Yes, I recognize that we are already well over a quarter of the way into 2021. As we consider how to move forward into the rest of the year, I have a simple suggestion for you this week that will pay off for you not only for the balance of this year but many years into the future. As with almost anything worth doing, it is simple, but it’s not easy.
Thankfully, as things begin to recover from a year we hope we will never have to endure again, we can begin to gain perspective on all that has taken place in the last year or so. I realize that many have suffered significant losses of freedoms, jobs, and even loved ones. I am not suggesting we forget about those things and those people. I am suggesting we honor them by how we embrace our future.
No matter what degree of loss you experienced in 2020, and no matter how painful it may be to look back on last year, I want to encourage you to take a few minutes, or perhaps even a few hours, to reflect on everything you overcame last year. Not as a way of awakening the hurt and the loss, but as using the past difficulties as a guide for how you will move forward in the future.
When it comes to reflecting on the past, I cannot encourage you enough to use it as a teacher versus allowing it to rule over you and cloud your present and future with regrets and doubts. In other words, I want you to experience life happening for you and through you, rather than lamenting about what has happened to you.
So go ahead, take some time. I recommend you grab a notebook or a journal while you’re at it and think about the greatest difficulty you overcame last year. In fact, if it is easier for you, you can do this exercise anytime. Instead of going back to last year, go back to last month or last week. The exercise is the same, no matter the amount of time that you are evaluating.
Make a list of all of the difficulties and challenges you overcame. Write down the lessons you learned, the knowledge that you gained, and the things that you learned you don’t want to do anymore. I will caution you again to use this exercise for what it is intended. Learn from the past. Take the Thomas Edison approach. The inventor of one of the most useful things that we use every day said this about failing thousands of times before finally making the light bulb work: “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Once you have discovered the one or two most significant things that work, you are ready to move on to your greatest opportunity. Again, I suggest taking some time with it while compiling a list of the biggest opportunities available to you in the next few weeks and months. Don’t allow yourself to settle for mediocre. Dream big, plan big, and visualize something that could only be accomplished if God is in the middle of it. I mean, if you’re going to imagine what is possible, why limit yourself?
Armed with this motivation and knowing what you have overcome in the past, you will have a winner’s mindset that will be almost impossible to fail. Yes, the best way to predict the future is to create it. And you, my friend, have just as much ability to do that as anyone else does. In fact, I would go one step further and say that only you can do what only you can do, and if you fall short, you deny the world something that no one else can create. If you need to borrow my belief in you for yourself until you develop your own, I give you permission. And I give you permission to start today.
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