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5 Things You Can Do Today to Free You from Your Past

A quote by footballer, Lionel Messi: "You can't let success diminish the desire to be a winner. There's room for improvement in every sportsman."

Messi's wisdom isn't confined to the football pitch; it resonates powerfully in the realms of life and business. One obstacle that prevents people from improving is that they dwell in the past. Let me explain.

The Echoes of Past:

We've all encountered individuals basking in the glow of past triumphs, hoping that the radiance will carry them forward indefinitely:

"I used to have a 30-inch waist" or "I used to be a size 2."

"I received a varsity letter for high school football."

"Five years ago, my business was voted ‘Number One’."

The nostalgia for the "good old days" manifests in various forms. “Great… your business was voted ‘Number One’... FIVE YEARS AGO! So what? What about right now? As I stand in front of you? As I’m about to do business with you? As I’m about to give you my money? What kind of experience will I have, now?”

And then there are those who are haunted by past failures:

"I was fired from my first job as a store clerk."

"I want to be a writer. I tried, but I just can't find the time. I guess it's not meant to be."

"I was kept back a grade in elementary school."

As if that incident in third grade will dictate the rest of their life. It won't. Unless they allow it to. The excessive baggage they carry around with them eventually leaves no room for the new, the current, or the future.

Learning From the Past:

Certainly, learning from the past is invaluable. If a job dismissal resulted from habitual tardiness, the lesson is clear—take actions to be punctual. However, there's no need to perpetually revisit the narrative of being fired. Unnecessary baggage.

Similarly, if my waist size is no longer a 30 (which it isn't anymore), the lesson is... that I need to start eating better and be more active to trim down (I am). Carrying the past waist size as a burden is futile. And truthfully, no one really cares. Unnecessary baggage.

BREAKING FREE FROM THE PAST: 5 Things You Can Do Today to Free You from Your Past

  1. The Wall of Liberation: Whenever you find yourself living in the past, picture this: a metaphorical wall trailing behind you, preventing you from looking at your past. You can't look over it, and you can't look around it—always a few steps behind, urging you to stay focused on the present or looking forward to the possibilities of your future.

  2. Daily Gratitude: Start each day by reflecting on three things you're grateful for in the present. These can be small or significant aspects of your life. Writing them down in a journal can enhance the practice. By cultivating gratitude for the current moment, you shift your focus away from past concerns and become more attuned to the positive aspects of your present reality.

  3. Future Goal Setting: Set specific, achievable goals for the future. Break them down into smaller tasks and create a timeline for their accomplishment. This forward-looking approach redirects your energy toward constructive actions and aspirations. Regularly revisit and adjust your goals as needed, ensuring they align with your evolving vision for the future.

  4. Declutter: Physically declutter your living and working spaces. Tidy up and remove items that evoke memories of the past, especially those that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy. A clean, organized environment fosters a sense of renewal and provides room for new experiences. The act of decluttering can help you let go not only of the physical reminders of the past, but of the emotional ones as well.

  5. "Present Moment Ritual": Designate a specific time each day for a present-moment ritual. It could be as simple as taking a mindful walk, enjoying a cup of tea without distractions, or spending quality time with loved ones without the interference of electronic devices. During this ritual, consciously immerse yourself in the current experience, appreciating the sights, sounds, and emotions. The consistent practice of being fully present in these moments reinforces the habit of letting go of the past and embracing the richness of the now.

In the end, Messi's message calls for continuously looking to be the best... to improve... to learn. But that can only happen by liberation from the chains of yesterday, be it in life or in business. Let the echoes of the past serve as lessons, not burdens. Break free from the baggage and stride confidently into the limitless possibilities of the present and the future.

A Wardrobe Update:

As a parting thought, while we’re at it… get rid of that varsity jacket and those skinny jeans if they don’t fit anymore. I’m just saying.

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