Yesterday, I came across a quote by Debbie Gibson (think 80’s singer) that said, “live your life facing forward, not looking back at your past.” So few words for such a powerful statement and it caused me to start to evaluate how I live my own life. Am I guilty of living in the past? Sometimes, as I think we all are. But mostly I try and focus on the hopes of tomorrow and that is what seems to fuel my soul.
There was a time in my life where it was all about the past. I focused on the things I had not done right. I wondered if the career path I chose could have been better. I wasn’t sure if I should have stayed in college rather than going in the military. So many questions that at the time seemed to have very few answers. However, I believe the older we get, the easier it is to look back on life as a whole and evaluate if the paths that you chose were really the right ones.
In all, my life has been pretty amazing. It was the dark times that became the stepping stones to the better ones. It was the trying times that prepared me to accept the good times and enjoy them for what they offered. Every decision I made along the way resulted in exactly where I am today. I learned from the bad decisions and altered course to make sure that I didn’t repeat the same mistakes. I enhanced my focus on the good decisions so that they could help guide me to an even better place than where I was.
I think to some degree we all focus on our past. It is our past that has brought us to our present. I think what Debbie Gibson was trying to say was that if we only live our life in the past we never get to the point where we can live life facing forward. At the end of the day what kind of life is that?
Think about it. We have no ability to change the last second that just happened. Yet we have every ability to change every second that comes next. Letting go of the past, yet using those experiences as learning tools, gives us the opportunity to make those next seconds something special. The entirety of the next moment rests in our hands and only we have to power to determine its outcome.
When times are tough and all we seem to be dealing with are problems, the hope for a better tomorrow becomes difficult. However, it is that very hope that helps us get to the better tomorrow and why it is so important for that hope to be maintained. Have you looked at how you live your life lately? Are you living in the past or are you living a life facing forward? My hope for you is that you are living the latter.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.