running your present AND your future.
There is a better way except you just can’t see it yet until of course you learn the lessons and use those lessons of the past to create that life and business you desire — in the now!
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