It is hard to believe that we are coming to the close of the year and before long the snow will fly, we will get an extra hour of sleep that will be taken away in the spring, and new year’s resolutions will be made and then later forgotten. However, there is one thing that comes to mind when times are difficult, challenging or unexpected. Maybe there is a situation in your personal or professional life that has had its grip on you and it is time to let go. Maybe you have been in a leadership role but lack the adequate resources to initiate the change needed. Maybe you have recently lost a job or a long-term client. Whatever the reason, remember to cut yourself some slack.
All of us have made mistakes. All of us have made poor decisions. Sometimes those decisions have lost us friends. Maybe it has cost people their jobs. Perhaps you had to file for bankruptcy. Regardless of the reason, remember that our experiences shape us. How we respond to adversity determines our future, not our present situation. As the remaining days of the year pass, I challenge you to consider what the next chapter of your life, both personal and professional, will look like.
Don’t let your past mistakes, failures and shortcomings hold you back. Likewise, don’t let the successes of yesterday cause you to stop moving forward. I once heard John Maxwell say at a conference that he had been speaking with someone who felt that the best was behind him and that there was no point to even try to improve. John simply responded by asking if it was time to bury him in the ground. After all, if there was no reason to try to achieve at a higher level, his purpose must have been fulfilled. The point I am trying to make here is that whether it be from failures or successes, don’t look back on the past as an indication of the future. Even financial advisors and stock trading commercials will tell you that previous performance is not and indicator of future success. So why should we believe that about our own situations?
If you are ready to move to the next chapter of your life, step out with boldness. A common sales quote says that “if you want to double your sales, you need to triple your fails.” Simply put, get out there and do the work and don’t look back on the disappointments and don’t assume that your previous success will sustain you either. Just as the image at the top says, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” It is time to let go of anything holding you back (including excuses) and go become the best version of you. You need it, your family needs it, and this world needs you to be the best you. If you are up to the challenge, start writing the next chapter today.