Stephen Covey once said, “Start with the end in mind.” It’s a great way to think about life because it helps you take what you’ve learned looking through the rear view mirror of your life and use it to motivate you to tear it up in the years to come. Even if you’ve made mistakes, blown it big time, or just haven’t made the most of your life, a glimpse backwards can help you plan for a more passion filled and exciting tomorrow.
How? By learning how to switch lenses on how you view your life and the mistakes you’ve made. Most of us want to hit the delete button on the difficult places in our lives; the places where we’ve failed, fell short, or made mistakes. Those, however, are the best places to learn from and grow if we’re willing to take a few risks. Here are a few things to consider that will help you get a different perspective:
Life requires we take inventory of how we’ve lived and how we want to move forward starting from today. Most of us change as we grow older and that means what’s important to us changes too. Each year make a list of your core values and the things that are most important to you. Don’t judge yourself from the past; there is no life there. Moving forward requires you look at where you’ve been, accept your mistakes, and see what you’ve learned. Then you can construct a game plan for the future.
To move forward you need to stop telling yourself what a failure you’ve been, how you’ll never be able to change, how stupid you were for doing this or that, and all the other negative self-talk you say to yourself. All the negative attributions we make against ourselves have a profound affect on our mood and feelings. It also wires our brain to believe that stuff.
Just take a look around at all the famous people who have re-invented themselves attempting to stay on top of their game. Movie stars, sports figures and politicians all do it; so can you. The idea is to make your comeback one of integrity.
Sometimes we hurt the people we love the most in life by the decisions we make. If repair attempts need to be made, don’t put them off. Ask for forgiveness and move on. Starting with the end in mind means you think about how you want to be remembered in life.
Living in reverse allows you think about how you want to be remembered. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? If you start with the end in mind that will be a great springboard for you to contemplate how you’ve lived, what changes you need to make, and what you want those closest to you to say about you after you’re gone.
If you’ve found yourself sitting on the sidelines of life, now is the time to get off the bench and get back in the game. You may feel being on the bench is the safer bet, but you’re not living on the sidelines, you only observing. It’s time to step out and risk not only re-entering the game, but tearing it up. Start by formulating one goal and break that down into smaller sub-goals for greater clarity. There is wisdom in counsel so seek out someone who you admire and learn from them. Surround yourself with quality people who are moving forward.
Leaders are teachable. They recognize they don’t know it all, so they seek wise counsel, they study, and they recognize their blind spots. Find someone who knows you well who will be honest with you about your ideas and tell you the truth about your blind spots.
Back at you: What things are hindering you right now from making a fresh comeback? What first steps might you need to take to put those things in order? What short -term goals can you come up with right now to start? You have what it takes to reach your goals so use these strategies to jump- start your