Forget the mistakes

“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.

5 thoughts on “Forget the mistakes”

  1. I have had disadvantages from my past: Mostly they came out of indecisions or lack of definite goals and purposes. Indeed, I truly believe that we can apologize for past mistakes but it is an error to dwell on our past: this way we will not progress toward the future, we will not forgive ourselves nor others, we will not accomplish anything. We need to trust that God forgives us, that we are entitled to the fulfillment of our dreams and goals, and that we have been placed on earth to achieve happiness. Everybody deserves happiness. Thank you for your posting.

  2. It is really hard to forget the mistake I made. I blew my retirement fund, 100 grand on crack cocaine. My ex- boyfriend didn’t help me pay,k and I was stupid enough to share it with him. I am clean and sober now, and I can’t stop thinking about it, and I am sometimes suicidal. What can I do to forget about this?

  3. Though, someone may have read a lot of books, quotes or affirmation, they may find it difficult to get over their negatives thoughts from the past. The good thing about the past is that it is in the past. The best way to move away from the past and not be scared of the future is by living in the now. I reccommend reading ‘The power of Now’ by Eckart Tolle’. There are a number of inspirational people like Byron katie and Colin Tipping that allow you to forgive people who has hurt you and mostly to forgive yourself and set yourself free from the past

    Also, don’t be scared to seek help from life coaches. The NLP techniques called timeline therapy is good. It uses the past as a resource to heal the present and prepare you for the future. Check my website for some useful links and self help tools.

  4. I found your article whilst searching for some background material on life coaches. I’m doing research for my next management game. You have made me curious in reading more. I’ll follow you and see if you are able to provide some more interesting thoughts on this subject. Kind regards, Susan, professional life coaches games developer.

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