by Bryan Golden
“It’s not about going back to the way things were. It’s about letting life bring you to something new.”
Time only moves in one direction, forward. Life moves in the same direction. Yet, many people spend far too much time looking behind them. You can never go back to the way things were nor are there any do-overs.
The big challenge is to cut free from the past in order to maximize your future. When one hangs on to the past it becomes an anchor, either limiting or preventing forward movement. This causes a lot of frustration which further compromises the future.
Moving forward requires looking ahead. Age is often used as an excuse for not looking ahead. You will never be as young as your are today. So you can’t use age as a reason for not doing what you want. It’s imperative that you have a mental picture of where you want to go.
Looking back is only important for what you can learn. Living is accomplished by moving forward. Although it’s a simple concept, we are all conditioned to spend too much energy lamenting that which already happened.
Imagine trying to drive by only looking in the rear view mirror. You certainly wouldn’t get very far. But this is exactly what happens when you keep your mind in the past. And then you can’t understand why you have trouble moving forward.
To move forward, the most important question to answer is “where do I go from here?” Formulating a response acknowledges the past but forces you to focus on the future. Conditioning yourself to ask and answer this question regularly is a good first step to maintaining forward momentum.
What’s already happened is over. What is, is. All you have influence over is what to do next. You can do nothing and watch life pass you by. You can complain about what you should have done and watch life pass you by. You can act like a victim, refusing to take responsibility for your situation, and watch life pass you by.
Or you can move forward, working on improving yourself and your circumstances. Moving forward is proactive and effective. Anything else is passive and ineffectual. Don’t underestimate the power of taking control of your destiny by moving forward.
Once people decide they want to get the most from life, they have taken the first step. The next step is making a commitment to move forward. Continuing in this direction should last for your entire life. You are never too old or too young.
Those who age most rapidly are the ones who, for whatever reason, stop moving forward. Conversely, people who maintain a vibrant determination to accomplish as much as they possibly can, are happier, healthier, and project an energy that makes them seem younger than they are. I’m sure you have met people like this. There’s no reason you can not be one of them.
It’s really not hard to move forward. It just takes consistent practice to transform your behavior patterns. Never tell yourself you can’t do it. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to discourage you from making progress.
Even though moving forward may feel difficult, the alternative offers no benefits and certainly no future. If you are not yet moving forward, you know you are not as happy as you could be. If you are already moving forward, you may wonder why everyone doesn’t do so.
Wherever you are now, you can begin to move forward today. Don’t waste any more time waiting, get started and get going. You will be glad you did.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden