Living in the Past is Useless. Try this instead.

We can’t wish for the past. But that certainly isn’t stopping many people from doing just that during this difficult era. Keep reading for a free tool to help you if you’re having a difficult time right now.

Life is Tough Right Now

On three separate occasions recently, I spoke with people who witnessed a near-identical scenario unfold in their workplace.

The three people were all in meetings to review their respective employers’ most recent financial results. In all three cases, they were not good. Bad, awful & even worse, actually.

One told me focus of the conversation shifted to finding an acceptable reason upon which these dreadful results can be blamed so the shareholders will understand.

Thankfully, the reason is easy to find. It’s the pandemic. Or the economy. There’s nothing we can do. Damn government, it’s all their fault. Our competitors are in the same position. There’s nothing we can do.

The second person told me their post-results review conversation took a predictable turn.

Crystal wine glasses are raised to laughing lips and emptied down thirsty gullets, as participants tell story after story of good times, big bonuses, rising stock prices, increased sales and endless access to money. The group revisits its extraordinary successes back in the good days, when everything was as it should to be. 

“I sure wish those good ol’ days were back again.”

The third group was decidedly more downbeat.

Everyone was focussed on the hopelessness of their financial situation. They needed a strategy for survival. They had responsibilities which could not be taken lightly.

They decided would lay off another large chunk of people. No one acknowledged that an additional group of laid-off people without incomes and with no money to spend wouldn’t do much to help the economy recover.

It’s the darn pandemic. It’s the geopolitical situation. It’s the economy.

We Are All Struggling

Here’s the point.

Life often delivers things that we don’t want and that we didn’t sign up for:

A global pandemic.

A weak economy.

An awful boss.

A lousy job.

A horrible injury.

A devastating medical diagnosis.

A tough childhood.

Rejection.

Disappointment.

Regret.

Most of us experience a couple of these. I’ve personally experienced several.

We often spend time thinking and talking about what we or they could have, should have, ought to have, or shouldn’t have done to prevent it.

Regardless, all that is irrelevant.

Here’s the lesson.

It is what it is.

It Is What It Is

It’s a phrase so common as to have become cliché, but I do not mean it as sarcastic or insensitive. It is the absolute truth about our reality.

Whether we caused it, or not, it is what it is.

Whether we are victims, or not, it is what it is.

Whether we like it, or not, it is what it is.

Even though we’ve all heard this phrase dozens of times, most of us do not react to life’s trials with this attitude.

What we often do to make the pain of the reality subside, is reflect on past times when the pain wasn’t there. That can certainly be a component of grieving a loss.

But the past isn’t here anymore. It’s gone. It will never come back. We even have a name for it.

History.

While history can be a great teacher, living in it only provides a temporary escape form our present reality.

Whether we like it or not, we need to accept our negative situation in order to move onto a better one.

Accepting Reality Can Be Tough

The only thing we can do is choose how our misfortune will affect us, what we will do in response to it, and what actions we can take right now to influence our future.

We do this by using the greatest gift we have, the incredible gift of choice.

It is present with us every moment of every day. We can choose our reaction to our circumstances. We can choose our attitude. We can choose to move forward the best we can.

One of my most important recommendations for accepting hardship, and indeed moving past it, is using affirmations.

What are Affirmations?

By taking control of what you tell yourself, you assist your subconscious in helping make your desires a reality. That, in a nutshell, is what affirmations are all about. You simply repeat carefully selected phrases to yourself throughout the day. It can seem odd or even silly to use affirmations when you first start, but it works. If you want results, I suggest at least trying them out.

I’ve created a free downloadable Affirmations Planner. It can help you set the right affirmations for the life you want.

We were each given the wonderful gift of choice.

Let’s choose to use it well.

Till we read again.

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