Yes, yesterday must have been something amazing! Why is that? Because so many people seem to want to live there!
No, not the actual day, but the past. It seems to carry with it something magical, entrenching itself into the very depths of cognitive reason. So much so, that ‘tomorrow’ is hardly even noticed. Everything revolves around what once was, not what could be. I find this disturbing, from a business perspective.
Learn the lessons of yesterday . . .
Yes, it is important to reflect upon what we have done. Both the good, and bad, and learn from each. Discover how to avoid the pitfalls we made, and embrace those aspects that allowed us to move forward. Yesterday has lessons from which we can realize a greater potential for tomorrow. But it is not a place to linger.
There is nothing wrong with looking at past accomplishments (good/bad) and recounting how it affected the choices you made that propelled you ahead. When speaking at seminars, business groups, or even with close associates, I often talk of what specific actions influenced decisions.
It is how we learned, and those observations, when passed along, may help others. Showing the process of how you moved from there into where you are headed can add value to not only others but yourself. Reminding ourselves of obstacles we have overcome can help us meet ones yet to be faced.
. . . but don’t live there!
When we choose (yes, it is a choice we make) to dwell in the past, we willingly relinquish our future.
Basing decisions solely upon what worked yesterday means that you will NEVER see anything more than what you already have. True, you need to build off what provides results. Don’t arbitrarily toss out a concept that is delivering. But only considering how decisions you make today will relate to the past, and not the future, can be a recipe for disaster.
Often, the most overlooked mistake we have made in the past, and continue to make, is not learning that remaining where we were is limiting where we can go.
Comfort. Something to seek, or not?
You know that ONE chair we all have that when we sit down, it seems like all the pressures of the day just disappear? I have one, in my office, that is so comfortable I can easily fall asleep and let the world pass me by. Don’t wake me up! Just let me take some time away.
Our past can become that. Comfortable. No hidden surprises, no pressures, just what we know and can deal with. It can be nice to relax, not have to think or work much. Just drift along, peacefully.
When we don’t seek out challenges, get ‘uncomfortable’, we tend to over react when they intrude upon our lives. They bring chaos to our world.
When we place ourselves in such situations – reactive, not proactive – we tend to revert back towards a time when we had control. Further entrenching ourselves in the past rather than to chance the future. And the cycle repeats until we no longer have the ability, or desire, to build for tomorrow. We once again are what we once were. And we shut the door leading out.
Sound the alarms! Wake up! Take Action!
When that office chair entices me to seek out its comfort, before I submit, I set an alarm.
There are times when what we all need most is to escape. Take a timeout. Regenerate, regroup, revitalize.
I am no different. But I know that if I take too long, get too comfortable, things can quickly escalate, making it even harder to continue. To avoid that, I make sure that I get some time, but come back again to renew my efforts.
What I am seeing, though, is that a lot of people are seeking out that comfort, but no alarms are going off.
Many are not even happy but are so caught up in the past that led them to where they are, they can’t see how staying there is the problem. It is ‘easier’ to remain where they have been and make excuses than to face the challenges needed to move forward.
It is not a singularity, but across a wide spectrum of business discussions, I encounter.
I want to just tell people to wake up! Take action! So, to that end, here is YOUR alarm! (may want to turn down the volume)
Don’t be a Chicken Little. The sky isn’t falling. Get uncomfortable! Take action to face the challenges head on. Make changes as needed. Learn from the past and build for the future. Wake up, and do the Happy Dance!
I truly hope that I see more discussions about how to build a better tomorrow than how great the past was. The past is gone. Find the means to move forward. Start looking for the changes that improve your business. They are there. Waiting.
But unless you take action to find them now, they may as well join the long list of opportunities missed you will be talking about in another discussion, at another time, when living in yesterday.
With Sincere Thanks
“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”
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