Can’t Change The Past So Stop Trying

Let your past stay in your past.  Focus on the present and future.It is an interesting human characteristic that we spend lots of energy trying to rework and change the past — at the same time, we fail to believe we can change our future!

A belief that the future is unchangeable (and actions/inactions that often reveal this hidden belief) is called fatalism.  It is a belief that fate is set.  The ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the Fates, three women who created the thread of life for each person, measured it out, then cut it, when it was time to die.  No beating the fates.

Que sera sera.  

“Whatever will be, will be.”

I think I much prefer (please excuse my attempt at translation),  Que fuera era. Whatever was, was.  That might be “reverse fatalism.”  The past has happened and can’t be changed.  But we do have some choice about how the future plays out.

We don’t have FULL control of our futures.  But we have much more than we often like to claim.  And that might be the better focus:  changing what we CAN change, what we CAN control.

The past is NOT part of what we can change.  The future (starting in the present) holds much more potential.

Join me as I explore this “Reverse Fatalism.”

RELATED RESOURCES:
Interview With Jack Canfield
Accepting What Is
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Consider Being A Patron


	

From “What If” To “What Is”

Shift from "What If?" to "What Is."We all can get lost in the Worries and Wishes.  We can lose our lives to “What If?”.

In the process, we lose focus on the present moment.  Instead, we focus on things that may never be, either worriedly or wishingly.

You see, your mind is excellent at scenarios that may play out in the future.  In fact, the scenarios and scenes are probably Oscar-worthy.

When I was sick, years ago, I realized that I could not live in the world of “What If?”  It took all of my energy to live in the world of “What Is”.

And it turns out, that was an important life lesson.

During my illness, of which there were some pretty significant (and deadly) consequences, I often said, “Let’s wait and see.”  When presented with potential effects of the illness, many told to me by well-meaning friends and family, I had to re-state, “Let’s wait and see.”

At least 95% of the “what if’s” never happened.

Isn’t that true with most of life?  Yet, we get caught up in those things down the road.  As Julius Caesar said,

As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.

And yet, those future scenarios do nothing to prepare us for what is coming our way.  We just pretend it does.  And as Leo Buscaglia reminds us:

Worry never robs tomorrow of sorrow.  It only saps today of its joy.

Let’s make a shift.  Let’s move from “What If?”  Instead, let’s embrace “What Is.”  That is enough for the moment.

RELATED PODCASTS:
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Stop Striving. Start Thriving.

Stop striving.  Start thriving.“Just a little bit further,” my brother kept telling me.  I was out of shape, trying to get to the top of the mountain.  Exhausted, I was just trudging along.

My brother, leading the way, kept reassuring me that it was just a few more switchbacks. . . and then, the summit!  It would be a beautiful view, he assured me.

Many promises of “just a little further” stacked up.  It was always “just a little further.”  I grumbled about understanding the Israelites as they followed Moses:  “Just a little longer in the desert, I promise!”

The trail was passing me by, but I was not noticing.  I just kept trudging along.  I missed the rhododendrons, the brook, the wildlife. . . pretty much everything along the way.  All to get to the summit.

We made it, but I missed the real treat:  the journey up.

Don’t we all do that?  We believe that life will start when we get to _________ (fill in the blank).  When we get our degree, when we get some money, when we get the promotion/job/career, when we have a child, when the kids are gone, when the house is paid off, etc., etc., etc.

The problem is, that point is usually just beyond where we are.  And in the process, we miss where we are.  We await the future and forget the present (“present” is my word for 2015).

STOP!

Stop striving.  Stop waiting for life to begin “when . . . .”

START!

Start thriving.  Start enjoying right now.  Start enjoying the process, on the way to what will be.

Join me in this week’s Thriveology Podcast, as I explore how to stop striving and how to start thriving.

(And here is the link to how to support the podcast.)

 

My Word for 2015: Present

This moment is all we have.  Be in it.Last week, I talked about my 1 word resolution.

This week, I want to tell you about my word.  See if it applies to you, too!

I often find myself impatient, caught in my thoughts, distracted by something else, or plagued by “What if?”, “If only. . .”, “Why?”, “When. . .”, or “I should. . . .”

Oh, I know better.  But I still fall into those traps.  I let those thoughts PULL me away from the present moment.

But I also know this:

This moment is all we have.  Be in it!

This moment passes.  Just like yesterday passed.  The next moment may or may not come.

Yet, we live much of our lives in thoughts of what happened, and fears of what might come.  Our thoughts of “what happened” are really our perceptions of what happened.  Our fears about what might come are not preparations — they are just fears.

We all exist in the present, between what was and what will be.  But we live in the only two time-frames of which we have no control.  We can’t change what happened, and we can’t know what will happen.

Which brings me to my word:  Present.

My task this year:  to be more present.  To be less distracted.  To live in the moment I am in. . . as much as possible.

When I fail?  That’s OK.  That moment passes, and I have a new opportunity to live in the present.

How about you?  Will you join me in the present?

Listen in as I admit my growing edge, and tell you how I will be more present.

 

This Moment Matters: Interview with Shawn Ellis, #42 Thriveology Podcast

Shawn-400x600We fill every day up.  In fact, we often fill every moment of every day up.

And the moments pass.  The days pass.

We move from crisis to crisis, event to event.

We try to do multiple things at the same time, and pretend it is a skill.

In the process, we miss out on the richness of this moment.  We miss out on being truly engaged in the world.

Today, I have a special guest, Shawn Ellis.

Shawn offers a different perspective.  What if THIS moment (and this one, and this one. . . ) matters?

To be more clear, what if WE realize that this moment matters?

Shawn, like me, is always learning and growing.  One day, he realized the moments were passing him by in a blur.  An entrepreneur, business owner, husband, and father, Shawn was pulled in all directions — defaulting to the myth of multi-tasking.

One day, he realized that life was passing him by, even as Shawn was trying to live.

What Shawn discovered is something he is now sharing with people and companies all over:  This Moment Matters.

After listening to our discussion, you can visit Shawn at This Moment Matters (http://thismomentmatters.com).