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Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Can't Move Ahead by Looking at the Past by Chris Brogan

In yesterday's post I spoke about the importance of keeping the doors open for business during the holidays. In today's post, I am going to have master blogger and best selling author Chris Brogan of Escape Velocity, speak to you about looking forward to move ahead. His post is especially timely because at this time of the year many people have regrets about what they didn't do, didn't accomplish. Get over it. You can't change the past. Pay attention to what Chris says. Janet

It’s hard to drive the car forward by looking in the rearview mirror

If you have spent any time in business classes or reading mutual fund paperwork, you may have heard that the concept that past performance is not an indicator of future performance. There are a lot of debates about whether these theories apply to the stock market, but they certainly apply to your life.

I have encountered many entrepreneurs (as well as other professionals) who spend a lot of time talking about the limitations of their past. They didn’t go to the right school. Their dad didn’t take enough time to focus their talents. They did poorly in math. They don’t have any industry experience. Their business has always struggled. They aren’t good at marketing. Whatever the particular circumstances, in each case, they are using the past as an excuse for their present and future situation.

Well, put this little tidbit in your pipe and smoke it—you can’t drive the car forward by looking in the rearview mirror.

Try this exercise, taught to me by my dear friend and collaborator LeAnne Ozaine-Smith (CEO of Ascend Live). Hold up a mirror to your face. Now try to walk forward solely by looking in the mirror at what’s behind you (I highly suggest moving any furniture or obstacles out of your path before you attempt this). Not so easy, huh?

The reality is that the past is the past. And while you can take away valuable lessons from the past, the past doesn’t limit your ability to move forward, unless you let it.

You are in total control over your today and tomorrow. You have the power to make decisions based outside of your past. You can’t change the past, but you can make it irrelevant- if you make the decision to do so.

Try to avoid the temptation to use the past as a crutch. If your ego is willing to suck it up, you can start over and make great strides at any time. Your limitation is not the past, it is only you.

If you want to move forward, don’t navigate by looking behind you. Look ahead, focus on where you want to go and come up with the best path to get there.

From Janet:

So, are you ready for the future?


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