“Do not dwell upon the sins and mistakes of yesterday so exclusively as to have no energy and mind left for living rightly today, and do not think that the sins of yesterday can prevent you from living purely today.” – Byways of Blessedness
It’s been said that the majority of conversations by men over 40 are about the past — sometimes it’s about the “good old days” and sometimes it’s about the deals gone bad, the “if I only had” stories, the missed opportunities, etc.
Letting our “sins and mistakes of yesterday” dominate our thinking today robs us of our present joy and our future happiness. It causes us to miss the real opportunity of TODAY!
John Maxwell, in his outstanding best seller, Failing Forward, gives some great practical advice: “To move forward today, you must learn to say good-bye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies and baggage. You can’t build a monument to past problems and fail forward.
“Take time right now to list the negative events from your past that may still be holding you hostage. For each item you list, go through the following exercise:
1. Acknowledge the pain.
2. Grieve the loss.
3. Forgive the person.
4. Forgive yourself.
5. Determine to release the event and move on.”
Your best days are definitely ahead of you if you treat your “mistakes” as necessary lessons to be learned. If you understand that each lesson brings with it a certain amount of wisdom, you can understand how truly enhanced your life is becoming. 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.
One of my all-time favorite affirmation verses comes from the Apostle Paul who said, “…but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal...” One of the best teachings I ever heard on this was from a motivational speaker whose name has escaped me, but whose message didn’t: “In life there are no mistakes, only lessons.”
And that’s worth thinking about.
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